Roguelikes are a blast to play. They are one of my favorite subgenres and after playing Riptale, I can say that it is a welcome addition to my collection.
Riptale is a 2d roguelike experience like nothing else I’ve seen in recent years. You are dropped into a randomized dungeon with your sword on a quest to defend your world from ancient dragons. Your pattern of attack is determined by the arcane gems in your possession.
Each gem gives you a different attack to use. You can mix and match to your heart’s desire to create your own unique combination. You have to wait a moment or two for the gems to recharge. Using them all at once could put you in a tough spot.
As you traverse the constantly changing environment, you will encounter a diverse set of enemies that force you to think on the fly and, sometimes, change your method of attack. With the exception of cosmetics, once you die, you lose everything and start from scratch, just like most roguelikes out there.
In an attempt to divert from the mindless button mashing, the developers at Super God thought it would be a good idea to make it so you would have to aim your attack before going in for the kill. They were right. This mechanic makes the overall experience more thought driven and challenging, if you miss your mark, you’re vulnerable to attack.
In order to fully complete Riptale, you have to complete it in hard mode. In hard mode, you only have one heart, which can be upgraded to two with a buff. This may not suit the casual gamer, but for someone looking for a challenge, I wish you Super Godspeed in your endeavor. It is a brutal and unforgiving game mode, and I love every second of it.
The art style is extremely similar to that of Downwell. So similar, in fact, that they have the option of changing the “filter” of the game to alter the color scheme.
The basic black and white appearance are aesthetically pleasing to look at and play for long sessions. The only colors besides the black and white are your scarf (whichever color you choose it to be) and the blood of your enemies.
The insane amount of blood splatter is satisfying to watch as it sprays the surface of the map. You can quite literally paint a room red.
One of the few complaints I have with Riptale is the soundtrack. Overall, I think it fits the theme of this game with its retro look and appeal. However, the music, for the most part, didn’t feel as intense as it should have. It didn’t pull me into the gameplay and, to me, wasn’t all that catchy. Then again, I’m no musician, so maybe I’m wrong on that. Feel free to tear me apart in the comments if that’s the case.
I can see myself coming back to this game time and time again, making its replay value higher than average. Where it takes a bit of a hit, however, is how I can’t seem to commit myself to long sessions of Riptale. It’s not like I get bored or anything, either. I just get overcome with that “Eh, that’s enough for now” feeling more quickly than I do with most games.
This game goes for a retail value of $5.99 which, based on the content of the game, is extremely fair. There is enough content to keep you engaged and the game itself isn’t linear so you can find yourself coming back to it.
The developer, Super God, put a lot of TLC into this game. While they haven’t updated their Steam page since early June, they were updating and patching the game on a near-constant basis back when it was first released. These developers care about their projects and will put the time into fixing and improving them when needed.
While the music may be lackluster for me, Riptale is a joy. The combat is fluid and fast-paced enough to keep me on my toes and the visuals are fantastic.
Riptale is available on Steam.
DISCLAIMER: The product, Riptale, was given to us by developer Super God. 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.