While I’ve played quite a number of roguelike shooters and slashers on the Switch, I’ll gladly admit that there’s nothing I’ve encountered on the system quite like Source of Madness. Inspired by Lovecraftian lore and imagery, the monstrosities you’ll face down in the game don’t look or act quite like anything you’ve likely seen, constructed of odd limbs, tentacles, and teeth, shambling and flinging themselves at you menacingly. As a wizard from one of several classes (most of which you’ll need to work to unlock before they’re available to you) your goal will be to venture into hostile and procedurally-generated territories in search of items, new and powerful spells, then once you succumb to the forces of evil going back to power yourself up to hopefully do better the next time, choosing from a pretty massive set of upgrade options that will help you unlock new skills that will best suit your style. Combat tends to be best done on your heels, hurling spells at your enemies and keeping your distance, but a quick dash and jump is often necessary to get by them and move in the other direction before they’re able to corner you. I particularly like the fact that I could dive into some more dangerous areas with imposing monsters, nimbly dashing over and by them to steal their treasures before going over them again to escape (hopefully) unscathed. The visuals and feel of play are absolutely unique but I’d also consider that to be the game’s Achilles heel, as the very detailed art style doesn’t always lend itself well to clarity for where you’re meant to go in particular. For those gamers who mostly play on the go these issues could be particularly pronounced, making it a poorer choice for portable fans. Still, if you enjoy roguelikes and have a taste for something different this will absolutely fit that bill.
Justin Nation, Score: