A new game has come to steam! Rogue summoner is a game that puts you in the shoes of a summoner that will need to prove his worth by completing trials. This game features turn-based tactical combat that needs a lot of strategies to overcome the challenges this game gives you. You will be able to summon minions to fight for you and they will all have different stats. This game reminded me a lot of Dungeons and Dragons except for heroes fighting monsters there are monsters fighting other monsters. You can not summon monsters infinitely, you will need mana to summon them and when your mana runs empty and your monsters are defeated you will need to restart the dungeon. A dungeon can be short like 5 floors or maybe even 21 floors, you would hate it if you run out of mana on floor 20! This would mean you have to start on floor one again. You can’t just pick any enemy that you would love to summon and fight for you, you will need to collect their essence first by defeating them. This means you will need to defeat stronger enemies with weaker enemies and the only way you can win is by outsmarting the opponent. You can also level up to gain an edge in defeating your opponents but we will explain that more in the gameplay section.
There is not really a story in this game except for the fact that you will need to complete the trials to become a summoner but you can collect lore in the game for more background information.
What did I think about Rogue Summoner before playing?
I love Dungeons and Dragons so when I came across a game that reminded me of Dungeons and Dragons I immediately jumped in to request a key.
I did not even check what the game was about or the graphics exactly, I wanted to be surprised by this game. I went in completely blind with no clue what to do.
I installed the game and booted it up and got greeted by a well crafted starting menu, I saw a bestiary which I always find a great addition in games.
I choose the first dungeon and it was not long until I got hooked and it was even more amazing when I realized that every dungeon has its own theme and different monsters!
The game is really hard but you will begin with a nice tutorial that explains the basics of Rogue Summoner.
The most important of this game is the gameplay, this game has been crafted very well and I did not even encounter a single bug! You are going to encounter many different enemies and they all have different powers and stats.
In the dungeon you have many floors to explore and, in each room, you have an encounter with monsters that lurk in the dungeon. Your goal is to find the elevator that goes down, are you a rusher or an explorer? The dungeons are randomly generated so there is no memorizing the floors and enemies.
Each enemy can also be summoned even the bosses and mini-bosses that you will encounter. You have multiple elemental and physical damaging attacks and also enemies that are immune to certain attacks. You also have runes that can help you in your battle but these don’t cost mana points, instead, they cost soul points. Runes can make a difference between winning and losing, we are going to talk more about runes and soul points later on in the review.
You will need to learn all of the enemies to create the best strategy. Here is a list of all physical and elemental attributes that enemies are going to use, you can also use these and you are going to need to counter the monsters that you are fighting.
That is a lot to take in, right? As you might have suggested there are also a lot of enemies that are immune to these attributes. To best explain this, I am going to use an example: There is an enemy that is called a Drakkon hatchling and it uses a fire elemental attack. If you are fighting a Fiery Core that is immune to fire damage using the Drakkon will result in certain death but if you were to use the Frostbitten Stones it would kill the Fiery Core very quickly. The Fiery Core is weak to ice damage. There are many enemies and you are going to need to learn all their patterns and attributes. You can always look it up in the bestiary while you are playing but you will need to defeat an enemy ten times before it is added to the bestiary. It is awesome when you can predict how the enemy is going to attack and then manage to defeat them. This brings us to our next important thing in becoming a summoner. You will need to keep close track of your mana because running out means your defeat. The stronger the creature is that you are going to summon the more mana it is going to cost. Summoning a spider might only cost four mana but summoning a Fiery Core will cost you 15 mana. You start with only one monster to summon and barely any mana but the developers have created a perfect system to get upgrades in the dungeons.
You can only summon a maximum of three monsters! That is until you level up, yes you will gain levels but if you start a new dungeon you will start at level 1. There are six different stats that you can upgrade. The first one is your rush bonus but what is a rush? If you are certain of your summoned monster’s set up and you know 100% sure you are going to win you can rush your tuns. Rushing will mean you cannot take any actions anymore, the battle will play out until one team is left standing. If your monsters are left standing in the end you will gain a rush bonus and gain back more mana from the battle. Increasing your rush bonus will increase the mana that you gain from rushing but what would happen if the opposing monsters are left standing? You will await certain death and need to restart the whole dungeon even when you have mana left or soul points. This means rush can help you get your mana back but it can also mean your defeat. Using the rush option is tricky but it can help you with the battles later in the dungeon. Use the rush option with caution. The second upgrade option is simple, you will gain more mana to summon more monsters, this works very well with the rush bonus.
