Dungeon-Crawling First Person Shooting at its finest! Fast-paced combat! Dozens of perks, spells and enemies! Level ups! Random Dungeons! Traps! Badass bosses! Carrots!
User reviews: Very Positive (1,061 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 23, 2014

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"The genre of roguelite continues to improve and Ziggurat is imho the best example of the first-person variant yet. Magical dungeoncrawling."
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Recent updates View all (37)

April 8

Update #11: New rooms

This small update adds new room layouts, increasing the total room variety by around 10%.

EDIT: Found a game breaking bug, reverting the update until we get it fixed, sorry!

9 comments Read more

March 27

Update #10: Save & Quit (almost) anywhere

After a few days in beta and a few issues fixed, this update is now available for everyone.

It's not a big update, but it has some important changes made to mantain code compatibility with the recent Xbox One release. That means we'll be able to keep pushing updates with ease in the future :)

Changes in this update:

  • New features
    • Now you can Save & Quit inside a level (except during a battle)
    • The bestiary shows a stats screen for each enemy
  • Balancing
    • Reduced difficulty and number of Imps a bit more. Also improved performance when several imps are on screen.
  • Changes
    • We've changed again some bits of the save system to make it compatible with the recent console release. Some settings will revert to defaults because of this. Saved progress shouldn't be affected at all.

13 comments Read more

About This Game

Dungeon-Crawling First Person Shooting at its finest! Fast-paced combat! Dozens of perks, spells and enemies! Level ups! Random Dungeons! Traps! Badass bosses! Carrots! Ziggurat is the best combination of First Person Shooter and Rogue-LITE you have ever seen.

Become a neophyte sorcerer, and get ready for your rite of passage: Enter the labyrinth and face dangerous challenges to prove your worth and become a powerful wizard!

The game focuses on fast-paced first person shooting, with an old-school vibe, and updated handling and game mechanics. Dungeon crawling and RPG/Roguelike elements are added into the mix, resulting in a fun, challenging and varied game, with lots of content to discover.

Fight almighty bosses, get through rooms filled with traps, and treasures that may help you in your journey... Each game is a whole new experience!

Unlike most Rogue-thingies, on Ziggurat your combat skills will be the most important asset to keep advancing. Leveling up and randomly generated content is there to improve variety and make each game different, not to make the game a roll dice or an unbearable grind.

Most perks are designed to change the way you have to play or the weapons you'll want to use. Do you want more speed in exchange for less health, or maybe is better to have mana regeneration? Increase drop rate, or refill ammo here and now? No number game here, simple and direct choices.

We've also ensured that, as a proper FPS game, the experience is quick and direct. There's no inventory to manage or the need to compare two almost equal item drops, just weapon selection, and mana/health are usually the bargaining chip.

A whole arsenal of magic and alchemic weapons will be at your disposal. Wreak havoc among your enemies, but watch your mana reserves or you might regret it later!

Magic staves, spellbooks, magic wands... dozens of weapons with different attack strategies that help keeping the game fresh!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Dual Core processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 10 capable hardware
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: 64bit OS recommended but not required
    • OS: Windows 7 or newer
    • Processor: Quad core processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 460 or better
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2 Graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.10 or newer
    • Processor: Dual Core processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 2 Graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 800 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: For AMD Graphic cards, MESA drivers newer than 10.1.5 are recommended.
    • Processor: Quad Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 460 or better
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
230 of 240 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
52.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
This is a fantastic game. The gameplay is extremely tight and responsive, which is good because it is also very challenging. Skillful play is rewarded. In this respect it feels similar to the old style FPS like DOOM where you would find yourself with little health, no ammo and a roomful of baddies, hoping that one of the vanquished will drop you 10 hp to keep you going for another room.

There are also roguelike elements. The ziggurat is different on every playthrough, and the weapons you find are randomised. Sometimes you will find a grenade weapon and then encounter a room with hordes of little enemies. You will have an easy time. Other times you will find a crowd control staff and a few massive bulletsponge enemies. Tough luck. When you level up, you can choose one of two randomly drawn perks. Some will be very useful, some will replenish your health in a one-time deal, some will make you stronger over the long term. There are also treasure rooms and shrine rooms, where you can sacrifice health and ammo to the gods, who might reward you or if you are Superjunk punish you every time.

I definitely recommend this game. It's good old-fashioned FPS goodness with a healthy serving of roguelike on the side. But if you are skillful, the roguelike elements can't doom you from the start like in other titles, where you might keep restarting the game until you get a good starting item. There are also evil carrots in this game that try to bite you. I hate carrots in real life, they are an awful vegetable. So it is good to shoot them with my stick.
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161 of 173 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
63.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Plays a bit like Heretic, a bit like Serious Sam, a bit like Doom, a bit like Painkiller, a bit like the old arcade Robotron and Smash TV games, a bit like a bullet-hell Cave shmup.

