Reviews

Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos

Mazes in games will never be safe. You will always find monsters, traps and bosses there, which you will get only after thorough preparations and several attempts. It is similar in Rogue Heroes, where the creators will offer you another experience in the cute but painful country of Tasos. And to make it better, you can experience adventures with your friends.

Rogue Heroes is primarily a cooperative action RPG, and the complexity in the introduction is adapted to this. You can also do it solo, but then you have to count on a long grind to improve your lonely character enough. However, once you have worked out, the next step is smooth. With three cooperating players, you can plunder mazes, but also dig potatoes in online mode, but also locally on one shared or divided screen. Let’s face it, it’s both more fun and easier in the game. However, the game can amuse even a lone wolf, if he is quite patient and cannot be discouraged by the initial failures.

You are a hero who must defeat four titans in mazes and then face the biggest challenge. In a small town you have your own house with a bed, where you wake up after each death. You can have the house enlarged or modify its equipment, which is more of a cosmetic matter. At first, your surroundings are rather deserted, but you will gradually fill the empty plots with useful buildings that you need for your improvement. Just go to the builder, who will show you a list of available buildings, and if you have enough crystals, you will choose the exact place and the construction is ready in a moment. This is how you build a hospital, an armory, the residence of a witch, a tailor, a fisherman, a pub, a shop, a training center, but also a garden. There is something useful for you almost everywhere. In the hospital you improve your health and magical energy, in the blacksmith sword, which is the primary weapon and is certainly more effective, when it deals higher damage, it hits the enemy from a slightly greater distance and more frequently. These are the two primary areas of your interest, but not all. 

In the next house, you can make a medicinal or other support decoction, and you will be surprised at what unique goods are the empty bottle you need in addition to the ingredients. After entering the next door, the master will make permanent additional weapons and aids for you, another character will improve them even more, and in the training center you will improve your endurance and stamina. In combat, you breathe and then the intensity of your attacks slows down until you rest for a while. The fisherman will make a fishing rod for you, so you can fish and in the garden, after obtaining work tools and seeds, you can dig the soil, sow, water and harvest. Last but not least, the tailor sews you new clothes, but you need specific ingredients for that. But it’s not just a cosmetic change of appearance, but every dress is associated with a profession. You start out as a hero, but later you may be a thief,

You can freely change your clothes, and therefore your profession, in your personal wardrobe, but it will not be as fundamental a change as you would expect. Individual professions differ in only three basic attributes, which determine their attack strength, defense, and endurance, plus they have one special ability. And it is more complementary, such as running, short-term hiding or bouncing. Otherwise, however, they use universal weapons and have no special talents. Thus, a change of profession may partially affect your character, such as speed of movement and resistance to injuries, but the playability as such does not change at all.

It is safe in the town, but not outside. However, in the exterior with various environments, from the forest, through the desert, lava, swamps and icy landscape, smaller threats await you. You can go where you want, wander around, discover its nooks and crannies, where you will sometimes come across NPC characters and additional tasks, and you can quickly return through the stone teleports. But to enter advanced areas, you usually need some key subject that you will get to later. In any case, the country provides some use, it is a space for obtaining raw materials, either by collecting or in the form of loot from monsters, from which gold coins fall. These are the necessary currency, but not as important as the crystals for which you buy all the houses and upgrades.

You only get crystals in the main mazes, the cleaning of which is your primary goal. However, specific rules apply there. First of all, when entering such a labyrinth, you have to sacrifice all the crystals that you had with you until then and did not spend them shopping. But don’t worry, you’ll make new supplies in the rooms you search, and you’ll be left with them if you die. You can then use them to improve and return to the unconquered maze stronger. But beware, it is still true that what you have not missed, you will lose every time you enter the maze.

In the labyrinth, you can rely on the sword and the permanent accessories made or obtained in return. They usually consume your energy or need to replenish ammunition. You will have a book with you, which collects information about individual types of monsters, which will give you mastery and an overview of their weaknesses. So then you can neutralize these enemies faster. The joke is that for this to work, you have to overwhelm your opponents and arrive with this book, which is not always easy.

In addition, you will have a boomerang, a bow and arrows, which will not only hit the target from a slightly greater distance, but you can also activate the switches. The dropped bomb explodes in a few seconds. You light something with a lantern, you call up shots with a magic wand, you can pull on pillars with handles with a device with a hook. Then you also get to the glove, which can crush rocks and statues with a strong blow, hammers for pins and switches in the floor, a magic whistle … In the mazes you will find the same, but temporary, fragile glass objects that will serve you there, but will not give to be carried out and after death, unlike the permanent ones, are lost. So if you are missing an important tool in the dungeons, you will definitely find it somewhere, whether in chests or breakable vases, where there are also crystals, keys, but sometimes also hidden enemies.

If you fail to clear the whole maze and you die, the whole labyrinth will be reset and refilled with monsters. But if you pay for the entrances to the next, already discovered floors with crystals, you don’t have to go through everything and you can go straight down when you return. However, the maze is always randomly generated differently, so even if you were there a while ago, after death it will look a little different. However, only the layout of the rooms changes, but their equipment and structure are the same. In short, they are preset, just put together. Which in practice means that the puzzles you often find there have exactly the same procedure and solution. 

And here we have to pause, because the puzzles and additional elements in the mazes are what makes Rogue Heroes different from regular action RPGs, where you usually just beat everything up to get further. Here you have to deserve to move to the next room or treasures often. Chests can be hidden or behind obstacles that you must remove first. You can achieve this by moving the columns, switching switches or activating fireplaces. It is common to move a few cubes to the buttons on the ground that need to be activated at once. Gold chests need gold coins instead of a key to open – exactly the ones you found outdoors. You open the door with keys, sometimes by manipulating objects or they let you go after cleaning the room.

In addition, you have to watch out for traps, of which there are really many mazes. Very often you trigger them when you go through the dimly visible switches on the ground or pull something. Then arrows will often shoot at you from holes in the walls, which always signal that there is a trap. Or a shower of things will fly at you from a height – sometimes even vases and objects that have nice findings and healing hearts, but often more like bombs. Then there are moving belts, sliding thorns, ditches, swamps that will draw you into the depths, brittle ice. In short, you almost always need to be on your toes.

Traps are often more deadly than enemies, although they can sometimes torment and are quite diverse. From the snakes that pounce on you, through the bats, the undead attacking bullets, to the spiders that immobilize you with cobwebs, huge worms and, of course, the bosses in the finale of each main maze. After completing the main mission, you can continue the game, whether you try to get as far as possible in the last, endless maze, or complete side tasks, or you will devote yourself to gardening.

The graphics of the game are very modest, simple, it looks best on a small Nintendo Switch display. It is reminiscent of popular classics, but nowadays it can evoke the feeling that it is an archaic thing for nostalgic players. There is a modest sound and music in a similar spirit. However, this is sharply contrasted by very good gameplay, which brings depth and new mechanics to the genre of action RPGs. This game definitely should not be underestimated, because under the modest surface it hides a lot of fun, which you can also share with friends.

If you like going on an adventure together or if you like The Legend of Zelda, then Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is the perfect party game for a good night of dungeon crawling!

8/10

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