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.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (193 reviews) - 83% of the 193 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 2, 2014

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“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

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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

    Minimum:
    • 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
    • Storage: 350 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible.
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Very Positive (193 reviews)
Recently Posted
[CMP7] The Z Dude
( 8.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 29
This game has a lot of potential! It really does. But the many problems make it frustrating to play.

1. The drop rates.
All items seem to drop at unreliable rates. I sometimes got too many health pickups to use, or so little I have no ability to regain health. The combiners are the worst offenders of this. They are required to make new spells, but the drop rate seems so low that getting them is rare, and once you actually get a combiner, you get some useless spell you can't use even if you want to. More on that later.

2. The rooms. Everything about them.
The concept of randomly generated rooms (in this particular game) is really cool and sound like tons of fun. The problem comes from how the generation is designed. In every room there are around 6-8 destructibles. These destructibles drop items on occasion. Seems pretty good right? The problem is that each destrucible takes many hits to destroy, so you just sit there blindly shooting it until it's gone. If I wanted to be bored, I would go outside. The enemies are also a pain in the ♥♥♥. They're not challenging, they're unfair. What you will find yourself doing most of the time is running around in a circle, while enemies chase you at great speeds. This gets very boring. In some rooms, enemies spawn right next to the door, and you immediately get ganged up on, taking vast amounts of inescapable damage.

3. The spells.
In order to create new spells, you need a combiner. These are hard to get as mentioned above. When you do get a spell, you have no clue what it is. Having some hints could be cool, but you get none. (As a side note, almost every spell using entropy runes is worthless.) Many spells are also not worth getting. Many spells are situational, which is ok, but since you have limited slots for spells, you end up getting the same spells you always get and sticking with those. This destroys the need for spellcrafting. Why create new spells when you already know what spells you are going to get?

This game has enormous potential, but is held back by many design flaws.
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Ranen
( 4.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 28
Runers is a great top-down bullet hell rpg, and the only reason I haven't played it more is because I am pretty bad at it and that can get discouraging. A lot of content, great replayability, and solid gameplay. Good for those who like bullet hells, roguelites, and rpg's.
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Akael
( 2.5 hrs on record )
Posted: February 10
This is not a bad game at all. It's definitely not the fanciest looking game and you could look at this and just see another Binding of Isaac clone, but the deeper you go into it the more satisfying it is. Enough depth to warrant multiple playthroughs.

The big flaw is that it's hard to get into the middle and late game, where the game's spellcraft system starts to come into its own. Expect to die a dozen times before you get deep enough to get the baller spells.
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Vino [Olive Garden]
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: February 1
Runers has a lot of potential. The runes and spell combining system is really cool! I liked discovering new spells and trying them out. Level up bonuses are....weird, but not in a bad way. There are some great ideas, but this game is broken by major, major flaws that never should have made it out of alpha testing.

1) The sound effects. Dear God. When you fire two bullets every 0.7 seconds, they should not each be ear-splitting "ZWOOOOOP"s. If you're killing fifty enemies every room, don't make every one ♥♥♥♥ing scream in agony. The sound design in this game is so bad that it's funny, until you're actually playing it and actually have to turn off the audio because it's hurting your ears.

2) Tedium. Why are there half a dozen destructables in every room that serve absolutely no purpose at all except to make you stand in front of them, mindlessly firing into them as they slowly run out of health? If you want upgrades, you have to destroy them all, every time. Devs, did you actually play this? Did you find this fun? Or was it boring as hell?

3) Cooldowns. You have a 60-second "big" cooldown in addition to your fast spells. The optimal play is to use it every room, then simply wait for the cooldown to elapse before venturing into the next room. Pro tip for devs: don't ever make the best play the least interesting (see point 2). Have all cooldowns reset when you clear a room. Basic ♥♥♥♥.

I cannot recommend Runers in good conscience. Reinstall Binding of Isacc and play that instead. It's better-designed in every way, and a heck of a lot more fun.
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Xxibeautyfrompain
( 13.6 hrs on record )
Posted: January 14
this game is quite intresting but the down fall to the game is it does not save there is a save from where you left off but if you die then you loose that but i dont really think you loose your state's some of the runes dont really mix so you have to know a good combo for it and it gets fustrating if you dont know it plus some of the npc's can be so annoying you just want to rage quit but all in all its still ok not what i really exepted it to be but it was still good
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Jack Reaver
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: January 5
The game feels unfinished.
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=|[K|T]|=RealWolf
( 58.9 hrs on record )
Posted: December 29, 2015
+1, very entertaining

Challenging to find good combinations that then can make it through to the end, and replayable by trying for a different build. Aggravating waiting for that last earth rune to drop, but good aggravation.

A number of spells are a bit disappointing, being just inferior options you wouldn't use
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jamoone
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: December 28, 2015
Really interesting and addictive game.
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manollette
( 26.7 hrs on record )
Posted: December 26, 2015
Fun game, but frequent issues with game crashes and corrupted save data.
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kakaoo
( 2.8 hrs on record )
Posted: December 6, 2015
good game
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Meowth for the Gains
( 17.7 hrs on record )
Posted: November 10, 2015
Got the black background bug. My video card is updated to the latest version and it still does not work, please don't release games which are not working.

