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Regions Of Ruin is a side-scrolling RPG indie with a lot of other elements to it. Some of which I think worked out great and others would be better if left out.
The games itself is very hack and slash gameplay. While you had a lot of zones many of them were also very short. Somewhere just for killing a boss in, others for platforms, I even found some with the sole purpose was to house a quest NPC. While it might feel like this game could take forever to get through many zones where just minutes if that to complete them. This is not a bad thing. I personally prefer being able to jump into a game do something quick and then take care of some stuff in real life before I find myself having another couple of minutes to spare.
There are quite a few different things to do in this game. Some examples are city building, bounty hunting, sieges, hiring companions to fight with you, lock combination puzzles, crafting, platformer and a bunch of other stuff. While most of them where never very deep systems you do get quite a lot of verity in Regions Of Ruin.
A big part of Regions Of Ruin is unlocking and upgrading new buildings. They give your ability to hire companions, craft, gain bonus and sell items. There were at least eleven buildings in total. They go about it in a rather cool way to gather the required resources you need for these buildings which I personally liked.
This to me felt like the games strong points. You had some say in where you wanted to place a building as long as it was next to something else and you still had space on that side. So if you put some thought into it you could have nice ease of use layout.
With how many building there is and its size that is something you want to think about. Otherwise, you could be going from one side of your town to the other for say disenchanting, dismantling, and smelting. Which with how fast-paced this game is you want it to be next to each other.
You also had a couple of different ways to go about acquiring the resources for construction. The biggest one being most of the zones out there once you have cleared them you can send labor out to farm X amount per minute till that zone resource is depleted. You could also get the resource by breaking open boxes or chests. Finally, dismantling gear and smelting ores.
One you learned where on the map the resources you needed where it was quite easy to build up your town is not a lot of time. You also had a lot of helpers you could recuse along the way so I never felt like I was just waiting around to collect. I would often time go clear another zone to keep up.
The map itself is quite massive. When you first start of the zones has some decent amount of time put into them. Later on, you run some of them just seem to be made to have another map to gather resource from. There might be a single pack of monsters. Maybe it was just for a quest NPC. Maybe there was a very short platform to jump around to get to a chest or a rune site for finding a combination. Either way, there are a lot of zones as indicated by each icon on the map above with lots of opportunities to get what you needed to expand your city.
It was also nice watching the town evolve over time as the building got taller and more defined. Each building also felt like it belonged but not always something I felt a need to use. There were a bunch of cool buildings which I’ll try and leave out a couple of them as to not spoil it all.
It’s a very quick and dirty bounty system in Regions Of Ruin. If you just want to make a bunch of quick gold this was the way to go. You can take three bounties at a time and they are all killed missions. You can go into 10 different zones before you fail so you have some time as well to complete them as well.
At first, when I looked into this system I thought “oh no” this game has a massive map with no search feature. This must be the catch since they were naming a zone you needed to go do to the target. I also failed to find or notice the skull icons on the map to indicate if you have a bounty in that area. It does not stand out flashing as quests do. Yep, I failed my first one!
One thing I always made sure was I had plenty of gold on the side for when a vendor had an item I wanted to buy right on the spot. Since vendors refresh every time you go back to your base you only have that one opportunity to buy that item right then and there.
The bounties themselves were very simple even when it was indicated to be a hard target to take down and I was nearing more end game. You zone in and a coupled steps in the game spawned a single group of monsters with a boss. I usually one shotted them and that was that.
As a player, I don’t mind a very quick way to grind out a resource I need. I did not mind it but I also would not have noticed if the game did without having this way to earn money. Most times I had more than enough and if not I would just need to refresh the vendors to unload higher end items I was looking towards the mid-game. Early on I never felt like I was strapped for money either. This could have been different if I was playing on a harder difficulty.
Why? It was a nice idea but it was implemented in such a bad way. I’m going go out on a limb here and say this developer strong suit is not AI and pathing. There was no depth to make it enjoyable and they always were getting stuck or bugged out. Not to mention until you max out the Training Grounds building for them they just die all the time.
You hire them out of the tavern for up to a couple of thousands of gold. You can have melee, magic, or ranged. They give you some kind of idea of health amount. Outside of that what you hire is what you get. There is no further upgrading, leveling, gearing or anything than that.
Some games out there when your companion doesn’t follow you into an area it was by game design. The developer wanted you to fight a boss or something alone. That is not the case for this game as they just get stuck or bugged out in some rather interesting ways.
What’s my one guy doing in the screenshot above? Well, he never missed leg day and has a vertical jump better than any human has ever had. He also sat there for the rest of my time during this siege just jumping up and down trying to reach outer space. At least he was having fun. Never skip leg day.
