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Lone Ruin Switch Review – Bringing the Magic Back

Lone Ruin Switch Review – Bringing the Magic Back

lone ruin switch review

Lone Ruin is the next title under the Super Rare Originals banner, and it is developed by Cuddle Monster Games. This roguelike twin-stick shooter is a little bit oldschool and a whole lot of intense fun.

So is Lone Ruin another smashing hit under the Super Rare Originals label? Or is the sophomore album a curse for the young indie game publishing company? Let’s find out!

lone ruin switch review

In Lone Ruin, you play as an explorer seeking a mysterious ancient power and venture into a ruined magical city, built atop a source of magic used by olden mages to power and transform themselves.

What once was a buzzy civilization with people living in harmony, and the magic surrounding them has long since been driven mad and twisted beyond recognition by the very magic that used to help sustain them. What could have corrupted this city? Having heard the legends, you, a gifted spellcasting explorer, arrive at these hostile ruins a millenia later with the goal of seeking this ancient power and finally cleansing the city of the corruption it was consumed by all those years ago.

Lone Ruin does do a simple job communicating its story in a way that gives context to what is happening. There is not a whole lot more than what I communicated, but this is typical for roguelikes. At the same time, though, titles like Hades and The Binding of Isaac tell grand stories while still providing intense and addictive gameplay, so in that, I do wish Lone Ruin invested a bit more in its storytelling and character development. Considering the price, though, this is not a major problem at all.

lone ruin switch review

As has been communicated already, Lone Ruin is a roguelike twin-stick shooter, and it provides some wild and intense action in its relatively tight quarters. You begin each round selecting a weapon of your choosing, and there are eight to choose from at the start. Each are unique and provide different gameplay to help mix things up if that is what you are hoping for. In my opinion, some weapons do feel stronger and easier to use than others, but that could also simply be my preference.

As you progress through rooms, waves of enemies will spawn until you have cleared them all. Once cleared, you will be rewarded an upgrade or money to help you down the line, and most of the time, you have the choice of what you will receive based on the door you enter from the previous room. Your chosen weapon can be upgraded, grenades can be upgraded, dash can be upgraded, and a special ability can be upgraded. The nice thing is that each upgrade gives you a couple different options to help further customize your runs and help to try new combinations to find what is truly best for you.

Combat is rather straight-forward, as you use the twin-stick controls to aim and shoot while using your dash to escape from tough situations. Enemy waves never feel unfair, which is a blessing in these types of games, but they can still overwhelm you in the right ways if you allow them. The balancing in regards to the combat is pretty stellar, and at no point in my many hours playing the game did I feel like my deaths were anything but my fault.

lone ruin switch review

As you make your descent, Lone Ruin introduces you to stronger enemies and ultimately to bosses. The boss fights are incredible, as they feel like a strong combination of twin-stick shooting and bullet-hell, and seeing the flair of enemy fire lighting up the screen is both intoxicating and terrifying. Each boss offers a different feel and challenge for you, and as you make your way down, the latter bosses will beat you up (In a good way, of course).

Lone Ruin is a gorgeous game, too. As said before, the enemy fire and how it lights the screen up with the bright neon colors is stunning. There are even some great particle effects, and although the character designs are mostly on the smaller side, making it a little hard to see, everything in the game is so wonderfully depicted that it all looks natural. The explorer’s different weapons all look fantastic when executed, and seeing the light around her as she fires away is something else.

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Now, I have to talk about the soundtrack, because Lone Ruin provides the beat throughout. The EDM soundtrack may seem like it does not quite fit the theme of the game, but for some reason it perfectly compliments the chaos happening in each area. It is especially satisfying when your attacks are in sync with the beat, and this makes the combat even more satisfying. The sound design across the entire game is top tier, but it is largely thanks to the incredible music.

lone ruin switch review

In addition to the natural gameplay, there is also Survival Mode, which pins you against a nonstop series of increasingly difficult enemies that will truly challenge the best out there. There are also leaderboards for all modes of play, and Lone Ruin even provides Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulty to make the experience more accessible.

As far as roguelike twin-stick shooters go, Lone Ruin scores a par for the course. I would have preferred a little more depth to the storytelling and maybe some fun Easter eggs during gameplay, but everything else is solid and comparable to other similar titles on the market.

For the price, Lone Ruin is a steal, and it will keep players busy for many, many hours. The artwork and soundtrack are icing on this lovely cake, and it looks like Super Rare Originals has done it again with another great game under their banner. If you are a fan of the genre and are looking for a real challenge, Lone Ruin is here to offer you a slew of weapons to initially build your confidence before beating it down as you face the threat ahead of you.

Lone Ruin Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: Super Rare Originals
Developer: Cuddle Monster Games
Release Date: January 12th, 2023
Price: $14.99£12.99€13,99
Game Size: 563 MB

lone ruin switch review

Excellent roguelike twin-stick action gameplay

Beautiful graphics and art style

Amazing soundtrack and sound design!

Fantastic boss fights


Story is a bit lacking, especially during gameplay

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