Tyvm 9/11 would never buy again
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Chancellor Chancer Cancer
( 11.7 hrs on record )
Posted: October 31, 2015
>Be me
>Playing Runers like the filthy casual that i am
>Enters floor three
>Kill every enemy in floor
>Enters boss room
>Boss is Eye tentacle monster
>Kiting skills are trash
>Eye laser kills me because it is too good
>Die
>Quit game uninstall
>10/10 would kite again
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Zag
( 3.9 hrs on record )
Posted: October 30, 2015
If you remember Gauntlet, Robotron and (for lovers of the obscure) Hall Of The Things and have always wished someone would make a game that feels like all three then this hidden gem from Mastertronic is worth a shot.
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Goriand
( 0.8 hrs on record )
Posted: October 26, 2015
This angband/rogue like game is quite enjoyable. I am not the youngest anymore so a turned base version of this game will make me very happy
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Seppo
( 15.8 hrs on record )
Posted: October 16, 2015
Runers is a more or less classical Rogue-like game, unlike most rogue-like/lite games it is NOT fun.

The basic idea of the game is that you are a wizard and you can make spells from runes that you randomly find, get as a reward or that are dropped by enemies. However you need double-combiners to make spells with 2 runes and extremly rare triple-combiners to make spells with 3 runes. In about 30 minutes of gameplay you can on average get about 1 triple combiner, and 3-5 double-combiners. The game has 285 spells and unlocking all the spells takes forever - also in your first runs before you unlocked some good spells you can't get very far. If you want to try to enjoy this game you NEED to use a wiki and look up the powerful spells because 80% of the spells are completly useless. I didn't use a wiki and eventually i called this game "disappointment simulator" as a joke but it really isn't far off.

Another problem is that is constantly crashes, in my 15 hours with the game it crashed at least 10 times, the developer also hasn't updated this game in over a year other than a language patch - so it will most likely never get fixed.

The combination of a grindy game with lots of disappointing spells and constant crashes makes this game terrible and you should avoid this game even if you are a fan of rogue-likes.
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Mitzrael
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: October 16, 2015
Very skills, much wow.
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< blank >
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: October 14, 2015
This game has good ideas but the execution is horrible.
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sdanond
( 56.2 hrs on record )
Posted: October 7, 2015
Summary: Spray n' pray kiting
Multiplayer: 2 local (?)
Completion: 20 hrs
Cards: Yes
Cloud: Yes

Runers is a twin-stick style roguelike. Unlike most roguelikes, this one comes closer to being one. It's also crazy fast-paced. Being a real-time game, there's very little opportunity to plan out your moves and attacks. While you can pause the game at any time, the sheer speed and volume of bullets, enemies, hazards, and repositioning effects makes dodging difficult. Add to that a low invulnerability period when hit, and you will find it is very easy to die in this game.

I underwent a strange journey in my experience with Runers. I began with the curiosity phase. The game seemed simple enough - fantasy Smash TV with procerdurally generated levels. It sounded intriguing, and I gave it a whirl. After the tutorial, the game opens up with a fairly large character selection screen, my weakness. I made what I thought would be a melee character, a Dwarven Paladin. I started the Wimpy-level game, and noticed I was throwing ranged attacks. How odd! I tried to play him like a melee character, and while he did okayish, the only reason he survived was because of the generous life drops on the first floor. That didn't last very long, however, as the life drops became more and more scarce as I went down, and I finally died. After a few more class and spell combinations, and that's when became clear - this game doesn't have a proper melee combat system. Sure you can craft a sword spell, but you'll get obliterated pretty quickly if you keep that up. Fair enough, now was the time to experiment.

The next phase of the game was discovery. Having made my first double-rune spells, and seeing how much better they were, I got excited and wanted to make all of them and see what suited me best. I tested all the races and classes to see what they would bring to the table. The opposition was tough, but I was careful and prepared. I made my way to the first boss of the game, Blazia. After a long, dangerous fight, Blazia's tactics suddenly changed drastically. Her fire maze is where I promptly got my ♥♥♥ handed to me. The next run, I made it down there again, but instead found Dash. Dash was much easier to combat, and I beat him without much trouble. The next few floors, the scarcity of health drops did me in, as it seemed to do quite often. After a few more runs, I finally made it to the 10th floor, and beat the game. But wait, I didn't unlock anything at all! So I tried the next difficulty level. And, well, that didn't go so well.

Figuring that I would need the powers of triple-rune spells to make any meaningful progress, the time came to discover all 285 spells. This phase of the game was tedium. I can't begin to tell how grueling it is to get triple combiners. This process would have been so much more enjoyable if the triple combiners were not needed. It's not like players are going to find crazy good spells right off the bat, because there's such a large volume of lackluster triple-rune spells. When so much time is spent to waste one triple combiner with three runes that could have been used for something meaningful, that's just adding insult to injury. The Runedex helps out a little with this problem thanks to categorization, but you're still probably going to make a worthless spell regardless.