If you love Doom and Heretic, you will appreciate how well designed the enemy attacks are. The game gets chaotic, but always remains fair. Sometimes you will find the map filled with projectiles.... But you believe that if you keep practicing, and improving your spatial IQ, you can dodge them all. Some day. (Probably never, though.)

Heretic fans will appreciate the weaponry. Try the Doom Cannon against a cluster of Lost Souls.

If you like to move fast, use the Harlequinn class.

This is my dream game fully realized, so I'm trying not to be too complimentary.
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53 of 56 people (95%) found this review helpful
61.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
My favorite game of 2014. A glorious mixture of concepts / mechanics, and a very high replay value.

I'm a big fan of the Heretic / Hexen / Doom / Quake / Unreal games, as well as Serious Sam. I don't think Ziggurat is a rip off or a copy of Heretic, but you can basically imagine it as a Heretic RPG, rogue-lite, dungeon-crawler, etc. Basically, it's a really great game and worth the full price.

Some people complain the game isn't worth buying without local co-op / some form of multiplayer, and probably about half of those people changed their mind after buying the game. I'm pretty sure I even saw mention that if the game did really good in sales that a feature like that would be looked into, so what are you waiting for?
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60 of 69 people (87%) found this review helpful
29.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
This has turned to be a very nice and pleasant suprise of the year. This game, and its Dev, deserves every single compliment that it has received. The game has grow nicely since the beginning of the early access. More Bosses add, monsters, items, dungeons, more rogue, more difficulty....The game still receives update, meaning , at least for me, that the devs still wants to upgrade their creation....i would definitely recommend it for almost any price. This is the best indie game of the year.

Setember, Early access:

What can i say??? This is definitely the BEST early access available on steam!! Since the release the game has been updated with more content. For the fans of rogue-like games mixed with a FPS and RPG elements this game is a must have. I really recommend this game to anyone, not only the fans of the style, its turning into a epic game with hundreds of hours in replayability.
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499 of 772 people (65%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 27, 2014
So I'm have to start out by saying that I enjoyed my time with this game well enough, but that I feel that I still need to caution potential buyers of this game by not recommending it to them. My reasoning? Well, the short answer is that the price they are asking for at $15 is too high for what you get.

The long:
I bought this off of the recommendation of TotalBiscut after watching his first impressions by it, and I'd say his opinions almost always line up with mine - except in this instance. I think the main problem for this is that all I did was take his first impressions into account and made assumptions I shouldn't have, and thats on me for not researching farther.

One of my biggest problems with this game that I assumed based on his video was that you would be able to play for as long as you could manage with your character. I was surprised to find that it had an end, that you could "beat" the game. Now, ordinarily that wouldn't be a problem, but in this case I found that it was because I felt very disappointed when I discovered how short a successful playthrough actually is (About an hour, in my case). I liked what I had going with my character, and I was having fun with him. Yet, much to my dismay, found I had to stop playing with him after only 5 levels. I hadn't even encountered one of the 4 weapon types, alchemical, yet. So when I defeated the last boss, I thought, can I continue? Can I do New Game+? Continue and restart on a harder difficulty? Or at least just let me continue wandering through random dungeons to see how far I could get? But none of those options were available to me.

So upon completing I received some unlocks for completing certain achievements. Interestingly, some of them were perks that I might have a chance to use upon leveling up in my next run. And there is where I have another problem with the game. Not so much that I can unlock things, like new characters with slightly differing abilities forcing you to play one way or another, but that I realized as a result of this that the game is built with "sideways replayability". What I mean by that is that most of the game's content is centered around the idea that you play many many times, and that each time your start may be a little different and the number of things you have a chance of upgrading your character with expands as you play. This may be fine for some people, but to me it just means that my individual runs' fun factor are severely reduced. Giving you more things to play with over time is fine, but starting you out with a very basic set of possible upgrades and expecting you to grind to have the chance to see others is not, especially when you can't continue for very long even when you get lucky enough to get the perfect build lined up.

I suppose this style of replayability would be fine enough were there more variety in both weapons available and enemy types to fight, maybe even level designs if we are lucky. But After playing through around 5 runs, each with a different character, I am already pretty fatigued. It very quickly became a matter of seeing the same thing over again and using the same exact set of weapons, which in themselves are not all that varied to begin with. And what is my incentive to keep playing? To maybe get lucky and get really far? Well no, that's not even possible, so I cant play with that as my goal. To obtain more starting characters? Well they really aren't that different and basically just force you to use a certain weapon type for the most part... What about the new perks you are getting? Well again, a) you have to rely on chance just to have the option to use them in the first place, and b) then why do you really care if you already know the ceiling is so low? It doesnt really matter if you get a really fun build together, because you wont have a chance to use it for long!

