Runers is a top-down rogue-like dungeon shooter where you explore a vast underground labyrinth and face fierce monsters and bosses. As the game advances further into the dungeon, you will gather Runes, which will be used to combine into 285 unique spells. Discovering new spells will unlock their entries in your Runedex; unlock them all!
User reviews: Very Positive (110 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
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"A top-down, roguelike/shmup hybrid which plays a little like The Binding Of Isaac, but without the nightmare foetuses and with DIY spells instead."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (7)

October 9

Local Co-Op Beta!

Hello fellow Runers! Tonight I bring exciting news: I have just put up a beta for local co-op! You can now explore and combine with 2-4 players, you just need to press start to join in when selecting a difficulty.

The single player experience is largely unchanged, but a few things changed to support multiple people:

  • Runes can be dropped on the ground from your inventory
  • Spells can be dropped on the ground from your inventory
  • Enemy health and drop rates have increased for each player in the game
Remember this is a beta, so there may be issues. To access the beta, or to report anything you find, head to the beta testing thread in the Runers forum here:

In that thread you can also find known issues, which we are working on clearing up.

A more detailed writeup will be provided next week detailing some more specific information about what changed and how some things work, along with the beta changelog.

Happy combining!

ːshock_runeː ːearth_runeː ːfire_runeː

1 comments Read more

September 28

v1.0.0.17 - Controller Support!

Hello fellow Runers! Today's patch bring a nice, expected feature lots of people were wondering about: Controller Support! The whole game should be playable via a controller without any need for a keyboard. There may be some improvements to make and some issues to resolve, so let us know if you have any comments!

The living room is now a viable place to explore and combine! Hurrah! Our focus this next week will be balancing and stability. Some spells are too good, others not good enough. We hope to remedy that! If you think any spells are too good or not good enough, let us know in the comments or on the forum. Of course, here are the patch notes too.

ːfire_runeː - 09/28/2014
- Controller support has been added! The controller can control all parts of the
game without the need of mouse and keyboard. Controls seemlessly switch between
controller and mouse and keyboard.
- Added an internal spell queue to help cast click slot spells. This has an option
in the options screen for the duration of spell queueing.

- Toggling autofire no longer uses or is dependant on global cooldown
- Added a 2 second pause before you can pick a prize or a trait
- Carapace now uses components correctly

- Fixed Dark Manifestation showing s instead of % for manifest component
- Hover over spell info now works during prize and level panels

- Fixed a case where a boss fight would not end

5 comments Read more


“I just made a spell that lets me shoot rocks that I can control with my mind and I’m using it to squish a bunch of angry water mages.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“Runers is a fantastic game. It boasts solid gameplay with tons of replayability. The game is difficult, but in a rewarding way.”
8.5 / 10 – Capsule Computers

“Runers is an immensely fun game for fans of the dungeon crawler to get excited about. Hardcore gamers will love what LGK Games have created with the diversity and variety of both the character selection and the enthralling gameplay.”
7 / 10 – God Is A Geek

Steam Greenlight

About This Game

Runers is a top-down rogue-like dungeon shooter where you explore a vast underground labyrinth and face fierce monsters and bosses. As the game advances further into the dungeon, you will gather Runes, which will be used to combine into 285 unique spells. Discovering new spells will unlock their entries in your Runedex; unlock them all! But be careful – if you die, your playthrough is finished.

We wanted to make a game that had a lot of replayability, customization, and discovery. Almost every design choice we made focused on furthering those three goals. We want the player to be able to choose the playing style that suits them: long range sniper, mid range run and gun, or an up close brawler. There are many features to facilitate this level of customization. When you earn enough experience you will level up and be able to choose from 4 random traits to make you even stronger.

Each floor is procedurally generated, so the enemies, rooms, event rooms, and bosses you face are all randomly chosen, making every playthrough different. You will not encounter everything in the game in one playthrough, or even five: there is always something new to encounter.