After forty hours or so, I managed to acquire and test every spell in the game. Now came the revenge phase. I planned out which spells I would want to use from now on, and forged my way ahead. Armed with the tools I wanted, what was once fiendishly difficult became manageable. The game is still plenty tough, but I successfully made it through a few more difficulty levels. Still stuggling with higher difficulty levels, I suddenly discovered something far more potent than any triple-rune spell. I can only assume it to be a bug, but this skill provided grossly overpowered buffs, to the point where I could decimate rooms at will. For this reason I was able to plow through Apocalypse difficulty, a worthy end to the crazy hard game.

Now onto the nitpicking.
-The game is poorly optimized, even in low performance mode. There is ` drastic slowdown when a lot of action is going on, especially when you crank up the size of bullets and swarm the screen with effects.
- Global cooldowns in the game are not intuitive. When you have many low CD spells, some won't trigger because the game doesn't adequately explain about this.
- The lack of auto-fire for other skill slots seems pointless, since the game implements a global cooldown system for every spell.
- The races and classes could use rebalancing. I imagine many of them are unused because they are simply not competitve.
- Leveling up feels weak most of the time because selections tend to be poor. You don't even gain HP or other stats, unless you pick a skill that does so.
- There's far too many weak triple-rune spells. Either these should be buffed, or triple combiners should be removed. There's so many spells to learn, but if people rarely get to see them, what was the point in making them?
- I'm not sure if the game mentions that spells do not require combiners once it's in your Runedex. At the very least the game should probably mention this on the inventory screen.
- Every hostile room locks you in for a fight to the death. This gets old pretty quick. I'd kill for a spell that lets me open doors or something. Or leave some doors open to begin with.
- Occasionally monsters will spawn right next to the entrance of the room.
- Enemies use the same bullets you do. For this reason, it's difficult to tell when something belongs to an enemy or not.
- Some enemies leave lingering effects well after they die, such as Mud Golems. Oftentimes I re-enter a cleared room and still find the effect lingering there.
- Repositioning attacks are excessive. Spending lots of time not being in control of your character is unfun.
- Minibosses are oddly harder than real bosses themselves. At least tone down their firing rates.
- The damage output of some enemies is far too high, such as necro skeletons (which shouldn't be ranged!). Since there is a very low invulnerability period, you will often suffer multiple hits at a time.
- Most single-target spells are not competitive. In general it's best to use spells that can level entire rooms.
- The game as a whole is just too fast. Even some enemies are faster than you. Trying to dodge the fireball room without spells is just ludicrous. And because some enemies move so fast, it's bloody difficult to hit them with single-target bullet spells, which makes up a large portion of the Runedex. The ability to pause is no excuse for making everything move so fast.
- I would have liked equipment such as robes, and cash to buy things from shops.
- How about a way to mash 3 runes into a new random one?
- It would be nice if there was an icon above your character sprite to show status afflictions such as confusion.
- Allies or hirelings would be a fun addition (not including the escort or class abilities). Something more permanant.
- I found a couple game-breaking bugs.

Runers is a difficult game for me to rate. I had a lot of fun discovering spells at first, but to get all the triple-rune spells is nothing more than a chore. However, once you DO have all the spells, the game becomes more interesting.The devs clearly want this game to be tough as nails. While they may have succeeded, in doing so, the game becomes inaccessible to a broader audience, which I feel is a shame to an otherwise fun game. If I were to describe this game, it would be Kiting: The Game, because that's all you do. Unless you're using nuking strats, you're just circling around, spraying and praying to hit something, ad nauseum. I rate Runers a 7/10. There's a lot of room for potential, but as it is now, I imagine it will only appeal to diehard players.
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Suicide Critic
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: September 19, 2015
Did not like it at all. Everything is small and inprecise. Everything is fast. Reminded me of nppd rush the milk of ultraviolet without all the garbage on the screen. Not sure i can even bear to play it long enough to get the trading cards.

That said, I do see light similarities to the binding of issac. So if you like that title maybe give this a try.
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BrofessorOak
( 0.5 hrs on record )
Posted: September 3, 2015
Spells were nice but there wasn't really anything else to it.
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Runers has a lot of potential. The runes and spell combining system is really cool! I liked discovering new spells and trying them out. Level up bonuses are....weird, but not in a bad way. There are some great ideas, but this game is broken by major, major flaws that never should have made it out of alpha testing.

1) The sound effects. Dear God. When you fire two bullets every 0.7 seconds, they should not each be ear-splitting "ZWOOOOOP"s. If you're killing fifty enemies every room, don't make every one ♥♥♥♥ing scream in agony. The sound design in this game is so bad that it's funny, until you're actually playing it and actually have to turn off the audio because it's hurting your ears.

2) Tedium. Why are there half a dozen destructables in every room that serve absolutely no purpose at all except to make you stand in front of them, mindlessly firing into them as they slowly run out of health? If you want upgrades, you have to destroy them all, every time. Devs, did you actually play this? Did you find this fun? Or was it boring as hell?

3) Cooldowns. You have a 60-second "big" cooldown in addition to your fast spells. The optimal play is to use it every room, then simply wait for the cooldown to elapse before venturing into the next room. Pro tip for devs: don't ever make the best play the least interesting (see point 2). Have all cooldowns reset when you clear a room. Basic ♥♥♥♥.