Heres what I would have like to see from this game instead: A larger, more varied enemy pool. More weapons to have access to (How about some actual cool spells to cast, like a flamethrower, or a thunder cloud, or a frost blast? Call me old fashioned, but I wasn’t expecting the only weapon “spells” that would be available to you to just be pea shooters of differing colors where some have dots and some shotgun out more than others). More level variety - for example, not once did I run into a room that had both enemies AND traps in it at the same time. More options or variations on starting characters that make them actually feel different. And probably most importantly, let me play the “long game”! I want to see how far I can make in one go. The game could easily allow you to continue after you “beat” it, and then maybe allow you to unlock things as you go instead of forcing you to restart completely.

All in all, as much as I’m beating up in this game, its still fun. I just don’t want people to get the wrong idea and make it out as “the perfect new rouge-lite” as it seems many have been doing. So I haven’t even talked about its strengths, but that’s because I’ve talked long enough. Check out more positive reviews to see that, but just be warned, you may not end up getting enough bang for your buck in this one.

EDIT: I'm aware that they have since added endless mode. It was not there on initial release at the time of my review. Considering I have no desire to play this game any longer, I will not be revisiting how it affects the game. I would reccomend watching or reading a more up-to-date review than my own should you be curious about this game.
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45 of 51 people (88%) found this review helpful
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
If you like first person shooters and/or roguelites, you need this game.

As many others have said, it plays like Heretic and Hexen with weapons reminiscent of those games. You kill enemies to earn experience, level up and earn passive skills that make you more powerful.

The five floors in the game can be cleared in 40 minutes to an hour, and the different characters, skills and weapons you pick up every time make for a wide variety of runs.

Replayability is huge. You're almost guaranteed to unlock a new skill or a weapon every time you play, whether you die on the third floor or kill the final boss, which makes for those classic "just one more run" moments. The ability to save and quit between floors is a great recent addition too.

I normally don't write reviews, but I felt this deserved one.
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52 of 65 people (80%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
"This game made my wand shiny and long." - An unknown wizard in training after completing his trial

"My fireballs became gigantic!" - Junior summoner who survived the ziggurat

So. Ziggurat. How do I sum it up, in short, it's Hexen. Given a coat of paint, made modern, put in a pseudo-random roguelike coat of armour and sent trundling out into the world. You pick a class (initially one, but there's a ton of unlockable classes which add a wide range of variety and options) and you enter the ziggurat, a five (or six in hard mode) floor chock full of things to kill, loot to gather, and levels to gain. You'll pick up a variety of interesting weapons which depending on what you find will define your playstyle, and you'll grab level up perks and various boons and debuffs which will customise your experience with each run. As is normal for a roguelike, when you die, that's it, your score is totted up, and you're sent back to the beginning.

So, is it any good?

Oh god is it good. Seriously, stop reading, go to the buy button, press it, smear money on your screen, buy it now. Buy it this instant, no, really, I'm not kidding. If you loved Hexen, or Heretic, you do not need to read any further, if you love old school FPS games, you do not need to read any further, if you love hard FPS games which do not involve regenerating health and re-introduce the concept of circle strafing (because you'll be doing a lot of that), then you do not need to read any further.

The graphics are lush and detailed, with plenty of enemy variety now, there's skeletons, slimes, goblins, orcs, demons and carrots, yes, carrots. Carniverous blighters that will eat your eyeballs given half a chance. The enemies do a decent enough job, the AI is simple, but effective, melee mobs will charge at you and wail on you, ranged mobs will hang back and shoot at you. There's enough going on that you're never given much peace once the room locks down and the arena for that given room is up and running, and the room layouts are varied with enough visual detail and variation that you won't get bored. These are places you will enjoy roaming through, the ziggurat is well textured and the tileset has a nice feel to it, the connecting corridors are more than just bolt-ons that connect the rooms together, they have incidental detail too, and on occasion come complete with traps to catch out the unwary.

Sound is reasonable, it does the job, the weapons are meaty enough, the creatures are varied in their noises, and the background incidentals are all fine and well, there's some background music when it's needed but this is not a game that drowns you in sound, it's there, it does what it needs to do, that's about the size of it. Gameplay however is -stellar-, the controls are tight and responsive, shooting feels satisfying and tactile, and there's a pleasing feel to all the spells available, you'll quickly find favourites and ones you detest, and you'll grit your teeth if you get a bad draw, but you'll jump for joy if you get the ones you want.

