Apologies for the loaded the title, but I wanted to cram in as much info as possible.
I’ve been playing Legend of Grimrock lately and while I found it enjoyable (level 6 right now) I have to confess that the ratio of exploration/combat vs puzzles isn’t quite what I was hoping for, and yesterday after playing for a few hours I realized I was starting to see hidden buttons on the walls where there weren’t any.
Anyway, the game did get me to start thinking about relatively unknown RPGs that I might have missed, so I started googling on my own, and it seems that these two genres are absolutely saturated by games that either have a heavy focus on puzzles or the core gameplay loop is of a roguelike nature. So I’m curious if I might have overlooked something.
I’d love to play something like MMX: Legacy, which I found to be a relatively standard RPG using a grid based model, or Salt and Sanctuary which was a pretty cool 2D souls like (not a requirement, but I guess what I’m looking for would skew towards metroidvanias a bit). I’ve also played Unepic and I remember enjoying it quite a bit at the time.
So far I’ve come across several promising candidates:
- Blasphemous (tried briefly, if I wanted to express how much I hate pixelated graphics - especially to this degree - they’d have to update the Oxford dictionary)
- Bard’s Tale IV (probably the most appealing of the bunch)
- Operencia (heard it has some class/balance issues)
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (seems a bit more action focused?)
- Death’s Gambit and other 2d souls-likes in the same tier - seems a bit underwhelming based on reviews
- Star Crawlers - tried briefly, did not like the game’s structure
- Vaporum - looks interesting, but there seems to be a lot of focus on puzzles, same as Grimrock
- Legend of Grimrock (currently playing, will probably finish)
- Legend of Grimrock 2 (apparently they went all in with puzzles, will likely skip).
- The Quest - played on mobile, was quite ok
- Fall of the Dungeon Guardians
- 7 mages (briefly tried on mobile)
And…that’s about it. I realized I specified two genres but if you happen to think of any other rpgs that don’t strictly fit the bill, maybe top-down 2d RPG in vein of ToME, or an RPG with overworld view and blobber-like combat such as Lords of Xulima, or a grid based RPG with only one character - by all means, put your suggestions forward. I’m mostly interested in the mechanics and essence that those two genres generally nail, which are satisfying exploration and progression (either character or world)
All I ask is that no one puts Dead Cells as suggestion forward :).