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 (146 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."
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Recent updates View all (8)

November 2, 2014 - Local Co-op released!

Hello Runers! After a long time of no patch, I hope this one is satisfying. This patch contains local cooperative with multiple controllers. Play with your friends and delve as deep as you can using teamwork and such.

There were also a large number of trait balance changes done to hopefully make more traits viable and consistent. You should read the full changelog here for more info on the changes:

To make it clear, to activate local coop you should plug in 2-4 controllers and go to the difficulty selection screen. There additional players can press start to join in. Everyone has their own health, and when going down a floor all dead players will revive at 20 health. There are increased drop rates when more players are playing. Also runes, spells, and combiners can all be dropped from the inventory using the Y button. Sharing is caring! Make the best loadouts you can and synergize with your friends.

There are still video issues occasionally I am still looking into. It is best to not minimize the game or move it between monitors for now. Thanks for understanding!


3 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
42 of 43 people (98%) found this review helpful
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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31 of 37 people (84%) found this review helpful
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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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.0 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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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
48.3 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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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14, 2014
It looks like ♥♥♥♥ in the trailer and still images, but it's actually a fun dungeon crawling roguelite. You're basically Harry Potter, except you're a skilled mage and you can combine up to 3 spells at once for a unique new spell. Which you technically can combine with your other spell slots as well and you racial and class spell/passive. It's like you're playing Binding of Isaac crossed with ♥♥♥♥ing Touhou and Zun's art.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
Hey everybody! I work for Grab The Games website and I have done a first look of what

this game is all about. So come check it out and let me know what you guys think about

the game and my review.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
What a fun Rogue-lite.

The insane amount of spell combinations and effects combined with the leveling system can be downright daunting but experience is fun and well polished even if sometimes it may feel a bit too punishingly hard.

Plenty of action and unique encounters/boss fights to keep things going.

My only complaint really is that re-starting can be a bit tedious with how long it may take to ramp up your gear/character.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 21, 2014
Howdy. This game is hella fun. Part rogue, part Smash TV. Do you die lots? yes, does it make you want to stop playing? not at all. There is loads of variety and by choosing different characters you find you must alter your play style. On the downside there isn`t a whole lot of substance to the game, but that doesn`t change the fact that it is fun on the bun.

I`d recommend this game to anybody. YAY
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
More roguelikes for the roguelike god.

Okay so Runers controls a lot like Binding of Isaac: run around while shooting at the enemies chasing you. You get a lot more health and often it is easier to refill it but the trade off is that there are far more enemies on screen and many of them are ranged/mages. The gimmick is the magic system, which allows you to craft spells from a single rune or a combination of two or three provided you have the appropriate item (which drop infrequently).

Your first handful of runs will inevitably involve determining the best initial set character set up (you get to choose one passive and one ultimate essentially), your favourite opening spell and then the best combinations. To be frank I did not make it far into the last step because I got tired of running the same levels over and over hoping to find not only the combiners necessary but different runes to find a play style I would enjoy. Also the game crashed a couple of times which was frustrating.

There have been a few other magic mixing games out on steam as well as a deluge of roguelikes, and as such it's difficult to recommend Runers as a must play, especially at $10. The primitive art style, tedious rune gathering and the frankly ♥♥♥♥ level up bonuses make the game a painful, unrewarding slog. Maybe the desire to experience a variety of crazy spells will work for you, but getting to that stage will require a lot of patience.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
A fantastic game which hides under a quite ugly tile based surface. If you're a person which doesn't need to have great looking graphics and you're just a bit into dual stick roguelikes, please have a look at this game. You combine different spells up to three times which each other to create new and more powerful spells. From buffs, debuffs, damage over time, bolts and flares, everything is there for you to explore. The game is hard as balls but that just makes it that more satisfying when you finally beat the boss you prior always lost to. If you don't look up the spells online, the whole process of discovering them is quite exciting. You have something new to do on every run and the classes with the several masteries just add to that. The only point which could turn you down are the graphics which are really dated. I saw better looking tiles in other games but if you can get over it the game will surprise you with it's mechanics. To me fully worth the price but if you don't want to pay as much, on sale it's a must buy.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
133.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
Super fun!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
55.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
Great game, and easily recommended. To me, Runers feels somewhat like a mix of the overall gameplay of the original Gauntlet games, running through dungeons attacking swarms of enemies with a top-down view, and a twist of the combining spell system of Magicka, with lots of variable spells created by the unique rune system in this game, blended into one package.

Add to this the customization options when choosing your character, randomized trait features to choose from on leveling up, the capability for spell upgrading with additional runes you find, and the variety of spell types - from ranged projectiles to "melee" style sword spells, to different buffs/debuffs - and you can have a very different experience with each run of the game, if you choose. These features combined with a decent learning curve and amount of difficulty provide a great amount of replayability, and makes the rogue-like permadeath feature not as frustrating as I thought it would be.

Summary: Runers is a great dungeon crawling, rogue-like shooter with plenty of features to keep you coming back for more. The higher difficulties do seem pretty difficult, but I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
27.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
A decent game overall but it needs some work. It tries to be a bullet hell kind of game but in the later levels it just turns into a incomprehensible mess of flying death. Too many tash or uesless spells. Nice idea but in the end it just gets fustrating.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
A really good mix between Magicka and Binding of Isaac.
The difficulty may be a little high, but the game itself is very enjoyable.

I highly recommend this game.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 30, 2014
Awesome rogue-lite! Spellcrafting, passives and skill based play. I'm very happy about this purchase
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73 of 83 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
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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56 of 80 people (70%) found this review helpful
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.
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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25 of 31 people (81%) found this review helpful
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 2, 2014
Pre-Release Review
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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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
6.9 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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