Here is another screenshot of a very common issue. They get stuck in places. This time they all were stuck in a tower. Any time you had to do some platforming or horizontal movement it was game over. They would sit there being stuck and worthless. This was most of the time once you got into higher level areas.
As far as controlling them you can either go in or give each one a different order from guard to being aggressive. You can also click in the window to give a group commends of say all follow or not. It’s clucky unless you want to issue all commends from the window. With having up to 10 it was not great.
I mostly went for melee as my mages kept getting killed. Having a single class for all your companions also made life easy since you could just issue an all command and not worry about range now trying to tank.
For the most part, I played about 90% of the game without a single companion. Maxing out the Training Grounds building was a must to have any chance for them to survive and not feel like you were just tossing money down the drain. Most of the time they just got stuck somewhere anyways and were worthless for the entire zone once that happened. Why they just don’t auto warp to you if they get out of range is beyond my understanding that would have at least fixed the very bad pathing they had.
Ruins And Combination Puzzles
I’m not a big puzzle guy and with that said as long as you were willing to take notes or organize screenshots, there was some fun to be had hunting around for the ruin symbol combinations to unlock the puzzles.
In the early game, a lot of the answers were already in the zone which gave me the feel to how they work. Sometimes you had to jump onto a platform at the end to test your combo and other times if it was wrong the game would just turn the glowing symbols off and you started over again.
What got things quite confusing is the solutions wherein other zones. Sometimes the game gave you a quest and even marked where to find the seven symbol combo to unlock something. Which was quite needed even more so when the solution required hunting for it in multiple zones.
Overall I solved quite a few of them. I also skipped a number of them as well. There were so many ones with ruins all over the place depicting different combos. It did get time-consuming sometimes having to scroll through my screenshots to see if I had possibly encountered the solution.
Often times if I only had maybe a 10-minute window to play this game I would start one of the many sieges that are around the map. Waves of enemies come at you and at the end you get showered in loot.
While you could place down some barriers before you started I often times did not. If I was playing a ranged class or had a lot of ranged companions this would be the place to use them and take advantage of this.
They all did start with some NPCs at your side to help you out. Depending on how things were going they were normally dead before the end of how many waves you ended up facing. As you were getting attacks per wave on both the left and right side. They would also come somewhat staggered in which I used to my advantage a number of times.
The early game these were quite hard to deal with. They also dropped some sweet loot and a ton of whatever resource that siege area is based around. So if you could get through it and brought some healing supplies it was often times quite worthwhile.
As someone who enjoys crafting in games, I shamefully build up a lot of the resource to do so and never went deep into it. There are two main steps in how you can build up an item as well whether it be armor or a weapon.
The first part was just having the base you wanted to work from. You could either craft it by playing a mini-game to try and increase the stats on that item and spending resources. Along with just finding or buying off a vendor the item that had some good base stats already. Which is what I did more times than not. If you went the first route you might even need to smelt ores to get the right bars.
After that, you take it over to the Ruin Forge which you had to unlock later on in the game. Once you had it you could imbue enchant an item you wanted with the stats to a certain degree. To be able to afford this you needed to disenchant other items which were the more costly part of the entire process. After that you use your imbues to add on main stats like strength or resistances or more damage.
This to me made it very easy to ensure you capped out resistance and you had the main stats you wanted on your items. This also made it so nice when you found that one amazing piece of gear but it was missing something you wanted. It’s nice to actually be able to do something about that than just say well it was 95% of the way there but not good enough like in other games.
As a gamer who hates platformers Regions Of Ruin only once angered me during one of the longer ones. For the most part, they are very basic lasting a screen or three worth of space. The jumps were not that hard to pull off. Sometimes the lower levels of things would catch you so it was not always a complete start over.
Some zones I would call platformer zones. Maybe you had to jump over something to get to the rest of the zone. Maybe you needed to kill some guy up on a tower. Sometimes there be a chest to loot for some extra loot and that was only part of that zone you needed to do and if you wanted.
They were quite basic if you are really into challenging platformers this is not the game for you per se. If however you are like me and are not a huge fan of them I would not be deterred from getting the game over this part. I might have even enjoyed them for how short they were.
In total, I got around 20 hours of enjoyment out of this game. I do think for how basic a lot of this game is the price point of $11.99 is a bit high. I would recommend it if you can get it at a decent discount or if you feel that the amount of game time is decent for the cost. It did go on sale for 90% off during Steam Summer Sale so it can go on deep discount. I myself had won a copy quite a few months back and never got around to it till now.
Outside of the companions and some other light bugs I was generally happy with this side-scrolling game called Regions Of Ruin. If you are looking for a very deep and complex system this is not going be for you. If you are however looking for some a little more basic to play over a weekend and got it at a discount it’s a great way to have fun.
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Disclosure: I received this product for free.