The bosses put in a reasonable show, each having their own quirks as well as being solid bullet sponges and being a good test to ensure that you do know how to avoid big nasty fire as it comes heading your way, the challenge really ramps up in the last couple of floors, with damage coming thick and fast and specific builds coming into their own (hint : bloodlust).

The sheer variety of classes, coupled with perks and the number of additional features the developers have crammed in over the life of early access (the number of weapons now is something like 28 or so split over the three types - spell, stave and alchemy) such as challenge rooms, shrine rooms, trap rooms, obelisks and so on, and the additional decorations and incidental detail, the developers clearly made this a labour of love. This is the game they -wanted- to make, and it shows.

In short, if you have a love for shooters, particularly if you have any recollection of Hexen or Heretic, you owe it to yourself to buy this game, you will not regret it. This Tiger approves, and will see you in the tower, best of luck.
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32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
74.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
This game is so good on so many levels.

First up: what it is. It's a first person shooter rogue-lite. You get set into a dungeon with not much but a wand of piddly little magic missiles and set to fight your way through the floors. There's a boss guarding the exit to each floor, and when you switch floors you can save and quit, but there's no way to save mid-floor. Floors will take you between 7-14 minutes to clear for the first level, but get bigger and more complicated as you progress.

The game it reminds me most of is actually The Binding of Isaac.

The weapons are hugely varied, and all bar one of them are great fun to use. And I'm sure I just haven't gotten the hang of the last one yet. The way the weapon system works, with a limit of three different types of weapons (plus the wand), and shared ammunition for each type forces some great gameplay, deciding which of your weapons to use in which circumstances, and how much mana to save for the boss is great fun. And whenever you come across a new weapon that replaces one you have, it's never a straight upgrade, there's always a trade off. Sure, this one might do more damage up close, but that one freezes enemies solid so they can't attack you. You have to judge which is more valuable for you: a little bit of control or faster damage. And do your other weapons change that choice?

Enemy types are similarly varied, and each class usually has a certain strategy that you can utilise to most effectively kill them. This gets particularly fun when you come across enemies that require you to stay close to alongside ones you have to stay away from, and you find yourself stuck between two very painful places.

The unlocks come at a great pace, enough to keep you interested, but not so fast as to overwhelm. You have plenty of time to get good with the weapons, amulets and characters you've unlocked as you go.

Within each run there is a great sense of progression. You start off terribly weak and mana-starved, but if you make it to the third floor (an achievement unto itself) then you find that you have a huge arsenal of strengths. But you can still die if you make a few too many mistakes.

I am also a fan of the upgrade mechanics. Finding raw damage enhancers is rare, and they usually come with a downside. The most common way of increasing your damage output is through attack speed, but more attacks cost more mana, so that's not ideal either.

So is the game good? Yes! It's fantastic. You run about on your adrenaline high, shooting colourful bolts of magic at creepy monsters until either they or you keels over. You will need to be good to progress, but you have so many reasons to keep getting better.

Easily one of my favourite games of this year.

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34 of 40 people (85%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
Ziggurat is a FPS rougelite game made by Milkstone studios. Surprisingly, the other game of theirs that I played, little racer street, I didn't like much. Reguardless, this is probably the best FPS rougelite on the market right now.

In Ziggurat you are dropped in a... well, Ziggurat. Which is simply a massive step pyramid with several layers. You travel through and try and complete as many levels as you can before you die, which is pretty common with rougelites/likes. One of the more interesting things about this game though, is not only do you start out with a base weapon, you get a random, more interesting weapon at the beginning and every new floor as well. With 4 weapon slots, one for your normal, one for your spells, one for your alchemy weapons, and another that I don't actually know what its called. It seems to be filled with staffs, so its probably for that. Anyway, once you get enough weapons the combat is very diverse. And even in the beginning you have 2 weapon choices, which makes it plenty of fun at the beginning.

The level up system and the enemy variation add plenty of reason to continue play. There are several different passive affects you can add to your character that will help you as you level, and keep things fresh. The enemy type is extremely varied and forces you to change your combat style every room. Keeps things fresh and fun on every run. There are also a ton of unlockables to keep you playing even after you've beaten the game, including 10(?) playable characters.

The art style is a cartoony high fantasy style which I enjoy. Reminds me of a Fable or Kingdoms of Amular, that sort of artstyle. I think it fits the game well and the interface is done quite well too.