  • Each floor and room is completely randomized – each run will be a different experience
  • Choose from 20 Races and 20 Classes to customize your runs
  • Runes have unique stats that modify the spells you create with them
  • Choose from 285 different spells to build your own unique spell loadouts
  • Upgrade your spells to make them even stronger
  • 50 different traits to choose from when leveling up
  • 10 procedurally generated floors to explore and fight through
  • 15+ random bosses and 100+ random enemies to fight
  • Numerous Challenges, Event Rooms, and Achievements to complete
  • Defeating enemies unlocks entries in your Beastiary
  • 5 difficulties to increase the challenge

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 8800 or equivalent.
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible.
Helpful customer reviews
61 of 67 people (91%) found this review helpful
43.1 hrs on record
In an industry run by flashy visuals and over-the-top plots we tend to forget what makes the games that have lasted us the longest so memorable, their content and the feeling of discovery. Runers ditches the sugar-coating and fluff in favor of pure action and customization to help craft an experience that revolves around how you want to play.

Banished to the confines of a dark and dank dungeon with nothing but your arcane knowledge and the magical power of the Runes found within. The moody melodies and grim dim-lit rooms beckon you deeper in to the randomly generated chambers of ongoing dungeon floors which each act as an arena, staging chaotic top-down battles and sometimes throwing objective based events at you for a chance at an additional skill to level up and increase your survivability in these diabolical crypts.

On the surface Runers may seem slightly rough around the edges in terms of aesthetics with its art and sound effects having a very hand-made and appropriately gritty quality to them. This is however not at all a bad thing and will actually be a welcome feeling among old-schoolers who remember the early days of PC gaming, as this has a very similar feel visually to the obscure dungeon delving titles of the early 90s many are fond of.

Runers features the grid-like map progression and dungeon exploration of a classic Zelda game with the fast-paced horde slaying arcade-action of a Gauntlet title. There's no drawn out plot or complicated goals present here, instead Runers takes a more score-attack oriented approach testing the players ability to survive and make the best usage of their findings. Most of your early runs will end swiftly in humiliating defeat, but the more adept of players will experiment and explore the hundreds of possibilities made available through Rune crafting.

Runes come in the form of different varying elements, from burning Fire spells to Air spells with the ability to knockback. Combining the different spells can be done in pairs of two or three depending on the amount of combiners you have. Combining two spells is as simple as using a Rune Combiner which are generally dropped off of the tougher Champion type enemies as well as mid-bosses. In order to obtain the more useful and generally passive or evasive three-spell combinations you must accumulate 4 regular Combiners. This provides an even deeper level of decision making forcing you to choose between going with the instant gratification of a slightly stronger 2nd level combo or saving your Combiners up for the often life saving 3rd level spells.

The easiest way to meet your maker is to become surrounded. The game features Diablo levels of swarming from your adversaries and the worst thing to do is get trapped in a corner or against a wall as you'll quickly be blocked in by swathes of dangerous creatures with no escape other than the sweet solace of your own magic-blasting runes making way. Although you'll be overwhelmed early on much of the time consecutive runs will last longer as you learn the necessities of preparation, especially prior to facing the hectic boss battles and their bullet-hell styled patterns.

The rune system is the bread and butter of the game, providing hundreds of unique and effective combinations of magical runes all with different attacks and properties. Throughout the levels you'll find differently sized rune combiners which will allow you to combine different runes into bigger, better attacks to use on your ability bar. The abilities are unknown at first and to unlock the hundreds of useful attacks you'll have to experiment with the different complex combinations. Runes can also be stacked onto powers in the ability bar that use similar elements, strengthening a particular attribute tied to it. In the end what you have is a very free-form combat system with an extremely high skill ceiling, the limits being that of your own discovery and persistence.

