As the first 2023 offering from Super Rare Games, I was incredibly excited to pick up Lone Ruin. After already enjoying Grapple Dog and Post Void last year, we at Pocket Tactics have been anticipating each new release from the exciting indie publisher, and when offered this roguelike developed by Cuddle Monster Games to start off the new year, I couldn’t say no. And I’m glad I didn’t, as while Lone Ruin might not set the world on fire, even if it is equipped with fireballs, it is some good honest gaming fun.
From the outset, you can tell that Lone Ruin is all about replayability, with a simple UI that lends itself to the roguelike die-and-die-again gameplay loop with a lack of complications. There are three different difficulties, easy, medium, and hard, with a discernable difference between each when it comes to gameplay, as well as the option to change your button mapping, but outside of that, there aren’t endless menus or choices to be made before you start playing, you’re just thrown into the dungeon, given a spell (your weapon), and left to cause some havoc.
The gameplay loop I mentioned is pretty simple, you begin every run at the opening to the magical ruins, before you’re gifted a spell by the mysterious being at the entrance, and left to battle your way through. Each level has waves of enemies that you have to take out to earn a power-up, or an upgrade to a spell you already know, with a split path option for every next dungeon to give you some options with your build. If you’re thinking “that sounds pretty similar to Hades”, then you would be correct, it’s essentially the same gameplay loop, including a boss battle every few levels. We’ll get into those similarities later.