Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Rezrog

Posted by GG Goblin On June - 16 - 2017

Dungeon crawler with a tabletop flavour.

 
Many older gamers out there will have come to videogames from a background in playing tabletop games, and with the current resurgence of tabletop and board games, it makes sense that cross-pollination is something of a trend at the moment. Rezrog, from Soaphog and Kasedo Games, is the latest title to bring some tabletop flavour to your dungeon-crawling action. However, don’t expect an easy ride just because the enemies are made of cardboard.

 
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The visual theme of the game is surely one of the highlights. Players are charged with taking a hero into a randomly-generated dungeon. As the player progresses, the dungeon will be constructed before the players eyes, seemingly from appropriately textured cardboard cubes. All of the heroes and monsters are represented by cardboard cut outs with plastic bases, adding to the tabletop aesthetic. Occasionally, players will be able to see outside of the dungeon, presumably as it is set on a dinner table or whatever, and see things like cans of Cola. The lighting brings the entire dungeon to life, and the precise movement of the heroes and enemies further emphasize the fact that you are playing a tabletop game.

 
While the visual theme is great and provides a thrill for anyone who has enjoyed a tabletop game in the past, it is the gameplay that will really pull players in.

 
There is a story, something to do with a missing tavern keeper and a group of heroes that set out from the empty tavern to find the owner. However, that falls to the wayside as the player begins by choosing one of the seven heroes from the tavern and sets out to the first dungeon. Each of the seven heroes has a different class, with all of the strengths and weaknesses that entails. There is a nice selection of tough close combat specialists, ranged warriors and wizards, so the player gets to choose whichever suits their playstyle. Not that the player will be stuck with one character after choosing, the entire band of heroes is at the players disposal.

 
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Before heading into a dungeon, a roulette wheel will spin and add an effect to the dungeon. This could be both beneficial or detrimental to the player, but it adds another level of randomness to the game.

 
Each dungeon has a certain goal that has to be achieved, such as freeing prisoners or finding crystals, before the dungeon can be completed. Players move their hero around the grid-based dungeons by simply clicking where they want to go, with a path showing the exact route allowing the player to avoid any trap tiles that may be between them and their objective. Enemies have an area of influence, and once within that area, play becomes much more turn-based. Characters are able to move and perform a single action, such as using a potion or attacking the enemy. However, it should be noted that performing the action will end the players turn, whether they have moved or not, making encounters quite tactical affairs as the player tries to plan as many moves ahead as they can. The random set up of the dungeons and enemies does mean that Rezrog can become quite tough quite quickly.

 
Dying in a dungeon is far from the end of the game though. Instead of your hero gasping their final breath, they simply become imprisoned in the dungeon. Then it is simply a matter of heading back to the tavern and picking another hero to send into the dungeon and rescue their fallen comrade. This gives the player seven attempts at every dungeon, but if all seven heroes get captured, it is game over and the player must start again from the beginning.

 
This is a great idea in theory, and does work well to a certain degree in the game. However, as each of the heroes has their own inventory to fill with loot from the dungeons, and their own experience and leveling, it does mean that players will invariably end up with heroes of different levels of ability. To maintain a troupe of equally tough heroes, the player will have to do each dungeon with each of their heroes. That means doing each dungeon seven times. Not surprisingly, this can get a little repetitive.

 
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There is also a lack of information given to the player as they head out on this epic journey, leaving the player to figure things out for themselves. While the first dungeon does a good job of introducing the basics, through trial and error, missing out on that first dungeon with another hero will mean sending them into a dungeon without even their most basic weapon. It will take a good through plays before the player works out all of the mechanics of the game.

 
Outside of the dungeons, players will spend their time at the tavern where they can manage their heroes. At the tavern, players can buy and sell items, share items between the different heroes, repair equipment and even check out the different skills and abilities that the heroes have unlocked through leveling up. For the longer term, legacy stones can be used at the tavern to give a stat increase to a hero that will carry over even if they have to start again from the beginning.

 
Rezrog has a few bugs out of the box, everything from items being listed wrong to full on game freezes. However, the developers seem to be on the case and patches are coming with regularity that will hopefully clear up any problems in time. It has to be said though, aside from a strange switching of health and mana potions, I had very few issues with the game.

 
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Rezrog is the very definition of a grinding game, with the player required to run the same dungeons multiple times with different heroes, and it can get a little dull after a while. Also, players are dropped in the deep end with little explanation, in an already tough game. But the tabletop aesthetic is absolutely great, and the game plays really well once the player works out the mechanics. On top of this, managing a troupe of heroes and having to rescue fallen friends is really great fun. It takes a little while to get going, but Rezrog is well worth the effort for fans of dungeon crawlers and tabletop games.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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