Runers is the most customizable encounter I've had in the roguelite genre, complimenting the play style of every attribute be it speed, power, or wit. It offers a level of creativity and choice in how you approach battles that is unseen for dungeon crawlers, and offers enough variation to always keep you coming back. For the modest asking price, Runers is an engrossing experience with an amount of content and combat options that surpasses anything like it.
Posted: September 4
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50 of 70 people (71%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Below you'll find a very in-deph, analytical video review of Runers, and below that a review in written form, should you prefer text over video.
Asthetics: Decent pixel art style that seems rather generic due to low variety. Especially the floor, the walls and the spelly icons look particularly bad. The spell effects themselves are rather pretty though. Very simple, no doubt about it, however this simplicity also allows for easier recognition (as enemies use the same spells).
Sound design: Overall average. The sound effects are again generic, but what you would expect. Water drops create satisfying splash sounds, lightning sparks like broken electricity and fire spews crackling sounds of a train running on charcoal. A gripe worth mentioning here is the forgetable music, which ranges from alien space tunes while fighting in old ruins (huh?) to base heavy tunes in the depths of hell. Luckily the game does have a seperate music switch to turn off the music and play a choice of your own music in the background. I highly recommend playing heavy rock or metal, as I found it most fun to slaughter monsters alongside.
Gameplay: The heart of Runers and by far the strongest component that carries the game. Before starting a new run (due to the permadeath mechanic of roguelikes), you create a character based on one out of 20 classes and one out of 20 races, which influence how you try to develop your character. Afterwards you are dropped into a procedurally generated dungeon, where you face hordes of monsters with distinct abilities and strategies to defeat them. There are also several special rooms you can find. Certain rooms have an aura attached to them that randomly affects your (and the monsters!) stats, either by lowering them or by increasing them. There are challenge rooms that completely change the objective, for example protecting a portal or dodging fireballs. On some floors a boss awaits you. These fights are particularly interesting as most bosses require a special strategy to defeat. For a great example, please watch the video and the fight against the Air boss Nimbirrus.
While defeating enemies, you will find an array of drops. Among them Runers, Double and Triple Combiners. The Runes can either be used on their own to upgrade an existing spell or in conjuction with a combiner to create an entirely new spell from a pool of 285 spells! After unlocking all double and a reasonable amount of triple spells, I can honestly say that a lot of spells play very differently and this whole spell crafting system adds a really fun layer of exploration ontop of the game. There are some weaker points in terms of gameplay too however. Completing a floor or reaching a level up rewards you with a choice of four possible upgrades, which can be runes, rune level, combiners or passive upgrades (the latter for level ups). As the passive upgrades are mere stat upgrades, completing a floor does not feel rewarding enough on itself.

TL;DR: Overall, Runers is an honestly brilliant action roguelike with an incredibly in-depth spell crafting system and a huge variety. The small gripes I have in terms of asthetics, sound design and unrewarding level ups do not diminish my very positive opinion of Runers. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you are into roguelikes like Binding of Isaac, Our Darker Purpose or A Wizard's Lizard.
Posted: September 2
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17 of 23 people (74%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
The most beautiful thing about starting a new rogue-like game is seeing the different options that are available to customise your first play-through. Binding Of Isaac shows you the 6 characters you can unlock, Risk of Rain presents the three classes you can play as. Immediately you’re thrown into the game knowing full well that you can choose to play however you want, and that your choices are going to matter, and that’s what makes rogue-likes my favourite genre, because you have such control over your playstyle from the get go.

Runers developed by Let’s Get Kraken is no different. Wait, let me rephrase that. Runers is different. You’re not provided with 5 characters, or three classes. No sir. You’re give 20 of each. 20 blessings and 20 classes. Let’s do some maths for a minute. That’s 20 x 20 playable combinations. And while I’m sure the majority of you remember your 6th grade multiplication, I’ll do it for you here. 20 x 2 = 40, and 40 x 10 = 400. That’s right, 400! Class/race combinations. That’s an incredible amount of choice, and you haven’t even started the game yet! if you played through the game 100 times changing only those beginning choices each time, you’ve only played a fourth of the game! I know I’m starting to ramble here, but re-playability is a major thing for me in a rogue-like, and Let’s Get Kraken absolutely nail it from the get go.

Once you get past this selection, you’re offered the choice of ten runes to choose from. Each of these changes the way your character plays. The Spark rune lets you shoot lighting, while the Mind rune shoots a bolt that goes through things. The Earth rune shoots a bolt that pushes back enemies, and the Fire rune one that burns. As you look through these spells, you think to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if I could combine these to make a spell that shoots lightning AND burns?” And you’re in luck. Combining and modifying, and even experimenting with spells happens to be the main method of upgrading your characters arsenal. Runes drop as you defeat enemies, from each of the 10 elements that you could pick from at the beginning. These can have bonuses to bullet size or projectile travel speed, and occasionally can be combined with other runes to create more powerful attacks. You need a relatively rare drop called a “combiner” before you can do this, but once you find one the spells you can choose from rise from the 10 runes, to the 65 combinations that you can now make. Every spell is different, and can change your gameplay style totally. The experimentation of these spells is what I personally think is the most fun part of the game. Once you find one of the even more rare “triple combiners” you can then combine three runes at once, opening up the spell bank even more which modifies what you can do even more.

