Sometimes, you run into a game you know you’ll enjoy just by the way it looks. That’s not always the case, though, and you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, a game by its trailers. However, every now and then, a game fills the expectations you had the first time you saw it. That’s the case with Roundguard, in my opinion.
Roundguard is a dungeon crawler game developed by Wonderbelly Games. The Castle Springbottom is under attack, the king is missing, and his riches are in danger. It’s your job to fight your way through a bunch of dungeons to rescue the king and his gold.
While that sounds cool and all, Roundguard actually takes place inside a play. Each map you go through represents a different map. Of course, the dangers for you are real. Your goal is to go through as many dungeons and maps as possible before you die. Once you die, you’ll have to start over.
At the start of each game, you’ll have to choose your character. You can choose between the warrior, the rogue, and the wizard. Each character has a different set of skills, stats, and dialogue inside the game. Personally, I loved the rogue, but if you want to go far I had the most success with the warrior.
Like I said before, your goal is to go through as many maps as you can, collecting as much gold as possible. Every map has different routes for you to take, which is great. To progress through a map you’ll have to defeat every enemy in a dungeon.
Each dungeon is procedurally generated, which means every quest and monster is randomized every time you enter. I love games like this, and I believe Roundguard did a great job of balancing the enemies and the items in every dungeon.
If you’ve played games like Peggle, then you already know how to play Roundguard. All you need to do is throw your character with something that looks like a crossbow. Then, your character will bounce around hitting everything it touches.
When your guy is in the air, you can’t control where it goes, but you can use different abilities that you activate by touching the left or right side of the screen.
Personally I loved Roundguard’s gameplay, although, when using the rogue’s ability to redirect their attack while being in mid-flight, the controls weren’t that great, which led to me hitting the spikes on the ground for no reason. Other than that, I loved how easy it is to play but how focused you need to be if you want to get far.
Like I said, Roundguard does a great job giving you health and mana potions in every level, so you need to decide if you have to attack or heal yourself. Sure, it’s easier said than done, since there are many obstacles in each level, and the characters are really bouncy. You’ll need to be extra careful when aiming at your target if you actually want to hit it.
At the end of each level, you’ll have the chance to win a new piece of armor, a new weapon, and even a new ability. These are random and you never know what you’ll get, but once you do get something you’ll only have the chance to equip it, and lose your current item, or sell it and make extra gold.
On one side, it’s great to only have access to one weapon, two abilities and a piece of armor at the same time. It makes you pay attention to what you have while avoiding the hoarders that save an item just in case. On the other hand, I am one of those hoarders, and I’d love to have at least more room to store a couple more things and decide later.
Your characters are not the only ones with different skills and personalities. Every enemy in Roundguard is unique in its own way and some of them also have dialogues that give you an entertaining view of their world and even make you agree with them. Like, of course, he’s a bad guy. He’s surrounded by some unholy flames, and he can’t eat ice cream because of it. What would you do in their position?
Not only that, but every enemy also has status conditions as part of their powers. Some enemies can poison you, make you bleed and even turn you into a rock. These status conditions are bad, but they’re not game breaking, so you can get through them if you play carefully.
Besides the characters, the dungeons also have personality. You see a lot of details in every dungeon you’re in that match the personality of one of the bad guys. For instance, goblins are known for being greedy and not very smart, so you might see a dungeon with a “No gold here” sign which is exactly what a goblin might say.
Roundguard’s music, on the other hand, is not as great as the art style. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good music, and the sound effects are on point, but after a while, I got tired of listening to the same tunes over and over again.
Roundguard is a great game altogether. It’s got everything you’d want from a bouncy dungeon crawler/RPG. You’ve got unique characters and enemies that are beautifully designed, witty and smart dialogues with a small dose of easter eggs, and engaging gameplay that you can play both mindlessly or completely focused. If you haven’t already, Roundguard is a game you must try out as soon as possible.