Updated: Dec 5, 2020
You know what fantasy race I love? Dwarves. I generally will not play them in say an MMO, but I will surround myself with people that do. Something about their rough exterior, ability to hold their liquor, and blunt attitude that just make me feel at home with a rowdy bunch of them. So, I was excited to play Regions of Ruin when it came up on my latest, close my eyes and point, game to play next as part of my Just Play 3 Hours series.
Region of Ruin is a 2D pixel side-scrolling RPG with some town-building elements. You start out as this lonely dwarf that finds another in a world that wasn't how it was remembered. Together you start a small settlement and explore the world around you to find more to join your settlement. Quests become clear as you meet more people in the world, or they just show up in your budding little town. I will say there is one thing I wish I could do; I wish I could control the upgrading of my buildings in my settlement and even the placing of new buildings in one interface. As I am stacking up my materials, it would be nice to be able to plan what I am going to work on next without having to run all over the place. I get that it is a lazy way of doing it, but something I would have liked to have seen.
There are some unique elements of the gameplay I really enjoy; you must explore the world before you can adventure within it. You remove the fog to view an open a spot, and if there is a playable area, you can enter that area and adventure within. You can simply go right or left, but the game almost always leads you to the right. I find that I always go left. The screen will start to darken when you hit the end of the zone. The darkening of the screen will quickly happen if there is nothing there, but sometimes there is something there, like a treasure. What dwarf or just plan adventurer doesn’t like wealth? After you go left, go right, and clear the zone. Oh and don't forget up and down! Sometimes you have to climb or jump to some goodies.
Once the zone is clear, there is the next neat feature of the game that I liked. As you grow your settlement, you get workers out of the people you rescue. You can send these workers off to cleared zones to gather materials that you need to build your settlement up. Get new buildings and upgrade existing buildings. My favorite building is the tavern. You can hire people, play a mining game, but most importantly, it makes your town money. Money is good. Money helps you heal, repair your gear, and buy more equipment when you are not lucky enough to find some good stuff.
Gear advances from leather through the metals. Your character levels where you can increase stats and abilities. Pretty standard RPG stuff. Each zone is random in what loot drops. I found this out the hard way. I found an orange piece of gear, and in my excitement, I closed the game down with my mouse in the top right. I was playing windowed mode. No worries, auto-save to the rescue, right? Wrong. I played that zone over a half dozen times, each time the outcome and loot were different. Thus, while depressing, that was the only real issue I experienced in gameplay, and it was entirely user error.
I do recommend this game. It is a lot of fun to explore around and upgrade your town. And I almost forgot the best part. SMASHABLES! I get some acute enjoyment out of smashing everything in sight and getting gear and materials. I think anyone that likes RPGs could get into this game at least for a few hours, and if you grab it up on sale, it will be an excellent investment in your time.
Game: Regions of Ruin
Developer: Vox Games
Publisher Poysky Productions
Initial Release Date: February 5, 2018