Lone Ruin (Switch)

Lone Ruin is touted as a Spell-based Roguelike Twin Stick shooter with a heavy focus on replayability. Being the first Roguelike of 2023 we will take a look at what exactly this entails and how high the bar is being set in a post-Hades world.

Lone Ruin puts you behind the cloak of a mage whose sole purpose is to reach the bottom of the titular Lone Ruin and uncover its secrets. Aside from a brief intro, there isn’t a whole lot of narrative to be had in Lone Ruin, the focus lies solely with the gameplay and has more in common with arcade games such as Smash TV rather than piecing together a narrative with titles like Hades and West of Dead.

Gameplay is what you would expect from the genre by now, you have a procedurally generated dungeon that you must reach the bottom of, fighting mobs and bosses along the way. You’ll pick 1 starting magic power and you can pick from randomly selected ones in each room you choose to enter, this also lets you pick up treasure and other goodies so it’s a choose-your-route/loadout deal.

What I did notice that somewhat broke the chain of the genre was the fact there are 3 difficulty modes you can pick from alongside a “Survival” mode, this means that regardless of familiarity with the genre, most people should be able to see the end of the game rather than beating their head against the Roguelike brick wall.

Another difference is there aren’t any consistent upgrades or shortcuts you unlock per run, you’ll have to get it right in one run otherwise it’s back to the drawing board, this is where the arcade roots of this game start to surface as with every run there is a local and online scoreboard you can try and careen to the top of.

The gameplay in Lone Ruin doesn’t really do anything original, it does a fantastic job of providing some of the most fun combat in the genre by leaning on the heavily addictive “Twin Stick” genre of games.

Each spell you can use is wildly different from the others and learning the best way to mix and match while taking down the beasties in the most efficient way just smacks of games like Smash TV and Gauntlet while having the surprise and altar of the RNG gods of the Roguelike genre.

Another handy tool at your disposal is your dash which gives you just enough invincibility to avoid the almost bullet-hell level of projectiles you’ll come up against while trying to take down this mysterious ruin.

Graphically Lone Ruin is charming with its blend of 3D world and 2D pixel sprites and the colour purple just engulfs the game from start to finish making it stand out from the others in the genre.

I enjoy Lone Ruin as I would a Shmup or Beat Em Up, in quick bursts trying to reach the top of the leaderboard and I think that was the intention with this title, it’s not the next Hades, it is your next arcade fix, that one more go that’ll keep you going on until the early hours of the morning while your eyes gain a tinge of purple.



A riot of a time, perfect for pick up and play and chasing those high scores!

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Straight from the streets of SouthTown, all Dunks Powah'd and ready to Bust A Wolf. Catch me on Twitch/YouTube.

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