I cannot recommend Runers in good conscience. Reinstall Binding of Isacc and play that instead. It's better-designed in every way, and a heck of a lot more fun.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 10
This is not a bad game at all. It's definitely not the fanciest looking game and you could look at this and just see another Binding of Isaac clone, but the deeper you go into it the more satisfying it is. Enough depth to warrant multiple playthroughs.

The big flaw is that it's hard to get into the middle and late game, where the game's spellcraft system starts to come into its own. Expect to die a dozen times before you get deep enough to get the baller spells.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2015
Fun game, but frequent issues with game crashes and corrupted save data.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
The game feels unfinished.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
81 of 95 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
44.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 4, 2014
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.
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49 of 51 people (96%) found this review helpful
Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
Runers is a top-down, may-as-well-be-twin-stick shooter with roguelike qualities, including permadeath. Contrary to what you might have expected after glancing at the screenshots, the game does not feature traditional loot, consumables, equipment or an inventory system, other than what’s required to craft spells. With this in mind, I didn’t expect it to have much depth but was pleasantly surprised to be proven at least partly wrong.

The main attraction here is the magic system that lets you combine a catalyst with one to three runes from eight elements to create 285 different spells. Most results are unique in both animation and effect and generally fall under buff, debuff, direct single-target damage, area of effect, or some combination thereof. Spells can be further upgraded in power by dragging duplicate runes of the same element onto them, which augments their damage, knockback, cooldown, bullet size and speed. Runes, and the catalysts needed to combine them, drop from enemies and destructibles and are presented as a reward option when descending floors.

Spell quick slots are limited, maxing out at six after you’ve beaten a few minibosses, and excess spells must be in one of two storage slots or discarded. Two primary spells can be set to autofire so that they blast toward your cursor each time the cooldowns are up, which really makes casting feel like a twin-stick shooter without actual twin-stick support. Spell quality varies wildly with a few feeling overpowered, many feeling useless, and most falling somewhere in between. Casting does not consume resources and is only limited by cooldowns, so it’s fun to experiment with different builds.

Adventuring begins with choosing a difficulty, a racial passive ability, a class that determines your activatable special ability, and a starter spell (or, in roguelike fashion, just hit “random” and let the game decide these things for you). After this, you’ll be placed in a ten-floor dungeon with a toggleable map overlay that shows which rooms you’ve visited and any items you’ve left behind.

Enemies often feel just as, if not more, powerful than you because they cast the same spells available to you and can quickly fill your debuff bar. Combat involves a lot of running in circles as a result, dodging projectiles like you’re in bullet hell while slinging your own spells toward the pack of enemies that’s chasing you. Emerging as the victor will unlock the exits in that room and let you progress to the next. Rinse and repeat. The bulk of Runers’ depth and imagination went into its magic system and there isn’t much in the way of surprises outside of that. There are really only three room variants in the game: rooms containing a throng of enemies, a boss or miniboss, or a challenge (which is often just another throng of enemies whose conditional defeat rewards you with a perk).

Upon leveling up or completing a challenge room, you get to choose between four perks that are drawn randomly from a huge pool. With a few exceptions, these bonuses are more about augmenting your spells to be as deadly as possible and less about traditional character stat building. Even though death is permanent, a runedex keeps track of all the spell combinations you’ve unlocked thus far and a bestiary does the same for all the enemies you’ve encountered. There are also leaderboards for each difficulty and 30 optional, standalone challenges.

As long as you delve into Runers with an open mind and no expectations of it cleanly fitting into a particular genre—and you’re prepared to deal with the difficulty of projectile hell—you should enjoy the ride.
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60 of 71 people (85%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
24.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 18, 2014
Runers has high hopes, and a fantastic spell crafting system, but is held back in just a few too many ways.


The game is full of strange design decisions. For example rune combiners are needed only for new spells. This means that early on in your play of Runers you will find yourself unable to create many complex spells, and once you have died a few times and unlocked a lot of spells, you find yourself with combiners falling out of your pockets. My question is why? Surely the game would play better if combiners were always required but were more common? Then you'd have to be careful about which complex spells you created, and would make each run more varied.

Then there's the fact that drops are completely random. I can kill an air mage and get an earth rune! There's no rhyme nor reason for anything, and as such each run tends to blur together.

Sound levels are also just strange. Some enemies are much much louder than others. Some barely audible, others annoyingly loud. And this happens on every single 'I got hit', not just for special attacks or anything. Oh, also, your character doesn't have a 'I got hit' noise. That's rather important, and yet entirely missing. The music is really quiet. Again, this is odd because they sell a soundtrack edition, so clearly they're proud of it.

You can rebind keys*. You will want to do this, since hitting 1-4 while using wsad to move is rather lethal. *Caveat: However, you can't rebind the left and right click spells. Which is odd, because they end up being the spells you click the least often, since they have an autofire option.

The whole pace of the game is bloody fast. It's a test more of reaction speed than skill, most of the time. The main thing is movement speed. You move fast, your enemies move fast. So fast, in fact, that it's hard to control. The game suggests that you can use destructible objects as cover, but I genuinely had a hard time stopping behind them with any sense of consistency. It's that fast. I don't think this is a good thing, not at all.

There can be a lot going on in fights, and you just don't have the time to comprehend it. After level three there's a miniboss, called the bombadier. He throws bombs. Makes sense, right? Except that he also throws fans of knives. And he also summons randomly spawning rocks throughout the room. And also there's at least four different types of bombs he spawns. Also he can run very fast, and spends most of his time off-screen while you're frantically trying to figure out if this bomb explodes in a + or an X, so you can't even throw incidental damage at him while dodging. And this is just a miniboss!

Enemies can spawn in huge clusters right near the doors, giving you no time to react. If you get mobbed you're kind of in a spot. Unless you have a knockback spell equipped then you have to physics your way out of them. It's nice that you can push enemies around, but the game is so quick that often it's all you have time to do.

When you level up, the game waits to tell you until after the fight. This is pretty great. It automatically pops up the box that gives you the choice of perk and you don't have to worry about getting mobbed the moment you click one. However, the game also doesn't let you click anything until it finishes playing the 'you levelled up' ditty. It just... stops for a moment.

The spells. My goodness, the spells are so good. You can make one-, two- or three-element spells, with repeats allowed. The game tells me that's a total of 285 spells, and I believe it. You start off knowing all of the one-element spells, and I have crafted all of the two-element ones and a half-dozen of the threes, and they're very well varied. There's direct damage spells, aoe spells, buffs, debuffs, you name it.

This is where the wonderful variety of statistics comes into play. You have damage and bullet speed and bullet duration and size and dot damage and knockback to name just a few that appear on spells, and then characters have movespeed and health and armour and elemental skill and crit chance and density and so many others that there is just a whole heap of room for spells to be different in! It's great!

The game makes you feel like a pretty badass wizard, and I have to commend it for that. It's really fantastic in that respect. It's one of the best games I've ever played like that.

Level design is good and varied. Each arena is different enough to feel interesting, and the enemies with zones of effect are just the right size to have an impact and let you play around.

Enemy AI seems pretty smart. If you go invulnerable then they run away from you. They can try to dodge bullets, especially elites.

Bosses are hugely varied, but, again, perhaps a little too busy. There is an awful lot going on in any boss fight, and it gets very hard to follow very quickly. This was my experience in the first boss I encountered: "Oh, so he's immune to damage? Okay, I'll wait it out. It's not ending. Oh, so I can stand on his head to hurt him. King of the hill, no problem. Okay, so those are knockback attacks bouncing around. Makes sense, this is the storm boss. Okay, so bouncing off the walls deals damage? or is it those red areas? Okay, so dodging is hard when his face covers the spells, but almost down to the last quarter and- oh. Dead. So he shoots lightning at the end, centred on his head, where I had to have been standing to damage him up until this point. Well that's good to know if I ever have to fight him again. Back to floor one again." And this hasn't been an isolated incident, this has happened with just about every boss. There's just no way of knowing what the attacks are going to do, or what hurts or where to stand. There's no telegraphing.

I encountered a fair number of bugs, but the devs seem to be working on most of them. It's a small team, so this is entirely understandable and I don't hold it against them.

And now for the nail in the coffin. My final comment: The art is... There's no two ways about this: it's really bad.

There is a grand total of one, yes: one, casting animation. In a game about casting spells. A firepit is a reddish smudge, a mudslide is a brownish smudge, ice is, you guessed it, a bluish smudge. An air elemental, a creature, is a whitish smudge Every other creature in the game is done in pixel art, but not the air elementals. This is probably my biggest gripe with the game. I think that hiring a professional artist could double, perhaps even triple the quality of the game.

Now you could argue that it's going for a "retro pixel style", but that doesn't stop it from being a terrible example of such. The only animations that you ever see are: walking in the four cardinal directions, walking while shooting in four cardinal directions. And notice that that's the direction you're shooting. The animation's the same no matter which way you're going if you're shooting, say, to the right. That's it, that's all there is. And it's not even a particularly good walk animation, just leg up, leg down. Standing still is even just a still frame from the walk animation, as far as I can tell.


So, the verdict. Is it worth your money? Not at the moment. Perhaps after a few patches, and preferably a makeover, then I could recommend it, but not as it currently stands.

I will edit this review if anything changes.
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58 of 83 people (70%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2014
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.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0b1yF0mgHs
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.
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28 of 35 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 2, 2014
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.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
62.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
This game seems simple but you can put an incredible amount of time and get an incredible amount of fun out of it. The creative method of making spells that this game uses makes it fun to discover new spells every time you play and encourages you to think out what spells you'll use each playthrough. This game I would recommend to anyone.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
Recommended
84.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Definitely a fun, neat twist on the Rogue-like genre. Lots of variety in characters and customability, and the whole rune crafting system for your spells is a nifty idea. What's more, the fact you save your Runedex progress even after your perma-deaths let you know what spells were worth it and which ones weren't. It's hard, but still definitely fair, and I highly recommend this due to its unique play flavor.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2014
Experience with dev support and suggestions on how to resolve technical issues with the game made me change my stance here.