The third upgrade is a new potion slot, you start with one potion slot and the maximum is three potions. These potions can be granted to your creatures to turn the tide of the battle. You have different potions, for example, a simple mana potion is for regaining some mana. You can also find a potion that creates a magical shield that protects your monster from one hit no matter how strong the opponent is. Potions can be found in chests inside the dungeons. The fourth upgrade is soul points. You will need these as soul points are very important when you gain your first rune. Runes can be found as special loot in the dungeons if you explore a lot. If you rush dungeons you might miss one that results with you losing a boss fight. There are many different runes and they can also inhabit different attributes so the same goes as my earlier example. Using an ice rune on a Frostbitten Stones will have no effect and will just be a waste. Runes are usually guarded by bosses or many enemies at once. Runes can have a large or small radius when they explode. If you would have over 100 soul points and you have some strong runes you could defeat a few rooms without even summoning a monster, thus saving your mana for a boss fight, or is it better to save your soul points? The fifth upgrade is a ring of life, this one is fairly simple, when you die with a ring of life in your inventory you gain another chance instead of permadeath.
The sixth and final upgrade is your monster loadout. You can upgrade this to a maximum of nine slots. This means the maximum number of monsters that you can carry is nine but you would need a really high level before you can achieve this. The best thing to do is to balance your upgrades instead of investing in just one. There are other ways to gain rare rings for more experience points or even status upgrades like more mana or rush bonus. These come in a battle in the form of two crystals. A blue crystal means you will need to protect it from incoming attacks, when it survives the battle you will gain the bonus that is notified when hovering over the crystal with your mouse. When you encounter a red crystal, you must destroy it before the battle is over to gain the bonus. There are other rocks that will either help you or try to stop you from winning. These can range from rocks that reduce summoning costs or rocks that will make sure that the enemy you defeat won’t give you any mana. When you defeat a boss, you have the chance to gain a key that you can use on magic doors. These magic keys can do many things like open the way to the floor exit in a quick flash. When you think you have mastered being a summoner you can try the really hard endless dungeons with limited summons and mutated super enemies. I have made a video of an endless dungeon.
Sound and graphics
The music and sound effects are good and fit the game but to be honest I barely heard them.
I was thinking a lot about the battles and how I could win with rushing or with barely any mana left and the music just faded away while my brain was working.
The graphics are really good and I have found zero bugs in this game, the crawling through dark and moldy dungeons look very realistic.
The floors where runes are living usually have a different aesthetic so you can recognize the floor but this is no foolproof system if you are a rusher.
What did I think of Rogue Summoner after playing
The game reminded me of Dungeons and Dragons and chess combined but also of Doctor Who. There are many different creatures to summon but I loved the gargoyle the most and not just because is the most efficient in the game.
Every time I placed a gargoyle it was still a statue and the enemies would need to look at it. If they were to blink the gargoyle will of course come alive! While they are trying not to blink another creature is attacking them.
You will feel the permadeath in the game a lot while you are learning how to play the game. The most difficult level is the underground party where you only start with a creature called the volatile death. It just explodes and that’s about it.
It is going to be hard to learn the game but once you get the basics and later the advanced mechanics you will enjoy this game a lot. I went in blind and I have absolutely no regret and I have completed all the normal dungeons and tried an endless dungeon! I cannot wait for more dungeons and enemies to be created in the future, maybe even a larger dungeon!
My personal rating is a 9.1
This game took me by surprise with how fun the gameplay is and how good it works. I would recommend this to everyone who loves strategic games that are hard and feature a roguelike element. There is room for more dungeons and maybe some small improvements here and there but I think this is a great game.
Leave your own thoughts in the comments or leave your own rating.
You can buy the game here it launches today! (September 3rd, 2020)
I hope you liked reading this review, I hope to see you in the next review.