LONE RUIN is yet another case of new action rogue like titles that the industry has been offering us in recent times. Set on a group of magical ruins with a color palette that mixes between shades of pink, purple and blue, the main premise of this title is to find an ancient power, while you go exploring arenas full of enemies.
In fact, the narrative is practically non-existent. It’s offered to the player small excerpts from cut scenes, where he is tasked with venturing into the mythical ruins to find the magic power found in the last level. It just sets the tone for the entire vibrant yet repetitive pixel art environment. The colors used are comfortable and don’t tire the eyes too much, however, sometimes it’s somewhat complicated to decode where the enemy attacks are, or even the enemies themselves since it’s quite likely to end up with the screen full.
Unlike the narrative, the gameplay is quite complete and the main focus of the developers. The attention to replayability inherent to new runs and magical powers that the character can enjoy is undoubtedly where all the fun of this title is found. Powers like fireballs, curtains of ice spikes, among others, are part of an interesting range of different combinations that leave open a whole strategy that can be outlined between runs, by choosing different powerups.
As in titles like Hades, it is impossible not to make this reference, as soon as you finish an arena it is possible to choose one of two doors, each one referring to an upgrade of a magic skill, the possibility of acquiring a new magic skill, money, and/or passive skills that helps the player in their demand. As in all Roguelikes, death equals starting a new run and losing all previously captured power-ups. Each run is a different adventure, where small adjustments to the approach to enemies make all the difference and make the learning curve more interesting.
There are two game modes, the mode that follows a storyline, although almost non-existent as mentioned above, and where it is also possible to have encounters against Bosses. And the survival mode where the premise will be to defeat waves of enemies that get stronger as time goes by until the clock hits 0 minutes. Both modes have online leaderboards and it’s always possible to compare scores with friends which turns things a little bit more competitive
Here perhaps lies the Achilles tendon of LONE RUIN, its durability. Although it features the survival mode, the story mode ends quite abruptly with only 3 different bosses and a somewhat scarce variety of enemies. In about 30 minutes I was able to reach the credits on medium difficulty. By far I consider myself a skilled player, even though roguelikes are in a very warm corner of my heart. So a so-called “average” player won’t have any problems doing such a feat either. Something that is really possible to improve with some updates, who knows in the future, and that will make this an even more varied and fun title.
LONE RUIN is fun for short game sessions as it’s short even for his sake and mixed with the lack of content it makes for a combination that leaves a little to be desired. The experience is somehow saved by the fun loop, accompanied by a soundtrack marked by beats that stick in the head.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for PC provided by Super Rare Originals]