REVIEW: Roundguard

Jan
13

REVIEW: Roundguard

Roundguard is like Peggle with muscles. A lot of fun initially but attempts to keep your interest begin to wane after eight plus hours.

Released: Steam
Type: Single-player
Genre: Casual, Pinball, Arcade,
Roguelike
Developer: Wonderbelly Games
Publisher: Wonderbelly Games
Release date: 13 March, 2020

Intro

Castle Springbottom is under attack and you have been tasked with rescuing the King and more importantly his gold.

Rounguard is a dungeon crawler with pinball mechanics. It is a roguelike experience where each run lasts up to around ninety minutes.

Fight your way through three levels of monster infested dungeons until you reach the level boss. Defeat the boss on each level and rescue the king.

Along the way try to collect as much gold as you can and compete on the global leaderboards. Equip yourself with the goodies you won on that run and start again. Challenge yourself to daily puzzles and weekly runs.

Gameplay🕹️

Roundguard is a Peggle clone with RPG and roguelike elements.

You have a choice of three characters; Warrior, Rogue or Wizard. Each character differs slightly with the amount of health, mana, attack and the skill they possess.

There is a brief tutorial which shows you the basics and further tutorials are presented as new mechanics are introduced.

The main objective of the game is to collect as much gold as you can and/or progress as far into the dungeon as possible culminating in rescuing the king. The further you get, naturally the more gold you will earn.

Instead of dots that you light up, you have to smash pots of gold. These pots vary in size and even sometimes manifest as chests of gold. Breaking these pots builds up your score. Trying to stop you collecting the treasure are various monsters with their own abilities and traits. Some fire projectiles at you; some act as shaman and replenish the health of other monsters; some create poisonous gas or set up chains of harmful lasers.

You will need to defeat all the monsters on that screen to progress to the next area on the map.

You start of with one special skill you can use, later earning a further skill. You can mobilize both skills as many times as you wish as long as you have enough mana.

Each time you use a skill it costs 20 mana but you can collect extra mana by hitting blue vials.

Your chosen character and every monster have both a health bar and an attack score. Bouncing into an enemy or firing a projectile damages them by the amount of your attack, and visa versa. You can replenish your health by bouncing into red vials.

Defeating monsters earns XP which in turn levels up your character. The higher level you are, the more powerful weapons are offered to you, increasing your attack score.

There are certain objects on the screen you’ll want to avoid if possible, like poison vials and mana burns. Some characters are neutral like the jelly monster. If you touch the jelly your movement is slowed down considerably.

Often, mini bosses turn up and have conversations with you. It is usually humorous trash talk and sometimes brings about quests you can complete for extra rewards.

In between levels you are occasionally rewarded trinkets on the wheel of wonder. Depending on how much gold you have earned, the wheel is populated with prizes. Take your chances and hopefully you will win a prize.

At the end of each level, you have a choice of which room to go into next. There is a map which you can consult. Some areas are more dangerous than others but reward more gold.

Depending on where you are on the map, the choices of where to go next are manifested at the bottom of the screen. If you want to go left, try and bounce your character into the left well. If you want him to go down choose the centre and if you want to go right then bounce him into the right hand well. Of course, it’s not always as easy as that as sometimes there are obstacles in your path.

At the end of each act there is a boss to defeat who has special abilities and minions. There are three acts, therefore three bosses. After defeating the final boss, you rescue the king and your score is recorded on the global leaderboard.

You get rewarded with a rune which you can activate on the next run if you so wish. There are nineteen runes to collect which adds a bit of replay value. The runes vary in effect. Some make the game harder but more rewarding whilst others increase mana potions at the expense of health potions, for example. You will only get one new rune after completing a run and defeating the final boss so it will take a while before you achieve all nineteen!

Graphics 🕹️

Wonderfully colourful and charismatic. Characters are cute and have bags of personality. Gameplay mechanics are enjoyable to watch and the whole package seems professional and well designed.

Sound🎵

The sound creates excitement and entertains throughout. They stole a few ideas from Peggle as you will recognize many effects. The high intensity sound keeps the game thrilling and produces a non-stop roller-coaster ride.

Verdict

Roundguard is a lot of fun and really doesn’t take itself seriously at all. There are loads of cute monsters to defeat. They are so cute that you feel guilty killing them!

The game is bursting with charm and humour and is perfect for a fun and entertaining couple of nights for any age group. The game attempts to keep your interest further with leaderboards, achievements and roguelike elements but I found that I had seen and done most things after eight hours.

The default difficulty level is too easy. I completed the three levels of dungeon and killed the final boss on my first run and repeated this three times with the three different characters. It wasn’t until later that I realized that the “Easy difficulty” relic was activated. I turned this off and the game is much harder, so be aware of this.

Roundguard is simple to play, with mouse or gamepad, although I found the mouse more accurate when aiming. The RPG elements are explained in a colourful tutorial which is easy to understand and grasp.

There are quite a few different facets to the game. Choosing special abilities, weapons and relics can alter your gaming experience slightly. Characters have different traits which can influence your game style, and each run is slightly different due to the rewards you receive from previous runs.

I use the word “slightly” a lot because the game play doesn’t change that much in essence. It is fun trying different weapons, but you’ll soon learn which ones are your favourites and you’ll tend to stick with them; the three different characters have very similar attributes, and it is only their abilities that differentiate them; Dungeons are randomly generated, but only their position on the map I believe, so subsequent runs seem very similar. You will always meet the same three bosses every time. This all adds up to a feeling of déjà vu and although the game play is still fun, unless you are aiming for achievements or chasing leaderboard scores then you’ll probably find it repetitive after a while.

Visuals are extremely colourful and cute with some humourous asides from bosses in between levels. The sound is over the top and reminiscent of Peggle if you’re familiar with that. It is just pure casual fun with all the bells and whistles and is produced and packaged to a high quality.

Roundguard is a great deal of fun for all ages and abilities. It just puts a smile on your face with its colourful outlook, entertaining characters, manic gameplay and over the top sound effects.

The only negative is that it might become repetitive to some people after eight plus hours.

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