When I think about Dwarves? I think about the song Diggy Diggy Hole. I think about their long bushy beards filled with the soot of burnt coal and big burly arms accompanied by a tinier yet muscular physique. I’ve always been into the Dwarven lore in books and games. That’s why most of my RPG characters if a dwarf is an option? It will mostly be that! So, obviously! When I heard that Regions of Ruin by Vox Games were up for review? I jumped to the occasion! Why? Let me tell you why! Further down in this review! So boys and girls, get out those smelting goggles, rub some oil on dem dere muscles and get ready for our review of? Regions of Ruin!
What we liked!
- Huge map: When you first start out, you’ll be wanting to go on an exploration very soon. This is how you’ll be finding your resources after all! Just to be able to expand your settlement! But don’t be frightened when you first open your map! The thing ‘s expansive for just a 2D open-world type of game. Though this does have one major gripe, one which I’ll be addressing later on. Just know that when you start your journey? It’s going to be a long one! Which I can only condone!
- Steady Progression: Regions of Ruin does one thing very well, and that is constantly evolving your way of playing. You start off as a basic kind of dwarf. You can swing your ax and block with a shield if you have one. That’s it. Your “town” is just a lowly campfire surrounded by dense woods. This campfire is the place where you can level up your skills as well. But like I said, exploration is the key that is needed to expand your camp. Each time you go out to another region? You’ll get resources. If you’re lucky? You’ll find a worker as well! These resources are then used to upgrade your campfire, or make new buildings. The more buildings you get? The bigger your camp becomes. Which will also visibly change the surroundings! But that’s not the only thing that will be changing. Your hero as well. The more you level? The more skills you’ll be able to unlock from the skill tree. These can be defensive or offensive. But wait, there’s more! Armors! You know that in a lot of these 2D pixel style kinds of games when equipping armor your guy won’t change. Here? It does! So equip him with the sharpest looking gear you can find if you want to look absolutely badass!
- Companions: Regions of Ruin gets progressively the further along you go on the map. So much so that doing it on your own? Will become a very hard task. But don’t worry! Because the developers at Vox Games thought about just that! Enter, the companions. In my vision overpowered buggers that make this game so much more enjoyable! Though these won’t come from the start. You’ll have to expand your settlement to the point that you can buy your tavern. This will be used to attract contracts as well as brigands for you to hire. My first tryhard was a crossbow-wielding one. And damn did he make my life easy! I just had to attract them and put up my sword if they were overwhelming me. He finished them off with ease. Where in most games your companions are braindead and worthless? These are amazing… to some extent… More on this later!
- Map, continued: Whereas the map is really expansive? It also becomes one big cluttery mess after you’ve explored quite a bit already (see the map in the picture). And while these places each have their own designated name, they aren’t shown if you just hover over the icon. You’ll have to click on it for it to show the name. Though these aren’t dealbreakers. I still feel like this could’ve been done a little bit better. Maybe with some set filters?
- Climbing gear, PLEASE!: While your companions are formidable allies? They just absolutely lack the ability to CLIMB! My god how many times that I have to go without them because they climbed down a ladder and just got absolutely stuck there? Is unimaginable… Like, why is this game so immaculate? But when it comes down to climbing a friggin’ ladder? My dude just becomes completely inept to do anything but jump and hope he sticks. These guys aren’t geckos. They don’t stick. They climb! The enemies can do it, so why can’t they? Damnit!
- Bothersome Menu: For some reason, I can’t shake the feeling that this being a PC port? That the menu system in itself was fully thought through. It just feels so tedious and cumbersome. The buttons aren’t really highlighted all too well, making it troublesome to just navigate each different submenu. Thank god there are just 5 categories, a 6th if you take on a contract.
What we disliked
- Actually nothing: The game does what it promises it will do. Being a 2D, open-world RPG. It has a slow but steady difficulty rating, its straight forward, has a decent soundtrack and visual appeal. Just a few hitches but nothing that breaks the game. Really, Vox Games? Kudos!
Vox Games, you truly did Regions of Ruin justice! Not only is this a wonderful experience with some great pixel art graphics. It also shows us that fun things come in small packages! Anyone that likes an open-world RPG with consistent evolution? Be sure to give this one a try! I truly recommend it!