If I had a complaint, it would probably be that I found it a bit too easy, at least so far. Roguelites/likes should have you spending hours learning the intricacies of the game and finding proper builds and weapons that work best for you. In this particular game though, I found myself beating the full game with one character in less than 3 hours. To me, that means your game needs some more meat. It has a lot, but I think it could use more difficulty.

Now I don't hate the game at all, I love it. I think its one of the better roguelites I've played in quite a while. I would have loved to see more than 5 levels though. Anyway, one of my favorite roguelites I've played recently and you should definitely pick it up if you enjoy the genre. 15 bucks, or 12.74(its current price) is a steal for this very fun FPS rougelite.

-Enemy variety
-4 weapon slots with different mana pools
-Save between levels
-Art Style
-Leveling system adds variation to runs
-Good graphics/PC options

-Base game can be too easy
-Too short(Only 5 levels)
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29 of 34 people (85%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
Yes, rogue-likes with procedurally generated levels are a dime-a-dozen on Steam. What Ziggurat offers however, is an incredibly whimsical, cartoonish, artstyle combined with good old Hexen/Doom-inspired gameplay. Yes, you can actually dodge projectiles and enemies are big and noticeable!

The flow of new stuff to discover and play with is well paced and there are good incentives to try particular playstyles to unlock new things.

The writing is a bit eh, on the “lol random” end of things but nothing that can’t be ignored with a roll of the eyes. It’s super fun and cheap! Heartily recommend.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
32.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Ziggurat is another of those "rouge-lite" games that've become so popular lately. Fortunately, it's a damn good one. I'm sure by now you know what it is, you're reading a Steam review after all, but I'll tell you anyway.

You play a young wizard, who is now challenging the deadly Ziggurat, a a monster infested dungeon complete with traps, secret rooms, altars to the old gods, treasure chests, and bosses.

The game is fairly simple, you start with a wand and one random weapon from one of three varieties (staff, spell book, or alchemic device), and you have to find the boss key, kill the boss, and leave. All while staying alive through room after room of the many hostile inhabitants.

You level up by collecting the "knowledge gems" left behind by slain enemies. Leveling up allows you to select one of two randomly picked cards, these cards provide a myriad of bonuses, such as instantly healing half of your full health, increasing the amount of goodies enemies drop, or gambling a permanent 25% of your maximum life with death in order to heal and recharge your three mana bars.

With characters, weapons, and cards to unlock, and three seperate difficulty settings, I'm sure this game can keep you entertained for a long time.
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25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
66.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
If you like first person shooters and/or roguelites, you need this game.

As many others have said, it plays like Heretic and Hexen with weapons reminiscent of those games. You kill enemies to earn experience, level up and earn passive skills that make you more powerful.

The five floors in the game can be cleared in 40 minutes to an hour, and the different characters, skills and weapons you pick up every time make for a wide variety of runs.

Replayability is huge. You're almost guaranteed to unlock a new skill or a weapon every time you play, whether you die on the third floor or kill the final boss, which makes for those classic "just one more run" moments. The ability to save and quit between floors is a great recent addition too.
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
71.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2014
I rarely write Steam reviews, but I must praise this game.

We get showered in updates that provide what could easily be parted out as DLC for free. The gameplay is tight and challenging but it's also fair and fun.

If you enjoyed Heretic/Hexen or a roguelike I can't recommend this enough. It doesn't have starvation and the more "tabletop" aspects of a roguelike, but it does pretty well at capturing the essence of resource management. The insanely cool random perk system means that you have to make interesting decisions every time. The different wizards are amusing ways to change your approach to the game.

Stop reading and buy it already!
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85 of 136 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
42.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
10x better than Paranautical Activity! (with no death threats!)
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30 of 40 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014

First person shooter rogue-like games are absolutely rubbish, mostly due to the lack of polish and performance. They are usually clunky and under perform in every instance, but Ziggurat has blown that whole misconception out of the water. This nicely polished game has been developed by the independent team over at Milkystone studios and they have struck gold with the development of this title.

Ziggurat came up out of the blue for me and I absolutely love that, being able to trawl through the steam store and finding gems like this is fantastic. With all the flaws steam has it redeems itself with creating a platform for indie developers to showcase their games.

You take control of a character that possess different abilities which aid you through your adventure or disadvantage you in some cases. As with most rogue-like games the difficulty scales upwards when you venture deeper into the dungeon, enemies become more complex and you need to formulate strategies to progress or with WILL die. The game revolves around magic which makes for a great foundation for a rogue-like. Exploring deeper into the dungeon you find perks that enhance your character, examples include, increasing mana pools, health, damage or speed, finding secret rooms, sacrificing resource for luck or other resources. The amount of customization of your character is endless which makes for amazing replayability.

