Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos
Developer: Heliocentric Studios
Genre: Roguelike, Adventure, Hack & Slash
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 7
Release Date: 23/02/21
A code was provided for review purposes.
I’m a sucker for Roguelike games. The often simple yet challenging gameplay often leads to many moments of joy to then sheer frustration as you get “schooled” by a particularly nasty boss for the 100’th time. The benefits of Roguelikes is that no matter how many times you die. you grow a little stronger in both character and player as you unlock stats and learn the movements of your foes. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos takes this formula and sprinkles a world builder on the top. Not only is progress measured by how powerful your hero is, it’s also based on how big your village is.
The story to Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos centers around four Goddesses and their war with four mysterious Titans. In an age gone these beings clashed with each other which resulted in the Titans each being banished within a vast ever changing dungeon. The Goddesses however disappeared.
You play as an unnamed character who’s tasked with defeating the reawakened Titan’s whilst building and maintaining a vast settlement within the heart of this dangerous world. With various character classes to unlock and a wealth of customizable options. Rogue Heroes adds something different to the Roguelike experience
Rogue Heroes feels like a cross between Legend of Zeda: A Link to the Past, Diablo with a sprinkling of Stardew Valley. The entire game is open to you and you can do whatever you please. There are of course the overarching goals of defeating the four Titans, but you’re never forced to deal with the threat. If you choose to you can primarily focus on building up the main village with its wealth of houses and citizens, or even just focus on customizing your own. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can also just explore the surrounding open world. Rogue Heroes is a vast canvas for you to shape in whatever way you choose to.
Roguelikes by their very nature can be quite monotonous, thankfully Rogue Heroes bucks this trends and give you a great gameplay loop. Every item in your village costs gems, These gems can only be found within the procedurally generated dungeons that litter the game’s map. As you explore the dungeons you amass these gems. Once you return home you can then spend these on various buildings such as a Blacksmith or Research Lab, to even a Tailor which allows you to unlock various other skill classes. No matter how many times you attempt a dungeon, there is always something that you can upgrade afterwards. The threat of constant death never feels worthless as your constantly improving.
Combat feels very inspired by Legend of Zelda: A link to the Past. The game is played via a top down perspective which further drives the comparison. Much like Link, your Hero is able to swing their weapon about and your able to deflect projectiles with a handy shield. There is also a vast array of equipment at your disposal too. These range from bows, bombs, magic and even grappling hooks. Combat is also performed via the right analogue stick so you get a real degree of freedom. The only issue I had was that I would occasionally miss throw a bomb due to pressing the wrong button. It’s a real face palm moment when you suddenly have to scramble from a rapidly exploding mistake.
Enemies all have a degree of health which is represented by a bar that hovers over them. This is naturally chipped away from your attacks. In a true Roguelike fashion, each attack does a certain degree of damage. Naturally, the game doesn’t allow you to steamroll everyone and for at least the first 2-3 hours you are at the bottom of the Tasos food chain. This does mean that combat is challenging but its also fair. I have lost count over the amount of times my character has died but I never felt cheated because of it. The majority of my deaths came from being hasty and rushing into the fight.
Dungeons are a procedurally generated maze of puzzles, enemies and room layouts. The map layout is surprisingly complex and it’s incredibly easy to get lost in. There’s enough variation to keep the dungeons feeling fresh, but you do occasionally see repetition. Dungeons also feature shortcuts that unlock once you reach a certain floor, and providing you have the gold, provide a much-needed shortcut. To keep you playing after finishing the main quest, Rogue Heroes has an infinite dungeon, which as the name suggests goes on and on and…
What sets Rogue Heroes aside from many other Roguelikes is that it features a 4-player co-op. Each player controls their own Hero and can upgrade them independently from everyone else. I only experienced playing as a duo, but it was great fun. Especially in the games early stages, having an extra sword really came in handy. The game can also be played locally with multiple players which really plays into the Switch being a multiplayer console. Add that you have the world-building aspect as well as the open-world environment and the dungeons then Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos attempts to grab you for the foreseeable.
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a great Roguelike adventure. The settlement building is a great addition to the genre. Whilst there is an overarching plot, it’s never forced upon you to play it. While you do have to venture into the dungeons to amass gems, you can just focus on settlement life. Multiplayer is a real plus point as running around the world with a partner is great fun. While the difficulty can spike, combat never feels unfair or unjust and each death just means that you’ll either come back stronger, or now have a fancy new chair for your house. Either way, it’s a plus.
Rapid Reviews Rating
Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is available to buy on the Nintendo Switch eShop by clicking here.