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5:00 PM on 03.12.2015

The Swindle perfectly balances roguelike mechanics with approachable gameplay

On my last day covering PAX East, I had the chance to sit down with the inimitable Dan Marshall from Size Five Games to have a look at his gorgeous, stealthy, steampunk-centric burglary simulator The Swindle. We’ve...

Rob Morrow



Review: Flame Over photo
Review: Flame Over
by Robert Summa

Roguelikes suck. They don't suck as in they are horrible to play. They suck for me because they're so damn hard. But in this genre, that's part of the challenge. For whatever reason, our gamer brains desire to overcome the impossible odds roguelikes provide.

Flame Over for the PlayStation Vita is no different. As challenging as Spelunky, this latest offering from Laughing Jackal will have you crying as you attempt to overcome those initial upgrade hurdles that stand in your way of perfection.

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Harebrained Schemes nails it once again with Necropolis photo
Harebrained Schemes nails it once again with Necropolis
by Rob Morrow

As I explored the opening area of Harebrained Schemes' third-person action roguelike Necropolis at PAX East 2015, I discovered an inviting treasure chest. Upon opening it, I realized too late that I wasn’t alone in that first room. While my back was turned, a shadowy, crystalline figure called the Grine had seized the opportunity to launch a flurry of attacks at my unprotected rear; all the while, my character stood there helplessly locked in place throughout the chest’s opening animation.

It was at this point in the Necropolis demo that the game made complete sense to me. In that singular moment I felt as though I’d been here many times before. Not here in the literal sense of playing the demo beforehand, of course, but here in that the game’s unspoken rules were so familiar to me that it felt like coming home. And what a treacherous home it is.

It’s become passé to compare titles to the Souls games, but in this particular instance, I feel the comparison is completely justified. Anyone familiar with From Software's work will know, almost instinctively, what will be expected of them when they pick up the controller. The control scheme (light and heavy attack buttons, shield, jump, and evasion) and stamina system are very much in line with what we're used to in those titles, with a couple of notable deviations.

Necropolis doesn't feature a parrying system, for starters. Instead, your character can use their equipped shield to perform a bash maneuver as well as block incoming attacks. However, stamina is drained when doing so and should be used sparingly in battle. For example, if you try to hold off enemy attacks with the shield indefinitely, you'll soon wear yourself out as your enemy lands each attack, thereby leaving your character susceptible to taking damage.

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Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC photo
Heat Signature is the best game I saw at GDC
by Mike Cosimano

Gunpoint ultimately had very little to do with guns. It was a smartly designed puzzler with an immensely satisfying core set of mechanics and witty dialogue. But the title never came into play; pointing guns at people always went poorly for me. Tom Francis, the writer-turned-designer behind game, promises his new project will have a relevant name. From what I played at GDC, that seems to be the case.

It’s called Heat Signature, it’s Hotline Miami meets FTL, and it’s easily the best thing I saw all show.

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3:30 PM on 02.27.2015

Modern art meets roguelike FPS in Fancy Skulls

Fancy Skulls is a challenging and visually striking first-person shooter that features random level generation, permadeath, and a distinct art style straddling the line between looking like Foster's Home for I...

Rob Morrow

1:30 PM on 02.27.2015

Sublevel Zero is your new 6DoF roguelike shooter

Sublevel Zero is England-based studio Sigtrap's new roguelike reimagining of the first-person, six-degree-of-freedom shooter. Influences on the game's design swing from classic 6DoF titles like Descent to modern ro...

Rob Morrow

6:30 PM on 02.25.2015

Flame Over fires up the Vita this March

The Vita means life. And what a life it's having. Even though its overall sales pale in comparison to the likes of the 3DS, the system is an indie lovers dream and is home to some of the most underrated games in the past few...

Robert Summa

5:00 PM on 02.19.2015

Space shooter Captain Forever returns with weird animals and a bubblegum mutant little brother

Oh, wow, Captain Forever -- that brings me back. The last person to cover it on Destructoid was Anthony Burch. (He so would.) It's a wonderful game about destroying spaceships and stealing their parts to cobble together a su...

Jordan Devore

1:00 PM on 02.17.2015

Paranautical Activity sold to Digerati Distribution

As I'm sure some of you are aware, Code Avarice's delightful, drum and bass-infused FPS roguelike Paranautical Activity was pulled from Steam last October after one of the game's creators took to Twitter ...

Rob Morrow

7:00 PM on 02.12.2015

A sci-fi submarine roguelike? Neptune, Have Mercy!

Neptune, Have Mercy has a lot going for it. This is an "action exploration roguelike" set not in a fantasy world full of dungeons, but underwater on Neptune's largest moon. Players control a customizable submarine with a cla...

Jordan Devore

7:00 PM on 02.09.2015

Seaworthy: It's like FTL, but with pirates

I always wanted to play a more brutal game centered on pirates, but as the years went by I was continually disappointed. Sid Meier’s Pirates was an interesting ride, but it was too lighthearted for me. Seaworthy, a rea...

Jason Faulkner





12:30 PM on 02.04.2015

Overture melted my face, has a free demo on Steam

Overture is the latest retro-inspired offering from Black Shell Games, the talented development team behind the ASCII RPG SanctuaryRPG: Black Edition. It's a charming game, with an adorably chunky pixel art style and an infe...

Rob Morrow



In Darkest Dungeon, what doesn't kill you only makes you more peculiar photo
In Darkest Dungeon, what doesn't kill you only makes you more peculiar
by Rob Morrow

“If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end!” – Howard Phillips Lovecraft, The Temple

As you might be aware by now, Darkest Dungeon is a visually striking, turn-based role-playing game featuring roguelike elements with a very clever twist. Unlike conventional RPGs, Red Hook's incorporates a unique system of psychological pressures and their subsequent side effects that run parallel and eventually intertwine with your party's development, creating an entirely new experience each time that you roll a new game.

As your party gains in experience by adventuring through these darkened and harrowing lands, you'll follow the familiar routine of periodically upgrading their particular abilities and equipment, making each character a little more effective at what they do as you progress. What makes Darkest Dungeon so singular is that second set of mechanics I mentioned: the Affliction system.

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3:00 PM on 01.29.2015

How long can you survive in Out There: Omega Edition?

Out There: Omega Edition by Mi-Clos Studio is certainly a pretty little thing. Don't let its eye-catching pulp-comic appearance fool you, though. It's a difficult game. Think Oregon Trail meets FTL and you'll have a goo...

Rob Morrow

6:30 PM on 01.27.2015

Oblitus is coming soonlitus

Adult Swim Games has officially announced that their fantasy 2D roguelike scroller Oblitus is coming soon. How soon? Hell, I don't know, and I guess Adult Swim doesn't know either, since they're not telling us. At the very least, the trailer has some decent music and the art that has accompanied the game appears to be cool as fuck.

Robert Summa



A free roguelike with music by Banjo-Kazooie's Grant Kirkhope? Yes, please! photo
A free roguelike with music by Banjo-Kazooie's Grant Kirkhope? Yes, please!
by Jordan Devore

I'm struggling to stop playing The Enchanted Cave 2 for long enough to tell you about it. Unassuming name and overabundance of roguelikes aside, this browser-based game is terrific.

You delve into a cavern in search of gold, gear, and experience but here's the trick: only certain items can be brought back to the surface. And you need a special item to escape in the first place. Combat is tile-based in classic "mash against a monster until someone dies" fashion. There's skill trees, crafting, and did I mention the music? It's typical Kirkhope. Amazing.

If you're coming in as a veteran of the original game, prepare for quite the upgrade.

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