While the frantic pace of some of the rooms in this roguelike can be difficult to deal with, especially with the lack of rune combiners early on, the game is still pretty fun and the spell creation/discovery mechanic is something that I enjoy greatly.

Certainly worth sinking a bit of time into.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 11, 2014
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]
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
133.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 4, 2015
Runers is an amazing combination of discovery and rogue-like gameplay. You use 1-3 of 10 different types of runes to create hundreds of spells. Of the 285 spells you can only discover a handful per run, and runs can take hours. In other words, this game's element of discovery can last hundreds of hours.

The spells are incredibly unique and versatile. You'll find that they fit into general categories and serve similar purposes, but that no two spells are the same. You can also upgrade the spells you have created by using additional runes on them. This doesn't simply upgrade damage or cooldown time though, but any of a number of aspects of a spell including but not limited to: buff duration, radius, force, speed, knockback, stun duration, and even "leash elastic." Clearly not all spells will have every one of these and more aspects, but how a spell can be upgraded is just as important as how it first appears.

For me the best thing about this game is that it is a rogue-like with meaningful general progression. Usually in rogue-likes, once you die you start over and very little will have changed other than your knowledge of the game. In this game you might discover a very useful spell on one run and feel great about your progress even without winning or performing well.

A really important thing to understand about the mechanics of this game is the meaning of "discovery." Creating a spell for the first time does not simply mean adding a new "recipe" to your runedex that you could have just looked up on a wiki. You need combiners to create spells for the first time, afterwards you can create those spells using only the required runes. Combiners have another possible use though, in that you can break them to gain experience. I can't stress enough how important it is to be aware of this aspect of the gameplay. If you look through the discussions you will find many, many people who didn't become aware of this until they had put many hours into the game.

I definitely plan on completing my runedex so there's no way I couldn't recommend this game.

I should also add that this game has a pretty cool soundtrack.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 29, 2015
So generally speaking, I enjoy this game. That is until I play it and remeber how frustrating it is. As someone who plays SPECIFICALLY to discover the cool and interesting spells, its difficult sometimes to come across combiners, the things you need to make new spells. Especially 4 of them to make a three way one. I think a simple fix is to start you out with one on the easiest difficulty, wimpy, and maybe even decrease the number from 4 to 3 on the three way combiners. I dont think thats too much to ask for someone who wants to play the game for the spells, not beating it. Because pretty much, thats the only thing this game has going for it.

Edit: After Playing a couple runs after I wrote this, I ran into the exact problem I was complaining about. The first run was great, as I had gotten 3 combiners on the first floor. I held out hope that I could get one more on the next floor, so I could make one of the cool, elusive, 3 rune ones. I got beaten up pretty bad for the majority of the floor and resorted to using them so I could survive. I died anyways, without ever getting another. 2nd run, Im making my way through floor one, and I found 1 combiner. I thought that that was fair, and I was content. Died without finding another. My final run, I took a different starting spell, so I was hoping for a combiner early so I could replace it, since I didnt like it as much. Cleared floor 1, didnt find a single combiner. Died on the first room of floor 2. Rage quit.

I cant stress enough how important these are to playing the game, at least for me, and how unfun it is without them. It makes me want to not play the game, because in the last game I played, there was literally NOTHING I could do about it. Good rouge-likes like Isaac make you work with what youre given, and every run has potential to be won if youre good enough/lucky enough. But imagine if all the items were only dropped by enemies, and the chance was rather low. It makes for a frustrating experience that you cant do anything about. This game is just so much wasted potential, because I cant even make it far enough to see what it has to offer. Idk maybe im just bad, and a whiner. Regardless, I think this game could be really cool if they werent so stingy with the combiners.

Edit, Edit: Ok so maybe I was a little frustrated while writing this, and also pretty inexperienced. After selecting to upgrade one of my rune levels, I got a combiner, which made me pretty happy. My points still stand though I think, but I think Ill change the recomendation to yes instead. Whoops

Edit Edit Edit: So one thing that I really like about this game, is the upgrades to your spells. So basically, each spell has a bunch of stats associated with them, and you can upgrade them using more runes. Take the guided stones (or something like that) spell. Its combined runes are mind and earth, and it sends out a few rocks, that home on targets. Now to me, the fun parts of this spell are its high damage, and its ability to home, and using the rock and mind runes, respectivly, you can upgrade those aspects. And thats really nice. Another example is the droplet spell, one of the starter spells. Instead of being able to upgrade the damage, you can upgrade the AOE of the spell, which is probably why you have it in the first place. Its a nice touch that makes the game way better
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19 of 28 people (68%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
Spell combining + twin stick shooter is a REALLY AWESOME formula. Unfortunately it's dragged down by poor balance, non-existent level design, and boring enemy AI. It really needs another round of solid mechanic improvements before I can reccomend it.
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21 of 32 people (66%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: September 2, 2014
Being a fan of rogue-likes, I absolutely had to try this one out, and I’ll tell ya what, I wasn’t disappointed. The combat is enjoyable, the crafting system is interesting, and even on the easiest difficulty, the game is very challenging.

