Arboria - Soulslike Roguelite with a "Weird 90s" Aesthetic

Just out of early access. I don’t have a lot of time in it yet, but I’m enjoying it and wanted to get it a thread while it was new and hip. It’s been mentioned once or twice in those catch all threads Tom hates so much (I think maybe @krayzkrok is the only other person actually playing it), but lord knows no one will find out about it from those, and I think it deserves some visibility.

Aesthetically the game reminds me very much of the late 90s: Oddworld, Sacrifice (yes, I know, 2000, whatever) and to a lesser extent Vangers all come to mind. I really dig it.

Gameplay wise it really is pretty Soulslike (same control setup, similarly deliberate pace) but not as punishing. Heals are scattered regularly throughout the levels, which are randomly generated.

Oh yeah, it’s a roguelite! Not only your levels are randomly generated, but also the loot, Diablo-style. I’m not exactly sure how the loot system works yet, but you don’t keep anything on death, although sometimes you might find a stash left behind by a previous dead character.

That’s right, your character is also randomly generated! Every time you die, your performance influences the traits of the “next generation,” spat out by the world tree to plumb the depths of Durnar (a kind of lostech biopunk world) and heal the diseased roots of Father Tree. It’s a weird little game and I’m quite taken with it, despite suffering very badly from TMGS (Too Many Games Syndrome).

I played the demo when it was available and enjoyed it. Your character’s details are much deeper than I thought before trying the demo. I’ll likely snag it before its 15% launch discount expires on the 16th. Oh, and I love the game’s sense of humor!

Thanks for creating a thread for this! I was hoping one of you folks who have played it would! I’m very tempted. Quite fancy an action roguelite at the moment and even just dabbled again with Noita, which soundly killed me 4 times in the space of 30 minutes (curse, fire, angry god, explosion). Still feel like there’s more life in Atomicrops and Going Under for me yet but… new and shiny. Arboria’s aesthetic interests me a lot and I can definitely see the weird Sacrifice likeness now you’ve mentioned it.

God, Noita. I love and hate that game, but love much more than hate. Atomicrops just annoyed me away but I can see revisiting it, but I play at least one round of Noita a day (and more than one if my first one ends prematurely and stupidly). So good.

Ahhhh shit, you brought up Vangers, now I HAVE to get this.

Mostly because it was part of that whole 90s mutant thing. Really I think the best description of this game is, “what if Diablo rifts but looking like Oddworld and controlling like Dark Souls, also metaprogression”.

I am interested in this! Might actually make a Steam purchase for a change with this and Deathloop.

I got to the point where you smoke a bong to heal up and I was worried the whole thing was going to be a bunch of stoner humor. I love weird, but I haven’t found stoner humor funny since about 1982.

Is that a fair ding against Arboria, or was I reading too much into a one-off joke?


These are my thoughts as I read this…

OH wow yay I gotta try…

…well I am never gonna play that…

It’s the art style that gets me. Warped out trolls on acid? You have my attention.

@BrianRubin and I have the exact same thought process! Doppleganger brain high five!


Your losses. Arboria is excellent. It’s not really “souls like combat” so much as “Death’s Door” combat. In other words, you can’t just mow things down, you need to dodge, roll, apply a tiny bit of tactics, but it’s not punishingly difficult. It adds some interesting layers as you use weapons with different elemental damage, and enemies with different elemental resistances, etc.

The most interesting part of Arboria is the Hades-like metastructure. Basically, you advance by dying. The super weird aesthetic is the icing.

Sold! I want more Death’s Door! (Even though I’m still in the middle of it).

I won’t buy it now though. Not until my 12 months of Humble Choice runs out. Moritoriam on buying any more indie games until then.

How heavily does the elemental thing factor? The reason I ask is I’ve generally always hated that kind of mechanic. I want to choose weapons/spells/etc based on what I like or suits my gameplay, rather than be forced to switch them up just to deal with arbitrary defense stats. Always seems like an unnecessary layer of annoyance to me.

I’m at least half sold on the game already so this will be the deciding factor probably.

I don’t know if there are resistances or whatever but the elements add damage on top of your normal damage and each has a kind of effect that can stack up on enemies if they love long enough, e.g. shock will reduce their stability (although I don’t know what that does) and add a damage over time. You can change them up on the fly when you find new elemental deposits, which seem plentiful.

@tomchick I haven’t seen any more stoner humor yet, but it’s early days! It really is only souls inspired; it’s not that hard (which is fine).

Ah, OK. I watched a short review on Youtube which said you had to swap out the elements as a necessity. Thanks!

That could be true at higher levels, I don’t know, but so far I haven’t had to worry about it.

I gave it about 15 minutes and it bounced off me hard. I thought the art style was visually distracting, the combat felt laggy, and boy, the voice acting was terrible. There’s gotta be better voice actors than that on Fiverr.

Maybe it gets better the more you invest, but I just knew I’d rather play something else.

The voice is acting is also quite late 90s, it’s true.

Wow yeah, that Vangers comparison is no joke, from the wacky writing to the look of the thing, it has late 90s Russia written all over it. Hopefully there are more than just melee weapons, but it’s fun for now.