Like with any genre, roguelikes take many forms. However, the naturally hardcore genre of endless grinding tends to take a dark and gritty stance. Juicy Realm breaks that trend by being as adorable as it is challenging.
Juicy Realm takes the saying “don’t play with your food” and kicks it off to the side. The player takes up the role of one of four characters to end the reign of sentient food items which have ascended to the top of the food chain, asserting a new world order.
The plot alone is absurdly hilarious. However, that should not be a dissuading factor as the game runs smoothly with a steady framerate, optimization and combat mechanics that are simple enough to pick up and play. While traversing through the multiple worlds, there are weapons everywhere to choose from: from the standard AK to an honest-to-god Steam logo that unleashes the fury of Gabe Newell’s Steam sale prices onto your fruit-filled foes.
Every shot, slash and explosion is complemented with a comic-style onomatopoeia and colorful rounds to fit the overall cutesy vibe developer SpaceCan was going for. At the end of each world is a traditional boss battle; meaning that they generally have a consistent pattern while maintaining the challenge. Something like the typical Mario villain — once you figure out their attack pattern, it’s pretty breezy.
While exploring the diverse world and fighting a unique bunch of enemies is nothing short of a blast, Juicy Realm might not be enough to quench the thirst of procedural generation. After multiple playthroughs, it begins to feel like some sections of each world are repeated. While the segments may be randomized with each playthrough, it doesn’t exactly fit the typical definition of “procedurally generated.”
The vibrant colors and playful cartoon violence are appealing factors for audiences of all ages. It helps to downscale the overall level of violence because, instead of blood and gore, the audience is being treated to apple cores and broken ice cream cones. Coupled with the overall art style, this gives Juicy Realm something of a childlike appeal and can act as a solid introduction to young gamers being introduced to roguelikes. It has a difficulty to challenge and engage without the intense blood and gore that might make parents think twice about it.
Juicy Realm features a soundtrack that doesn’t deviate from its gameplay. The funky, popping beat on the main menu is a good indication of what to expect when saving the world from an army of fruit. While traveling the worlds, the music becomes subtle, making it not entirely memorable, but fitting to the theme and noticeably present.
Developer SpaceCan has put a lot of working into making Juicy Realm a memorable title with laughable combat and an overall adorable aesthetic. SpaceCan has been updating Juicy Realm frequently since its release to fix bugs and balancing issues.
Roguelikes tend to have significant replay value because of their genre. They challenge you to get better and improve your score and get new abilities and skills along the way. The fact that Juicy Realm is a uniquely themed roguelike gives it a naturally high replay value.
Juicy Realm is an over the top game with an outlandish story, amazingly done cartoon graphics and a gameplay style that’s fun and entertaining. This is a game that offers entertainment value for every type of gamer.
Juicy Realm is available on Steam.
DISCLAIMER: Indie Ranger received a free copy of Juicy Realm for review purposes. This does not affect the outcome or final score of the review.
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Travis is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia with a BA in journalism. He has had a passion for gaming ever since he played Pokémon Red Version and Donkey Kong 64. Some of his all-time favorite titles include Halo Reach, Spec Ops: The Line and Fallout: New Vegas. In his free time, Travis enjoys making a hot mess of himself and making situations awkward. Finger guns and puns are his specialties.