Anyway, before I start my written review, if you are looking for a short video to show you what the game is, here’s a link to an approximately 2min video: http://youtu.be/V_eBJRdylj8

If you’re looking for a more in depth look at the game, here’s a link to a longer video: http://youtu.be/FsQ2Lnw4SqQ

I just want to open by saying, this game has a completely free demo where you can play through up to 3 floors (including a boss fight), so if you are unsure, you can always go look at that.

I think the main thing that sets this game a part from other rogue-likes is the spell system. It’s beautifully done. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of spells, all of which have unique animations. Crafting is really cool too, as when you start the game you have absolutely no idea what you are creating, but once you have crafted a combination of runes once, it will go into your Runedex so next time you try to create that particular combination it will let you know what it is and what it does.

The soundtrack is pretty good, and there seems to be unique death/spell sounds so you aren’t just hearing that one sound over and over.

While the general aesthetic may be considered average, the particle effects are absolutely gorgeous and the enemies well designed. One thing I liked in particular is that most enemies act differently (and there is a fairly large variety), so every fight doesn’t just devolve into you kiting a bunch of creatures around the room in a circle. Also, if you die it’s your own fault, not the fault of the game, which in my books is another big plus. Finally, the boss creatures actually have really cool unique mechanics. I won’t spoil any, but I have fought 4 bosses, and was pleasantly surprised upon fighting every single one of them.

There’s also a ton of replayability. I played the game a fair few times, and each time I got a completely different experience when it came to spells and events. And speaking of events, there are some really cool ones. Since there are also so many different Passives and Classes (20 each!), with all unique abilities, you can pretty much play the game however you want, as there is a passive and class for every possible playstyle. There are also 30 or so challenges you can attempt, ranging from simply dodge creatures or fireballs, to attempting to destroy a certain number of objects with limited spells or killing enemies while maintaining a certain degree of accuracy.

Overall, I cannot recommend this game enough. If you are a fan of rogue-likes, you will probably like this one. It’s fun, unique, challenging, has a ton of content, and is well worth it for the price. Also, if for some reason you’re finding it too easy; there are 5 difficulty levels to keep you challenged!
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
Recommended
56.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2015
Summary: Spray n' pray kiting
Multiplayer: 2 local (?)
Completion: 20 hrs
Cards: Yes
Cloud: Yes

Runers is a twin-stick style roguelike. Unlike most roguelikes, this one comes closer to being one. It's also crazy fast-paced. Being a real-time game, there's very little opportunity to plan out your moves and attacks. While you can pause the game at any time, the sheer speed and volume of bullets, enemies, hazards, and repositioning effects makes dodging difficult. Add to that a low invulnerability period when hit, and you will find it is very easy to die in this game.

I underwent a strange journey in my experience with Runers. I began with the curiosity phase. The game seemed simple enough - fantasy Smash TV with procerdurally generated levels. It sounded intriguing, and I gave it a whirl. After the tutorial, the game opens up with a fairly large character selection screen, my weakness. I made what I thought would be a melee character, a Dwarven Paladin. I started the Wimpy-level game, and noticed I was throwing ranged attacks. How odd! I tried to play him like a melee character, and while he did okayish, the only reason he survived was because of the generous life drops on the first floor. That didn't last very long, however, as the life drops became more and more scarce as I went down, and I finally died. After a few more class and spell combinations, and that's when became clear - this game doesn't have a proper melee combat system. Sure you can craft a sword spell, but you'll get obliterated pretty quickly if you keep that up. Fair enough, now was the time to experiment.

The next phase of the game was discovery. Having made my first double-rune spells, and seeing how much better they were, I got excited and wanted to make all of them and see what suited me best. I tested all the races and classes to see what they would bring to the table. The opposition was tough, but I was careful and prepared. I made my way to the first boss of the game, Blazia. After a long, dangerous fight, Blazia's tactics suddenly changed drastically. Her fire maze is where I promptly got my ♥♥♥ handed to me. The next run, I made it down there again, but instead found Dash. Dash was much easier to combat, and I beat him without much trouble. The next few floors, the scarcity of health drops did me in, as it seemed to do quite often. After a few more runs, I finally made it to the 10th floor, and beat the game. But wait, I didn't unlock anything at all! So I tried the next difficulty level. And, well, that didn't go so well.

Figuring that I would need the powers of triple-rune spells to make any meaningful progress, the time came to discover all 285 spells. This phase of the game was tedium. I can't begin to tell how grueling it is to get triple combiners. This process would have been so much more enjoyable if the triple combiners were not needed. It's not like players are going to find crazy good spells right off the bat, because there's such a large volume of lackluster triple-rune spells. When so much time is spent to waste one triple combiner with three runes that could have been used for something meaningful, that's just adding insult to injury. The Runedex helps out a little with this problem thanks to categorization, but you're still probably going to make a worthless spell regardless.

After forty hours or so, I managed to acquire and test every spell in the game. Now came the revenge phase. I planned out which spells I would want to use from now on, and forged my way ahead. Armed with the tools I wanted, what was once fiendishly difficult became manageable. The game is still plenty tough, but I successfully made it through a few more difficulty levels. Still stuggling with higher difficulty levels, I suddenly discovered something far more potent than any triple-rune spell. I can only assume it to be a bug, but this skill provided grossly overpowered buffs, to the point where I could decimate rooms at will. For this reason I was able to plow through Apocalypse difficulty, a worthy end to the crazy hard game.

