While it starts out slow, once you start unlocking new weapons and game elements it does pick up some steam quite nicely
Roguelikes are a tough genre sometimes to love since many games in the space insist on initially stacking the deck against you pretty substantially, which makes for some frustration. If, however, you’re familiar with this issue you’ll know to stick things out at least for a few runs to get some things unlocked, find a few things you may need to find, and let the game get started in earnest. That’s definitely the case here, as I found the initial melee weapon to be a real challenge to do well with, generally feeling vulnerable every time I had to get in close to attack. However, the moment I was able to work with a bow and get some distance between me and my foes, also getting some more things rolling on the progression front, the game completely opened up for me and got much more exciting. Once you play it a bit I think the immediate comparison it begs you to make is to Hades since their overall combat feel and weapons feel very much in the same vein. That said, it’s also missing the story, personality, variety, and challenge of that revered genre-definer, so it’s not necessarily a flattering one. The thing is, not much is in that weight class on a general level, so in that light Ember Knights is at least a competitor. In particular on a sale it has just enough oomph and playability chops to be worth a good hard look if you’re even a moderate fan of the genre.
Justin Nation, Score:
Nindie Choice! [8.3]