Lone Ruin is a roguelike twin-stick shooter where our mysterious mage uses dark magic to defeat a variety of demonic monsters that live in the deepest recesses of the Ruin. Battle your way through floors using unique spells to vanquish your foes. In addition, upgrade your abilities, earn perks and become stronger as you fight and conquer the most powerful bosses waiting for you at the end of each area.
Lone Ruin immediately greets you with two options: fight through various floors of enemies, level up and take down bosses in a typical roguelike fashion, or Survival Mode where you're up against never ending waves of enemies until death finishes you off. You will enter the ruin and a strange cloaked figure will allow you to select from eight unique spells ranging from projectile attacks with fast paced shard spells to melee attacks with the Scythe spell. Each spell will offer a different type of attack and you can upgrade these spells with coins earned from fallen enemies or as a reward after clearing a floor. You’ll be presented with a reward altar, allowing you to add new powers to your arsenal or upgrade existing ones.
Each floor has a number of points where enemies will spawn from; enemies can come in many different forms, such as bats that shoot fire-balls, ghouls that will lay eggs that’ll hatch, and giant behemoths that stomp around the stage. Killing every enemy will reward you with gold coins and if you clear the current floor, you can venture deeper into the ruin. Some floors will reward you with extra benefits, like reward altars or extra perks. You can spend any gold you get in one of the many shops you’ll encounter, sell abilities, perks that you no longer need in the pause menu if you so wish. Rewards will be shown above each exit before you move on to another floor, allowing you to select what rewards you want to receive if you clear them.
The controls are very intuitive and responsive in the heat of battle. You can attack with taps of the ZR trigger and each spell has a cooldown timer. As you upgrade spells, you can continuously hold down the trigger for rapid fire. You can also use the L & R bumpers for additional abilities once unlocked.
Once you’ve reached the final floor for that specific area, you’ll encounter a boss battle; each boss is vastly different from each other. Boss battles almost feel like a bullet-hell shooter as they can fire a huge amount of spread fire which covers a wide area and continuously stream bullets in your direction. Thankfully, your dash ability is a god-send but you’ll find your health bar will quickly depleted if you don't react quick enough to the constantly changing battlefield. If that happens, death will be quick and swift. At the end of a run, you'll receive a tally of your total score that you can submit to the online leaderboards for bragging rights.
- Two modes
- Eight spells, plenty of upgrades and extra perks
- Tight and responsive controls
- Challenging bosses
While the game is fun in short bursts, the repetitive nature rears its ugly head sooner rather than later. The gameplay never really changes, apart from the protagonist getting a bit stronger with each new upgrade, and more challenging with each run. I did become quite fatigued only after a few hours with Lone Ruin.
Another issue is the strange purple-pink hue that surrounds everything. While it's an interesting colour and design choice, it makes it incredibly difficult to see enemy projectiles because everything is the same colour, including enemy fire. This results in a lot of deaths within the first few hours due to unseen attacks, especially when there’s a lot happening on-screen. It would have been nice if they could have changed up the environments and colours a bit more as I found environments pretty lacklustre, colours hurt my eyes.
- Repetitive gameplay loop
- Strange purple-pink hue makes seeing projectiles sometimes difficult
- Samey environments
Final Score: 7/10
Lone Ruin is a good roguelike that is seriously addictive once you get going. Each spell offers something different and upgrading them and earning new perks will allow you to build a mage with some serious firepower. However, the package isn't perfect. The strange purple-pink hue makes things difficult to see and environments become too samey after a while. The game also has some lock-up issues which I've experienced constantly and it needs a fix. but if you’re looking to venture into a dark roguelike ruin, take rough with the smooth you’ll find an addictive romp here that’ll give you that “just one more go” mentality.
Thank you for checking out our Lone Ruin Switch review, thank you to Super Rare Games for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: