Might & Magic VI | Temple of Baa
Sometimes you are just in the mood to go achievement hunting in a game and Rogue’s Tale certainly scratches it with 482 of them for the base game. Rogue’s Tale is an RPG roguelike that can be quite a burial to get started in. After quite a few deaths and hopefully some luck you start unlocking starter items and other benefits to help each run be a little easier.
Rogue’s Tale is such a brutal game they have an easy mode that starts you off with better starting items and even some rule changes to make it possible to learn the game. While some things can be unlocked while playing on this easier mode the majority of them cannot be.
To say I died a few times is an understatement which is why they show your top 99 high score runs. For the majority of my attempts, I was playing a strength-focused build with a one-hander and shield. At least that was the goal there were many games where I did not make it past the first monster or even the first floor of the dungeon I was in. While many of these deaths were hilarious others were just downright infuriating.
This game requires you to have a decent understanding of the monsters and situations you are facing. Thankfully the game has quite an in-depth manual that I would highly recommend anyone playing go through. While many times, if you are a seasoned player, can guess the effect of a potion, what a scroll might do. Other times being wrong could result in a quick game over and off to make another run at it.
While quite a few of the achievements are simple to get and are more luck-based like looting a card. The really important ones are called heritages. These allow you to have better-starting items, allow you to craft better items, and even unlock different aspects of the game.
I had no idea for quite a few runs in Rogue’s Tale that there was even an in-game card game called Tragical Gathering. You had to unlock a Heritage for it to start appearing on every level in a dungeon. It became such a lucrative thing to do for the rest of my gameplay I always made sure to run them.
This is one of those games where you end up taking your time and trying to level slowly. Even avoiding an opportunity to gain experience if possible. The monsters level with you and there can be quite a few clutch items and things you want to do first on a run before getting too high of a level. Otherwise, you just end up getting pounded into the ground.
You can craft gear if you are not lucky enough to loot what you are looking for. You can also enchant as well. There is even a gold shop you can keep resetting the trying cycled through a bunch of items trying to find that clutch item needed to progress further.
The base game itself requires a fair amount of inventory management. You can only carry so much and unless you have a special item that allows you to teleport back to where you left off it can be quite a long run down half a dozen floors to pick up where you left off. You want enough potions, food, water, and other items to last long enough but not too much you can’t bring any loot back to sell.
Even when you feel like things are going great and you have many of the items you want all it takes is one monster or mistake and it's game over. Sometimes the smartest move was not running a floor and resetting the dungeon hoping the next one would be less risky.
In the end, this game has one of the most replayability I’ve had in playing a game in a long time. I can’t tell you how many hundreds if not more games I’ve started and how so many of them ended shortly afterward.
There were a lot of runs no matter what I did I just could not find some needed items. After a while, you just know you are marching to your death and you will be starting over with a fresh game shortly. Some of them I even ended early knowing I was falling so far behind I’d have a better chance just starting a new game.
I did manage to have one run where I reached level 20. Up until that point, I felt like I had quite a solid build going that I was going to be able to spend hours focusing on unlocking achievements and heritages. The game had other plans and humbled me yet again. Which result in one of my painful losses as I had so many good items, more gold than I knew what to do with, and an inventory full of potions and other stuff to use.