Rogue Wizards impressions: Building a dungeon that falls away

Rogue Wizards, a roge-like dungeon crawler with turn-based combat and cartoon graphics, recently launched its Kickstarter campaign. I go hands-on with an early build of the game to see how these dungeons are shaping up.

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Dungeon crawlers could be heading for a new turn with Rogue Wizards, a rogue-like role-playing game that recently started its Kickstarter campaign. I had the chance to try out an early demo, which includes two dungeons, a good amount of loot, and some town building.

The game marked by its cute, cartoon graphics, and straightforward gameplay. You pick up quests from the tavern, then travel through a portal that takes you straight to a dungeon. Characters and creatures travel across square tiles, and the levels form and fall away as the main character moves. Similar to Diablo, both dungeons and items are procedurally generated, so no two dungeons or pieces of gear are identical. Turn-based gameplay becomes more prevalent when you spot a monster, and the game transitions into slower movement. Monsters, ranging from stone golems to floating one-eyed squid things, will come at you all at once. Players have to figure out which to take out first. I used my magic to quickly dispatch of ranged monsters while the skeletons and golems lumbered toward me.

There doesn't appear to be any class based system or skill tree involved. My hero could equip any weapon, and used both wands and battle axes with equal proficiency. There's also little sense of how tough a monster is in relation to your character. I got beat up a little at the start of the game (especially since it's difficult to run away from monsters), but soon afterwards, I was destroying enemies with a single spell. I also had little to fear once I picked up gear that let me regenerate health. But I presume that the accelerated development was for the sake of the demo.

Magic does not rely on a mana system, per se. Instead, characters pick up different gems, each tied to a specific magic discipline. Fire gems allow you to throw fireballs, while green nature gems let you summon choking vines. A gem is used up each time you cast a related spell, but I was never short on them. However, I'm wasn't thrilled with having several different gem types taking up room in my inventory. Perhaps in future versions, Rogue Wizards will have a dedicated pack. Otherwise, you can spend gems by mixing them together to create potions and other items at a cauldron.

Once the player comes above ground again, they can use the money they collected to build and upgrade structures like a blacksmith or jeweler. These become stores that the player can visit anytime, and from what I've seen, the stock refreshes itself at a fast rate. The main thing it needs right now is a way to buy back items that were sold accidentally.

Rogue Wizards is on Kickstarter right now. If funded, the game will be developed for PC, Mac, iOS and Android. The final version of the game also promises to feature cooperative multiplayer. From my brief experience, Rogue Wizards looks like that it could be a fun and laid back experience, with cute characters and animations emphasizing its unique brand of dungeon crawling. The crowdfunding campaign ends on November 12, 2014, so check it out if you're interested.

Managing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 7, 2014 8:49 AM

    Steven Wong posted a new article, Rogue Wizards impressions: Building a dungeon that falls away

    • reply
      October 7, 2014 8:58 AM

      It may be LatestChatty breaking with NuShack, but I don't see a link in the blurb.

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        October 7, 2014 9:04 AM

        Nah, they've been coming along later and posting a link as a reply. Some kind of new bug.

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      October 7, 2014 9:04 AM

      Where'd our links go on these news post threads?

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      October 7, 2014 9:07 AM

      Yeah, this is among the top of the priorities for bug-squashing.

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      October 7, 2014 9:18 AM

      i can't find the article on the front page either

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        October 7, 2014 9:36 AM

        Unfortunately as a product of the bug, the Chatty thread gets created immediately when we save it on our end, instead of when it goes live. Again, the team is working on fixing this, and in the meantime we're trying to make sure articles are saved sometime near when they're ready to go up.

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      October 7, 2014 11:45 AM

      Am i wrongly likening this game to FFTactics in gameplay?

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      October 7, 2014 11:58 AM

      For some reason I thought this was going to be another game by the Rogue Legacy people. I know it's a common word and such, so a lawsuit or whatever would be dumb, but at this point any game that is Rogue Something, I'm associating with Cellar Door games.

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      October 7, 2014 12:19 PM

      Thx for the article. I found the link to the kickstarter difficult to find due to the gray font choice.

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      October 7, 2014 2:42 PM

      They don't mention IAP on the Kickstarter page and closed beta doesn't start until 2015. The video looked great but I wouldn't back something that far in advance without knowing if there are going to be micro-transactions.