Title: Runers
Platform: Steam, PC

Reviewed on: Windows
Genre: Top down shooter, Rogue-Like
Players: Single player


Written by Whistler 2nd September 2014
















Once again I spin the gaming review wheel of fortune for overused genres, and shock horror, once again it lands down on top down shooter rogue-like shooter.

Okay that’s harsh but I was enjoying the influx of RPGs and the occasional Co Op title I was getting to play and honestly every single top down rogue-like shooter hasn’t really knocked off my Binding of Isaac tinted glasses and only occasionally having me to take them off for a moment just to look at how awesome the glasses are.


Binding of Isaac glasses aside, Runers is as mentioned a rogue-like top down shooter where the player chooses between 20 races and then is given a choice of 20 classes where you then explore random dungeons filled with monsters to save the world form…to stop the evil overlord….actually the goal might as well be to collect flowers for the kingdom of fairies whilst searching for the book of secrets that downloads the actual fucking story.


























But I’m just being an unenthusiastic jerk who’s getting sick of waiting for FFXV, Alien Isolation and for people to stop thinking Five Night’s at Feddy’s is good.

Obviously story isn’t important and the whole point is that you decimate your way through the floors while hopefully put together some deadly spells to further decimate and so forth.

Perhaps this is where Runers doesn’t keep me all that enthralled as I don’t feel the motivation to play it all that much, hell at least in A Wizard’s Lizard I was trying to save my dear master wizard.

That said Runers, once you get to grips with the top down shooter it does genuinely get fun. Majority of the fun can be a up down experience depending on how fast you make super broken lightning spell, before we get there though when you defeat an enemy there’s a chance they’ll drop one of ten elemental runes and if you’re lucky enough to have picked up a dual or tri combiner you take the enjoyable elements of that Doodle God game we spent ages playing for some reason along with the random enjoyable elements Binding of Isaac had when you started combining death rays with the power of Satan’s fury.

You see Runers boast that they are over 250 possible spells at your disposal as you play around combining the 20 runes, while granted I swear around 50-100 of these are bloody useless I generally did enjoy combining my super broken lightning spell along with shadow rays that knocks baddies away to the chuck my giant bouncing spirit bomb.


I do feel I need to mention though that whilst understandably this game was developed by Let’s Get Krakken games, an incredibly small indie dev so it’s understandable that visuals aren’t going to exactly be on the same spectrum as Hideo Kojima’s Fox Engine but I can’t help but feel incredibly underwhelmed by the presentation. Visuals are that modern take on 8/16 bit graphics but without any of the charm, honestly I’ve seen flash game’s include more key frames of animations in their main characters.
While it’s nice that you are represented by whatever class you picked (though not race oddly enough), all of them are incredibly stilted with the same sprite animations seen in Final Fantasy 2 & 3 (not 5 & 6 btw, the actual FF2 and FF3) that is only made painstakingly obviously with the ludicrous speed boots you can accrue and the occasions where you realize why everything is zoomed so far out as to avoid revealing how badly pixelated things can get.


























Runers isn’t bad but I’m still not sure how long I really feel like committing to it, there’s a genuine level of creativity with the spells, tons of random elements like rooms slowing everything down or being laden with fire traps, event rooms to test your skills, challenge modes and boss rooms every three floors or so. On paper, Runers ticks every box for getting the genre right checklist minus the visuals and even includes random level up traits like reducing cooldowns for spells when an mob dies or healing causes you to sustain the next attack without taking damage so really it has replayability oozing out of every orifice.


So why do I sound like I’m still undecided about the whole thing, sadly for it’s vast array of spell combinations some of the game still feels bare bones which I know I’m harping on but I feel is mostly due to the lack of a driving force so I just don’t see the point in putting myself through the trial and error to beat the final boss or collect the pixie dust (seeing as I have no clue how the game ends); I know having fun should be motivation enough but I like to pretend I’m doing something for a cause and honestly feel no need to put myself through hell unless there’s a willing princess, magical sword or a lifetime supply of loot down there.
Need be told though that for $10 or $7.50 should you pick it up this week, it’s a fast paced bullet hell-ish rogue-like that will probably have you sinking at least your monies worth into it that it would be a crime not to give at least the demo a go and any devs who when their kickstarter doesn’t succeed still keeps at it to release their dream project that I just rudely critiqued deserves some praise.


























So in the end I don’t need to get out the angle grinder for this one and can instead look at it even with my rose tinted glasses and actually enjoy myself; I just need to pretend that there is a princess or something at the last floor to congratulate me.



Pros:    

Plenty of creative spell combinations,

Lots of replay value,

Genuine balance of challenge and gameplay.


Cons:   

Very underwhelming visual presentation,

No motivational drive,

Stale sprite animations.


Final verdict ,

Runers wasn’t exactly an instant win for me but it did grow on me and who doesn’t like a super broken lightning spell with a score of 6/10.


Written by,

Whistler


















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