The levels are randomly generated like most rogue-like titles are. Venturing through these dungeons you can come across any number of rooms such as; labyrinths, trap rooms, secrets and other mysterious encounters. Finding secrets is one of the most thrilling things you can do in any rogue-like, but in Ziggurat finding secret rooms reward you with perks that are usually only obtainable through levelling up which just adds to the enjoyment or frustration when you eventually die and lose everything that you had.

Ziggurat also has some puzzle and platforming elements which are actually integrated pretty well into the title. Discovering a lava room with some moving platforms makes the player realize that this game is not all about killing monsters and obtaining loot, but more of a mental challenge as well.

Having enemies with depth and varied abilities is almost a staple in any great rogue-like game, this demands the player to tackle the room in different ways to counter the enemy types. No one play through will ever be the same due to this feature. Enemies range from murderous carrots all the way to giant blue blobs which will devour you if you’re stupid enough to approach it.

When entering the dungeon you are given a stock standard wand that does suffice for the first level or two, but the game really starts to get interesting when you need better weapons for the upcoming fights; so you desperately look in every last corner for weapons and spells that will make you so much stronger than you were before. The mana pool is in 4 separate parts; purple, orange, blue and green. These colours represent what kind of damage is dished out by the different weapons that use the respective mana pool. MANA is depleted extremely fast which makes for some daring decisions to run head on into enemies to grab that extra mana that is needed for you to use your magic.

The game looks amazing; the texture quality of pretty much everything has this kind of cartoony feel about it, but it also has a great feel and atmosphere towards it. The model design is quite good also, having many close encounters with the enemies you can see that the design quality is very high and this is something that usually falls behind when talking about FPS Rogue-likes, but Ziggurat pulls it off quite nicely.

Finding loot is probably the most exciting part of the game. Finding items and perks for the first time always creates mystery to the run. Being able to apply different weapons to your strategy and rotation makes you play differently in every room. The weapons feel awesome, the weight and different specifications of each spell and weapon makes for a good time.

If you’re into FPS or rogue-like games you should definitely check out this title even if it’s just for the innovation alone, you will not be disappointed. The mixture of great level design, graphics, sound quality and great loot really makes for a fun experience.
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
What can I say about Ziggurat, one of many recent rogue-lites released on Steam? Well, for one thing, it's actually pretty good. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it's one of the best rogue-lites that you can buy on Steam. Though it borrows a lot from other rogue-lites (which in turn borrow a number of key concepts from actual rogue-likes), it also has some Heretic and Hexen thrown in, and not just in terms of visuals, but also in terms of gameplay.

The gameplay of Ziggurat is quite simple. It's a combination of a rogue-like dungeon crawl mixed in with an FPS. Along the way, you will be leveling up your character, dying from enemy fire, unlocking new perks and weapons (as well as the occasional character), and starting from ground zero all over again. When it comes to basic FPS mechanics, the game does everything correctly, and the controls are also well tuned. The perks in this game range from your basic "magic meter increase" and "better healing" to perks that can negatively impact one aspect of your character while improving another aspect of your character, which may or may not ♥♥♥♥ your ♥♥♥♥ up. In addition to these perks, there are also rooms your character can pray at to gain temporary and permanent perks in the form of "divine blessings", although these same statues can also give you "divine punishment", which affects your character negatively, or a divine indifference, which affects you in both a positive and negative way. These statues can also refill your health or mana meters and give you new items. Although you will probably never be able to use or find all the weapons in the game in a single playthrough (assuming you managed to unlock all the weapons in the game), I was quite surprised over how many weapons there are in the game. There are four primary weapon types, and although the usefulness of some of these weapons is debatable, most of the weapons I have used have helped me in my playthroughs in one way or another. As far as characters go, you only have one to play with in the beginning, though you unlock more as you complete certain prerequisites. Each character has some variation in between then, with one character being the "balanced" type, while another character being the "speed demon" type, and some characters might be proficient in either one or more magic types. However, the gameplay still remains very similar even when playing other characters. The level system in this game is pretty basic, as it increases your mana pool and your HP and then has you chose a perk. Of course, there is an aspect to it that irks me, and that aspect is not being able to directly chose what perks you want. In fact, each time you upgrade a character, you have two perks to chose from (three with the help of an unlockable perk), and those perks are randomly chosen. Why does this irk me? Well, its probably because it doesn't allow for total control of your character in terms of character progression. I understand that rogue-likes certainly have a luck factor, and I also understand how some of that luck factor carries over into rogue-lites. However, contrary to popular belief, not every factor in a rogue-like is based on luck, and yes, that includes character building (assuming the rogue-like lets you control what your stat points and/or skill points go into, which a lot of rogue-likes do). This to me feels like a half-♥♥♥♥♥ attempt at character building with player input. Either give me full control of what perks and skills I can learn and/or give me full control of where I can put my stat points into, or don't give me full control of those options at all. Also, the traps are kinda lame, as they are not that difficult to pass through once you get their patterns down.