On top of this, your character gains experience through kills, and levels up. Upon leveling, you can choose between four traits to gain, which are randomised and provide a small bonus that makes certain tasks easier. One of my personal favourite traits is one that upon dying allows you to lose all your traits and resurrect yourself. And for those of you that have played rogue-likes, you know how valuable a second life can be, especially when you get further along into the dungeon.

Speaking about dungeons, Runers has a pretty nifty map layout. Rooms can contain enemies or challenges, and never both. These challenges can be herding wisps into portals (one that I really don’t enjoy) or having to defeat waves of enemies in a time limit. There are more, but I’ll leave those discoveries to you. Each room also has the chance of having a staircase in it, which takes you down to the next level. Each level has a random enemy buff, making the room harder. These can be things like a 20% increase of enemy bullet size, or 10% increase of enemy health. Nothing crazily overpowered, but enough to keep you on your toes throughout the whole game.

The enemy variety is fantastic, with 140 different enemies being thrown at you as you play. From skeletons that you need to run over after killing, to swarms of rats and cockroaches that keep you on your toes as you sprint away from them. These can also be upgraded into champion level enemies that deal more damage and have more health. The coolest thing about these enemies is that Runers features a Beastiary, where information about the enemies killed is stored. When killing an enemy for the first time, a small pop-up shows in the top left, noting that the enemy’s details have been added to the logs. This makes the game feel a lot larger, and allows the players to spend time learning about their opponents, and craft different spells with which to take them done.

Boss fights are force to be reckoned with, but I won’t spoil them for you. Look forward to them, I guarantee that they’re a dangerous part of the game, and definitely a trial that stands up to the trope of a boss fight.

Artistically, and musically, Runers feels lovingly crafted. The soundtrack (which is also available for purchase on Steam) is light and wonderful, and provides something that adds so much to the atmosphere on the dungeon you’re in. The music flows well, and makes the game world feel much larger than it would otherwise.

Runers takes the ideas of the rogue-like genre that have become set in stone, and improves and modifies them to create a masterpiece of rogue-like action. Providing the player with a bevy of choice, and a huge amount of content to discover, fans of the 2D rogue-like action genre owe it to themselves to play Runers. Launching today, you can find Runers on Steam for the modest price of $7.49 for the next week, with the price going up to $9.99 on the 9th.
Posted: September 2
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
I’d played this game for roughly two hours before writing this, it’s good.
- With the large number of races, classes, procedurally generated maps, random loot and huge number of different spells you can create there is a lot of variety to the gameplay
- Because of all the choice presented in character generation and spell creation you a fair have amount of freedom to play the way you want
You have the choice of undertaking a series of tutorials ranging from basic movement to spell creation. These worked well and didn’t take excessive time.
-----When starting a new adventure game you select you race which benefits a unique passive ability such as regenerating health after damage is taken or increasing your damage when your health is low. Then you select a class which provides you with an unique active ability, as well as determining your appearance. Active abilities have long cooldowns and give you powers such charging attacks or an aura which stuns enemies.
-----You then choose your basic spell before beginning your adventure. The environment you will find yourself in is made up of series of rooms. Most rooms contain random hostile creatures which you must defeat in order to leave the room and enter another adjacent room. One room on each level houses a downwards staircase which will take you to the next more difficult level.
-----At the start of each level you will have the choice to continue playing or to save and exit. Apparently you can only load a save once, so you cannot attempt the same instance repeatedly.
-----On death hostile creatures or destructible objects may drop healing items or a random rune. There are several kinds of runes such as shock, fire, cold and so on. You can then use a single rune or combine two or three different runes of any combination to create new spells. The spell created depends on the runes used and will be unknown to you prior to combining multiple runes. Most spells are projectile attacks but some are more unique and have different effects.
-----To use spells that you have created you must assign them to slots which correspond with mouse buttons or hotkeys. You are usually able to hold down both mouse buttons and hot keys simultaneously to alternatively cast spells. A quick firing spell can fire several times before the cooldown of slow firing spell is up. Spells can be upgraded by investing more of the same runes into them.
-----By the default the hotkeys are number keys one to four. These are actually difficult to use while you are controlling your movement with the WASD keys. Because enemies move fast and you basically need to constantly move to avoid them. But you are able to rebind the hot keys to something that suits you better.
-----Your character will gain experience and level up as your progress through the dungeon. Each time you level up you have the choice of four random perks, which vary in their usefulness. Some seemed to have negligible effects such as a small damage buff but others had valuable utility such as stunning all enemies once you reached critically low health.
-----The game is fairly challenging. I played through three or four times and usually only made it to level three. I only made it to a boss one time, it had a really interesting attack sequence. On death you will lose your experience and spells. However knowledge of new spells created and new creatures encountered will be added to the runedex bestiary for future reference.

