Review: Emberlight

Roguelite games have a vast place in the gaming landscape. Travel through several dungeons, kill the monsters you meet and do it all over again. The principle is quite simple, really. Emberlight, a new game by Quarter Onion Games, is a true roguelite dungeon crawler. Nothing interesting, you think? Wrong, the developers gave Emberlight a twist. In this unique roguelite game, players will have to pay a bit more attention and be a little more careful when they embark on their journey.

What do you do? Emberlight is a true roguelite dungeon crawler, set in a world where the Gods have given you a great gift – and a great curse. Explore procedurally generated dungeons as a Knight of the Ember Order. Conquer the quests set out before your party, and uncover the lore of the land. Grow your strength by absorbing the abilities of your slain enemies and collecting the powerful traits of dungeon bosses.

  • Dungeons: The dungeons you get to explore are randomly generated. In these dungeons, you’ll meet several enemies including rats, wolves and tree-like creatures. There are different kinds of quests offering easier and more difficult dungeons, as well as different run lengths. These lengths range from one to three, meaning you’ll travel to either one, two or three dungeons before finishing.    
  • Character development: You don’t just level up your teammates. No, there is a far more original way in which your character developers here. When an enemy attacks you, you’ll learn the ability they used. At the end of a fight, a ‘learned abilities’ list is shown and you can distribute these abilities amongst your teammates. You just click and drag the abilities you want to teach a certain teammate and tada, you can use it now. However, learning these new abilities comes at a price…
  • Corruption: Ah yes, that brings us to the next point. Every ability you learn will make your character more corrupt. This corruption will eventually consume one character, and this character will become the boss you’ll have to fight in a future quest. So, the ally you trained and fought with (together with two others), will now become your enemy who you have to defeat. Whaaaat?! I know, it’s great! Balancing the new abilities and really having to think everything through really adds a new dimension to the game.
  • Daily challenge: If you enjoy a little extra challenge, Emberlight offers daily challenges as well! I honestly love it when games add this feature because it keeps you coming back. The daily challenges offer you a set of Modifiers, such as ‘each character starts with full corruption’. Besides this, the Party you’ll be fighting with has already been chosen and so are the Starting Resources (for example, you get five health potions).
  • Enemies focus on one character: During fights, the opponents will only focus on one character at a time. Luckily, you can attack whoever you want, even yourself (yes, I was dumb enough to do this when first trying out this game). This is quite annoying because obviously, you lose a team member much faster, leaving you a party of two. I guess, on the other hand, it isn’t THAT big of a deal so I don’t want to put it in the section below this one. It did sometimes bother me though, that’s why I’m mentioning it.
  • Sound: If I have to point out one bad thing, it’s the music used in this game. It feels uninspired and sometimes even bothered me, so I eventually muted all the sounds in-game, oops. It’s a real shame actually since I really did enjoy the graphics and I always like it when both the visual and audible art lift up the game.

Score: 70%
Quarter Union Games have brought us a fun game, that’s for sure. When I looked up a little more about this studio, I discovered they’re just an indie studio and that Emberlight is their first game. I have to admit, for a first release, this is really something. The special character development is definitely what sets this game apart from others in its genre. Overall, Emberlight offers a fun game experience and sometimes, that’s all we’re looking for in a game.