In terms of presentation, optimization and sound, Ziggurat is mostly good. The graphics are very solid, and most of the character models are pleasant to look at. The game also manages to be pretty well optimized, and has some essential settings. The only thing that I didn't like too much in this category is the sound, as the music is quite meh.

Even though the game has a number of quirks, Ziggurat is a well put-together rogue-lite that is definitely worth checking out if you're looking for a very good rogue-lite fix, and fans of FPS games and actual rogue-likes might enjoy this as well.
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102 of 171 people (60%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 24, 2014
To be clear, my recommendation is "No" because the choice is binary and I wouldn't say "Yes."

In reality, my recommendation is "Maybe." There are plenty of people who like this kind of game - I'm just not one of them.

The game does look good, and the enemies do indeed have a range of visual and behavioral styles. Especially in the area of the game's adversaries, I think the developers have done well. They've created hostile NPCs that are more than just damage sponges. Each enemy type has a distinct and quickly recognizable pattern of attack and defense. This creates opponents with signature styles, and in doing so, recalls the excellent design of classic games.

The problem, though, is that distinctive enemies are not enough to overcome the game's central premise. A central premise that is also Ziggurat's fatal flaw:

The entire game is, essentially, a "Luck-Based Mission" with permadeath as the penalty for bad luck.

Such a central premise can theoretically be done well. If the basic combat is incredibly fun, for instance, then a restart might not be so bad. If that really fun combat takes place in enormously varied environments, then that's even better.

Ziggurat fails to adequately deliver on either count. The combat is certainly good, but it's still too simplistic to hold up the entire experience on its own. The randomly chosen rooms differ from each other, but not enough to truly keep you guessing as to what you might find next.

Another problem is that "Luck-Based" is applied to pretty much everything. You can learn to be better at combat, but you can't really learn from your mistakes in terms of character build. That is, the weaponry you encounter and the perks you can add to your "skill tree" are randomized. As such, you can figure out what works for your play style...but you'd better enjoy it while it lasts, because you might not be able to get your hands on that combination of weapons and perks again.

Ziggurat isn't a bad game, but I just didn't find it engaging enough to offset its high cost of failure and the lack of any meaningful, repeatable gameplay choices.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
49.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 10, 2014
It's the rather short (usually 45 minutes to 1 hour) runs with its simple gameplay in which almost everything is randomized that keep Ziggurat fresh and enjoyable whenever you feel like throwing a porcupine bomb in a carrot's face.

The gameplay is rather simple (dodge and shoot!) but spiced up by weapons that behave completely different, ranging from one shooting like a shotgun freezing enemies to bombs that shoot poisonous spikes in all directions upon impact. Combine these varied weapon types with perks ranging from rather basic improvements to others that change your whole style of play and you'll have a lot of interesting runs thrown at you.

The fact that weapons and perks are randomized might rub you the wrong way if you take this game too seriously or if you want it to be more of an action RPG than a rogue-lite. For everyone else though this just means that you'll have to adapt to what the game is giving you in order to succeed.

- It has varied weapons that are fun to use and interesting perks.
- It's very randomized. Not recommended if you easily get mad at the RNG gods.
- It gets updated very frequently with big amounts of content (like every 1-2 weeks so far!)
- Carrots!
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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Type of Game:

Procedural Death Labyrinth (PDL) First Person Shooter (FPS ) or FPSPDL

Version Played:

PC version through Steam

Similar Games:

Paranautical Activity, Tower of Guns, HeXen, and to a lesser degree The Binding of Isaac

The Good:

FPS gameplay that is frantic and twitch-based, which brings back a feeling of playing old school Quake or an even better comparison Hexen
Four different weapon categories, which feature different ammo types for each. All weapons are projectile-based, but some feature area of effect damage or spread functionality. Weapons are varied enough to keep things interesting.
Numerous procedurally generated rooms that offer a strong challenge in the sense of number of enemies or traps to avoid
Progression is rewarded with abilities that make give the player mild advantages.
For example: Health will restore slightly when entering a new combat room. This is a great ability as health potion drops are very infrequent
There are also permanent progression unlocks in the form of new characters, which feature different starting abilities
All of these choices drastically impact your play through and add a wonderful level of strategy to the gameplay
The game is challenging in a way that requires you to constantly be aware of your surroundings. You can quickly find yourself cornered or stuck on a pillar, which could equal your demise. I found the difficulty suspenseful and rewarding, which are the reasons I enjoy PDLs so much.
The art style is Gothic, which lends to the overall archaic design of the maps. You feel as though magic is a common companion to this game world, which appears to be the subject matter
There are many different enemy types and some creative ones as well (I’m looking at you weird floating whale creature), which all have different battle tactics. Facing a new enemy is both fascinating and frustrating.
There are also boss battles, which offer variations of other enemy-types you’ve faced off against. They are large and difficult to overcome, which again adds to the satisfaction when you beat them.

