ReviewsReview: Rogue Explorer

Review: Rogue Explorer

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The draw of searching dank dungeons never gets old! No matter the genre, it’s always enthralling to discover the mysteries while uncovering the secrets. Rogue Explorer lets you explore many locations while battling monsters and collecting treasure.

Developed by ZOO Corporation and Eastasiasoft Limited and published by the latter, this is a rogue-lite dungeon crawler. Presented using a retro side-scrolling style, you’ll experience old-school vibes while destroying an array of monsters.

Rogue Explorer captures the best elements from the genre.

Rogue-lite games are brutal and unfair! But fans of the genre love the difficulty curve and harsh nature of the gameplay. Rogue Explorer offers the tough elements while allowing new players a fair chance. Death brings about the loss of many things, but it doesn’t wipe all your progress. This small mercy makes the action much more accessible and enjoyable.

With no story to follow and an episodic approach for each stage, you are kept focussed by the evolving mechanics. With new equipment to find and craft, and tougher monsters to overcome, you’ll want to keep playing to see how it progresses. You’ll first be asked to explore ten different dungeon types, each with unique monsters and an enormous boss to defeat. As you explore, you’ll discover new weapons, gold, and health vials that aid you on your journey. Killing monsters awards you with XP, which levels your character up with unique skills.

Faster movement or attack skills, increased XP, powerful attacks, higher health, and so forth. Your warrior becomes exponentially more powerful and this evens out the difficulty curve. However, word of warning don’t get used to these skills if death is on the cards. The moment you die, your abilities are wiped and your character is reset.

The bosses are enormous and angry.

Evolving dungeons offer a fresh challenge.

As you delve further into the adventure, you’ll note that the levels become increasingly more challenging. During the early stages, the labyrinthine dungeons change design only after the day/night cycle has been completed. Yet, the more complex levels are unpredictable and every time you enter them, their layout alters. This was fantastic, as you never knew what dangers lay ahead, or what treasures were waiting for you. This was a brilliant move from the developers, as the action never became stale and I was happy to repeat each world, knowing a new journey was guaranteed.

The level design was fantastic, but I appreciated the character details more. With an array of skills on offer, and permanent upgrades available for purchase, I could customise the warrior for my game style. With so many variables on offer, the combinations and approaches were endless. This was a clever twist on a much-loved genre, and I admired the attention to detail.

Choose from an array of equipment.

Rogue Explorer fills you with nostalgia. 

The rough pixelated imagery reminded me of early Mega Drive titles. I adored the presentation and smiled as it tweaked at my heartstrings. The grim colour palette and duller shades emphasise the dungeon atmosphere and give the game ominous overtones. The variety of enemies you encounter were fantastic, and the bosses were an awe-inspiring sight. The backdrops each had an interesting look, and I enjoyed exploring each dungeon.

The audio was strangely at odds with the overall feel of the game. With everything out to get you, I expected a heavy and sombre soundtrack. Instead, the upbeat music fills you with hope and you are inspired to keep going. You’ll love the sound effects as you slice the air with your sword or pierce monsters with a spear. It has a brilliant arcade edge that matches the high tempo music.

Throw everything you have at them.

Simple controls but fiddly to master.

The premise makes the approach straightforward. Your character must hack and slash their way through each dungeon while leaping from walls. In theory, this should be easy, but in reality, it’s fiddly to master. If you fail to time your jump correctly, you’ll fall off the wall and have to start again. With some practice, you’ll be leaping around with ease while collecting the treasure on offer. 

The constantly altering levels make the action moreish. With secret levels to discover and oodles of treasure to collect, you’ll adore the replay value. Customise your warrior as you see fit and equip them with an array of weapons and armour. Rogue Explorer offers many approaches to completing the action, so experiment and find the right one for you. 

Rogue Explorer is a fun and accessible rogue-lite title. 

My love-hate relationship for rogue-lite titles will never dissipate, yet I enjoyed Rogue Explorer! Its fun, challenging, but accessible gameplay is a refreshing change for the genre. The different dungeon layouts, the array of monsters, and the selection of equipment keeps the gameplay fresh and held my attention throughout. It’s addictive and I recommend you to buy it here! Select your character, upgrade your equipment, and stay alive! The Tower hides many mysteries and treasures, and you must discover them all. 

SUMMARY

Rogue Explorer will test your patience and resolve as you delve into an array of dungeons. Select your warrior, upgrade your skills, and pick your equipment. Enter each dungeon, collect the treasure, and annihilate every enemy.

+ Excellent retro graphics.
+ Surprising upbeat audio.
+ Lots of content.
+ Fun and challenging gameplay.
+ Lots of replay value.
- The controls can be fiddly to master.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com
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Review: Rogue ExplorerRogue Explorer will test your patience and resolve as you delve into an array of dungeons. Select your warrior, upgrade your skills, and pick your equipment. Enter each dungeon, collect the treasure, and annihilate every enemy.<br/> <br/> + Excellent retro graphics.<br/> + Surprising upbeat audio.<br/> + Lots of content.<br/> + Fun and challenging gameplay.<br/> + Lots of replay value.<br/> - The controls can be fiddly to master.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>