So the graphics are quite basic, reminiscent of old 2D console games. But I thought the game looked fine. There is a quite a bit of variety in the types of creature you encounter and the look of the different spells you can cast. I think it would nice if the graphical and sound effects made the spells feel a bit more dramatic and feel more powerful.
-----Upon entering one stage I was presented with a little bit of dialogue. So I think there might even be a touch of narrative in this game, but that’s basically all I encountered of that nature.

There is quite a bit to this game. Playthroughs take half an hour to an hour or more. I only scratched the surface of the game in two hours. There are 7 more levels that I didn’t complete, a lot more enemies that I didn’t come face to face with and so many combinations of runes that I wasn’t able to experiment with. I enjoyed playing it and definitely recommend checking it out.

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Posted: September 2
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Runers is a rogue-like shooter with randomly generated dungeons and shown from a top-down perspective. We’ve seen more games exactly like this. So, is it good ? No,… it’s great !

Now, Runers gives us exactly the same stuff as other top-down rogue-like games, but with one little twist: along the way you’ll find all kinds of different runes. These runes can be used to create a new spell. One isn’t usually as effective as two or three of them, but sometimes you have no other choice. You see, you have to use Combiners (also found randomly) to combine two or three of the same runes. The more runes you add the more powerful your spells become. After creating a spell you can continue to upgrade it even further by placing the same sort of runes on top of your (newly) created spells. It’s amazingly deep and it gives the game an insane amount of replay value.
These runes can be found in crates and can be dropped by killed enemies so you never know when you’re going to get it, or what you get, of course.
Killing enemies gives you experience that will level your character up. You don’t upgrade stats like endurance or strength, but you do get to choose between several perks, like more damage, but less armor. Things like that. These perks usually have a trade-off, so it’s not always a win-win situation.
If you finish a floor you’ll also be able to choose between five perks and these always have a positive effect, like extra Dark or Light damage, for example.
When you first start the game you’ll be able to choose between quite a few races and classes, each with their own pros and cons, and these influence the gameplay quite a bit. Again, tons of replay value because of this. You can make the game easier or more difficult by just selecting a certain class and race.
So, the dungeons are randomly generated. You can use a map to see where you’ve been, because the rooms usually look alike. When entering a room you’re usually met by at least 10 enemies, often even more, and by pressing both the left and right mouse button (or one of them) you can shoot your primary spell and, if you have found a rune, your secondary spell. There’s even room for 2 additional spells that can both be used by pressing 1 or 2 on your keyboard.
Rooms also have different types of objectives; there can be challenge rooms (for example, dodge fireballs until the time runs out), event rooms (like saving a character by killing all enemies) and boss rooms (which don’t need any explanation I think).
The game is pretty hard, depending on what kinds of spells you can create. The first floor is usually easy enough and from the second floor and onwards the game becomes increasingly difficult with tougher enemies or enemies that deal more damage. It’s absolutely recommended to keep moving because standing still will get you killed.
Still, dying isn’t the end of the world. In fact, I’ve had tons of fun by just dying. I find it absolutely fantastic to unlock new bestiary entries and create newer and more effective spells. Besides, the games usually aren’t that long. They range from 30 to 90 minutes I think. But this number depends on several factors like exploration, luck and skill. So some games might take longer than that, some even shorter.

Runers isn’t the best looking game out there. There’s nothing fancy about it. But the spell effects stand out the most I guess and they look mostly fine. The characters are usually too small to notice any sort of details and the gameplay is so fast that you won’t even care about it anyway.
The music is mysterious and fits the dungeon part of the game and the sound effects like shooting spells or the sounds enemies make when they are killed are solid.
This game isn’t meant as an audiovisual experience. It’s anything but that. But the gameplay is the most important part of it all, and I really can’t complain about that.

I think Runers has become one of my favorite rogue-like games of the last 6-12 months. It’s utterly brilliant because of its deep customization options and its addictive gameplay. Look past the mediocre graphics and give it a try and you’ll see that this is one hell of fun game.
Highly recommended !

[Rating: 81/100]
Posted: September 11
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