The Bad:

The game has an ending, but doesn’t offer much in the way of end-game content after you do so. There is no New Game+ or added bosses (think Binding of Isaac). Once you’ve beaten the game there is little motivation to return to it. A successful run can take as short as a couple hours, which is disappointing considering how much content this game features
Puzzle sections feature FPS platforming, which I feel is always a difficult mechanic to pull off. Since you can’t see your feet, timing your jumps with the location of your player’s body is tedious and unnecessarily frustrating.
Gameplay itself can get stale, as once you’ve seen all the weapons there is little variation to the strategy. Dash around and shoot at all the enemies then jump around a frustrating platforming puzzle then repeat.

Can you play it while the children are awake?

The monsters are creepy and well designed and as I mentioned above there is a strong Gothic influence, which can create a scary atmosphere. I would say it is fine for older children, but the younger ones may let their imagination run wild and be scared of the content.

Did I make time to complete it?

Yes. It took me a few hours to run through the entire game. Unfortunately, there was little incentive for me to return.

Recommended Purchase Price:

Ziggurat is an easy sell for someone who is both a fan of First Person Shooters and Procedural Death Labyrinths, there is much here to like. Whether it is the well crafted progression system, enemy type variation, random room generation, fast and crazy projectile combat, or the enjoyment of defeating a particularly difficult boss you’ll find something to enjoy! The only caveat to this would be the replayability of Ziggurat, as once you’ve completed the game there is little reason to return. I recommend a purchase price of $12.99.


87% of current retail value of $14.99

A Quick Look at Those Games You Might Buy:
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15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
ZIGGURAT a magical mystical menacing and miraculously surreal meditative gaming experiance. A work as mysterious as its name with levels which constantly change promising with graphical ecstacy the banishment of boredom the blessing of gaming euphoria.

ZIGGURAT is like a Zen like experiance where level design, art and soothing audio come together to deliever a gaming experiance harking back to games of old such as Raven Software's HERECTIC and HEXEN while feeling current yet timeless.

You play in the first person leveling up and opening up the choice to use different characters with their own skill sets once you progress far enough. As you level up you will recieve what seems like an infinite amount of perks in the form of cards randomly offered by the game world. Most of the time you will have the option of selecting one of two cards granting you different powers. Other times you can choose cards which allow you more then two choices.

There are also statues of ancient gods who will bless you in trade for some of your health,mana etc. Some times though gods being gods you will get nothing or even something negative for your troubles. Along with this is a huge selection of powerful mystical looking weapons. From staffs, bombs and even guns ZIGGURAT like everything else it does knows the meaning of variety with joyful abandon.

The world of ZIGGURAT exists in randomly created dungeons which are beautifully designed with plenty of colour and ambient lighting alive with many a lethal trap making combat a fantasy thrill seekers delight while bringing a amazing soothing surreal meditative calm between battles as one gazes upon the suddenly very peaceful gorgeous setting as haunting ageless music plays in the background. Its like listening to a spiritual harp touching the soul making one reflect on the positive setting the player up for some fun battles at any moment. There are many secret areas to be discovered in the environment which is very destructible with collapsing walls hiding hidden locations. Candles can be snuffed out by running past them, books destroyed and scattered to the winds, huge Atlas like statues shattered etc.

The monsters are quite bizzare looking as if made for a childrens game yet once i fought against them i learned to fear them as if they were creations of some demented mushroom garden or psychotic Dr. Seus story. They really fit in and compliment the labyrinthian and maze like dungeons of ZIGGURAT adding a sense oddness and of being off kilter with the normal like a HP Lovecraft story.

Milkstone Studios are unstoppable with their genius creativity and inspiring work ethic as they keep working on their beautiful child ZIGGURAT with each new almost daily update transforming it to an even more of a action packed fun filled stunner making me think to myself, "Wow i would have never thought of that" :)

Buy ZIGGURAT and enjoy a mix of explosive action and meditative tranquility rarely scene in this fps fantasy rogue mixture that delivers like the finest alchemical potions the most senses awakening brew of morning coffee!

Thank you Milkstone Studios for the excellence.
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