Now onto the nitpicking.
-The game is poorly optimized, even in low performance mode. There is ` drastic slowdown when a lot of action is going on, especially when you crank up the size of bullets and swarm the screen with effects.
- Global cooldowns in the game are not intuitive. When you have many low CD spells, some won't trigger because the game doesn't adequately explain about this.
- The lack of auto-fire for other skill slots seems pointless, since the game implements a global cooldown system for every spell.
- The races and classes could use rebalancing. I imagine many of them are unused because they are simply not competitve.
- Leveling up feels weak most of the time because selections tend to be poor. You don't even gain HP or other stats, unless you pick a skill that does so.
- There's far too many weak triple-rune spells. Either these should be buffed, or triple combiners should be removed. There's so many spells to learn, but if people rarely get to see them, what was the point in making them?
- I'm not sure if the game mentions that spells do not require combiners once it's in your Runedex. At the very least the game should probably mention this on the inventory screen.
- Every hostile room locks you in for a fight to the death. This gets old pretty quick. I'd kill for a spell that lets me open doors or something. Or leave some doors open to begin with.
- Occasionally monsters will spawn right next to the entrance of the room.
- Enemies use the same bullets you do. For this reason, it's difficult to tell when something belongs to an enemy or not.
- Some enemies leave lingering effects well after they die, such as Mud Golems. Oftentimes I re-enter a cleared room and still find the effect lingering there.
- Repositioning attacks are excessive. Spending lots of time not being in control of your character is unfun.
- Minibosses are oddly harder than real bosses themselves. At least tone down their firing rates.
- The damage output of some enemies is far too high, such as necro skeletons (which shouldn't be ranged!). Since there is a very low invulnerability period, you will often suffer multiple hits at a time.
- Most single-target spells are not competitive. In general it's best to use spells that can level entire rooms.
- The game as a whole is just too fast. Even some enemies are faster than you. Trying to dodge the fireball room without spells is just ludicrous. And because some enemies move so fast, it's bloody difficult to hit them with single-target bullet spells, which makes up a large portion of the Runedex. The ability to pause is no excuse for making everything move so fast.
- I would have liked equipment such as robes, and cash to buy things from shops.
- How about a way to mash 3 runes into a new random one?
- It would be nice if there was an icon above your character sprite to show status afflictions such as confusion.
- Allies or hirelings would be a fun addition (not including the escort or class abilities). Something more permanant.
- I found a couple game-breaking bugs.

Runers is a difficult game for me to rate. I had a lot of fun discovering spells at first, but to get all the triple-rune spells is nothing more than a chore. However, once you DO have all the spells, the game becomes more interesting.The devs clearly want this game to be tough as nails. While they may have succeeded, in doing so, the game becomes inaccessible to a broader audience, which I feel is a shame to an otherwise fun game. If I were to describe this game, it would be Kiting: The Game, because that's all you do. Unless you're using nuking strats, you're just circling around, spraying and praying to hit something, ad nauseum. I rate Runers a 7/10. There's a lot of room for potential, but as it is now, I imagine it will only appeal to diehard players.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2014
Runers is a roguelike very much reminiscient of The Binding of Isaac. You slowly power up as you venture, through rooms, deeper into the meat of the game.

Runers is challenging. Heck, it is downright brutal. After three hours I finally beat the first boss (and mostly because I fought one of the easier bosses) only to die right away in the next area because it introduced stuff I'd not yet seen. That's what makes these games great, when they can hit you with a curveball just as you begin to think you can hit a homerun.

The rune system of developing spells is pretty intriguing, albeit very tricky just starting out. I am noticing that entire runs can be dedicated to trying different combinations of runes hoping to find that one spell that really accents my playstyle. The rune system is interesting, furthermore, because it challenges you to decide between upgrading your current spell and building a new one altogether which, if you're a newbie, is kind of like playing a slot machine.

There are definitely flaws with the game, however. It doesn't have that level of polish that the Binding of Isaac has, nor does it really feel flushed out and well balanced. The art is consistent and classic-style, which is great, but it gets lost in the level design. The maps are pretty much all the same, on the levels I played. Rooms are slightly different looking but there are only a handful of room types and things that might happen in those rooms. You've got the boss room, normal rooms, and challenge rooms. All of which might spawn as an aura room, but for the most part you're looking at only three room variants. Hopefully in a future patch we'll see this expanded upon, as it is certainly one of the major lowpoints for the game right now.

The music is solid, and the controls feel well thought out. There is currently no controller support which is a bummer, but it plays just fine without. I do have one complaint, however, with the keybinds for hotkey spells. With all the frantic action it is incredibly frustrating to stop what you're doing to hit a hotkey. If you're using your mouse buttons to fire your primary spells then the hotkeys will not (at least not for me) activate properly. You've got to stop moving or stop firing to shoot off the hotkey spells which makes them near-useless.

Great game and I'm sure we'll see my concerns addressed in future patches.
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2014
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

http://youtu.be/Pk9knk_-S-0
http://youtu.be/GE8qjJ47gkI
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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