Runers is a procedural dungeon crawler/rougelike that focuses on spell casting. It is the first game by the indie studio called Let’s Get Kraken (best studio name ever!). The game aims to please a more hardcore audience, and as a direct result, is really hard at times.
Fancy graphics aren’t everything
A glance at the graphic style already makes it clear that Runers is aimed for a more serious audience. The whole aesthetic is very plain, and hardly engaging for someone who is just about to get into rougelikes. There are some spells that have a really cool effect, but other than that it looks more like a flash game than a proper indie title. It is not pretty, but the visuals get the job done.
The dungeon is waiting for you
However if you can look over the simple graphics you are in for a treat. Runers is an old-school dungeon crawler. It has everything you can wish for. Permadeath, tons of enemies , and an almost endless combination of spells at your disposal.
You will be using the power of runes to create all kind of spells that helps you beat the dungeon. The combinations are almost endless, and it will take a while to try out every single spell in the game. This mechanic makes the game feel a lot like Magicka, but instead of making the spell combos on the run, you craft them from your inventory. Sometimes this can lead to a frustrating result, as you might be stuck with a spell for time being, if you are not statisfied with the result of the rune combination you put in.
The fact that you have preset spells and you don’t need to combo them real time, makes the game much faster than Magicka. Your default speed is pretty fast, but you will definately need to make a use of that, to kite enemies around, as the game likes to throw a LOT of monsters at you. Despite the fast gameplay I never felt overwhelmed by what was on the screen, and never really felt cheated by the game whenever I have died. Runers is hard, but it tries to be as fair as it is possible while still managing to kill you over and over again.
As I mentioned earlier the game features permadeath, and you can’t save on the levels. However it does offer a chance to take a break and lets you quit between them. Once you are in the level, there is no saving and if you die that is basically game over for that character. Every time you start a new game, you can choose a passive and an active skill. At first I felt a bit overwhelmed by the available choices, but after some playtroughs you will start to figure out the synergies, the passive/active combos can offer. The dungeon is procedurally generated each time. Only the place of the boss fight seems to be set, but as with many games in the genre, there are several bosses for every encounter and the game will randomly pick one each time.
If you like these kind of games, I would say don’t miss out on Runers. It might not be the best of the genre, but it is a really solid game, and can provide hours of gameplay. It is hard for sure, but this way making progress is much more satisfying. Seriously, don’t let the screenshots intimidate you. There is even a demo (!!) available, if you can’t make up your mind that might help.
Runers is by Mastertronic and is available on Steam.
Runers is a fast paced dungeon crawler, that focuses around combining runes to find the most powerful spells.What Our Ratings Mean