Roundguard
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

It would be easy to dismiss Roundguard as a Peggle clone, but this is far from the case. While it uses the same addictive formula as Popcap’s title, the developers have wrapped it up in a full-fledged dungeon crawler complete with health, enemies, bosses, and loot. Roundguard is also not a game that you’ll complete once and be done with as the roguelike elements, character classes, relics, and randomized elements boost its replay value. The game has a surprising amount of depth but is simple enough to understand that even casual players will have a blast.

Gameplay: Easy to pick up and play but addictive enough to keep you hooked.

Graphics: Charming character and enemy designs.

Sound: Catchy music and upbeat sound effects

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Roundguard

Developer: Wonderbelly Games | Publisher: Wonderbelly Games | Release Date: 2020 | Genre: Casual / RPG / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Castle Springbottom is under attack, and the king has been captured by the monsters that now lurk inside its treasure-laden rooms. Fortunately, four intrepid heroes have stepped up to save the king while also liberating all the gold they can along the way. Players can step into the shoes of either a warrior, rogue, wizard, or the recently added Druid and show those monsters a thing or two. Don’t get overconfident, though, as each character only has one life, and if they ever run out of health, it’s back to the start for another attempt. All of this should sound fairly familiar to fans of role-playing games in general and roguelike titles in particular, but Roundguard has an interesting twist. Instead of moving your character around like in a traditional dungeon crawler, the action is more akin to Peggle as you shoot your hero at enemies and let the pinball physics do the rest.

Everyone who has played Peggle will know how addictive the game is, and Roundguard expands on this winning formula in many ways. Standing between players and victory is three acts and 45 levels along with three big bosses. The castle is randomized with each run, so you never know what to expect, and there are also several sub-bosses to fight along the way. Since you only get one life and your character’s health carries over from one level to the next, the game requires a little more care and planning than just blindly launching at the nearest enemy.

Each level of Roundguard has pots filled with gold, health, and mana potions, as well as enemies. Your goal is to clear all the enemies while grabbing the other goodies. Unfortunately, enemies are not just going to let you harm them without retaliation, so you have to pay attention to their attack damage in addition to their health. Their attack damage is the amount of health you will lose if you hit them directly, and this can be fatal if you are not careful. The bottom of each level is also filled with hazards like spikes or water, so preferably you’ll want to land on the small cushioned platform that moves back and forth. This is easier said than done, though, as you don’t have that much control over your character after launching them. Once you clear a level, you are rewarded with a random upgrade to your character’s weapon, armor, or spells, and then it is on to the next level. Reaching the halfway point for each act presents you with an opportunity to spin the “wheel of wonder,” which rewards you with a trinket that can be useful moving forward. The prizes on offer are based on how much gold you have accumulated, so if you want the really good stuff, you’ll have to grab as much loot as possible along the way.

Roundguard is not just addictive, but each of the four characters is unique enough that you’ll want to clear the game with all of them. For example, the warrior is tough and can handle direct damage, so playing with him is like playing with a wrecking ball. On the other hand, the rogue is a lot more fragile but can use sneaky moves like shooting arrows at enemies or stealthing through them to do damage without getting hurt herself. The Druid is a new addition to the game, but her ability to make use of all kinds of nature spells makes her formidable in the right hands, and she quickly became one of our favorite characters. Characters can equip up to two attacks simultaneously and have enough different ones at their disposal that even replaying the game with the same character can be a very different experience. In addition, completing the game unlocks relics that players can equip for future runs to shake things up and make things a bit harder if that’s what you prefer. You also unlock a random trinket after each run that could help you get a little further next time if you didn’t quite make it.

Roundguard also features daily and weekly challenges to keep you coming back for more, along with the primary campaign mode. In addition, the game has leaderboards for things like the most gold collected, quickest completion time, and amount of moves used to complete the game. However, with over 200 items and trinkets, it will take repeated playthroughs to see everything the game has to offer. In fact, after close to ten hours playing the game and completing it with every character, there are still a few sub-bosses that we haven’t encountered yet and trinkets to unlock. Not bad, considering the reasonable asking price for the game.

Visually, Roundguard features a simple but charming style for the characters and enemies. Their spherical designs fit with the theme of the game but also make everything look extra cute. Players have to face off against everything from skeletons and rats to orcs and spiders, as well as a few unique bosses. The backgrounds for each level are relatively simple and consist mostly of brick walls and a few decorations, which helps to keep the focus on the foreground where the action takes place. Some of the spell effects are pretty neat, and we also loved how new weapons and armor can change the appearance of the characters. The game actually uses a square layout for the levels, but the space on the sides is dedicated to information about your character and enemies. Here you can see at a glance how much health or attack power your enemies have or keep an eye on your own stats. The audio in Roundguard is cheerful and catchy, but we must admit to missing the strains of “Ode to Joy” bursting out of our speakers when completing a level. Roundguard can be played with either a mouse or controller, and we had no issues using either.

Roundguard could simply have copied Peggle and still be a great game, but thankfully the developers have made plenty of improvements and additions of their own to make the game unique. It really does feel like a dungeon crawler as you earn experience points, level up, and discover new equipment as well as spells. Due to the nature of the game, there’s obviously some luck involved as well, but it never felt like the odds were unfairly stacked against us. After a few tries, we found it pretty easy to complete the game with each run, but the use of relics prevented it from feeling like a walk in the park. Roundguard is a no-brainer for anyone who enjoyed Peggle but would like to play something with a bit more depth and replay value. It is every bit as addictive as Popcap’s offering, but the addition of RPG elements shakes things up a bit.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: 1.85 GHz Dual Core
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000 or better
  • Storage: 300 MB available space

Related posts

West of Loathing

West of Loathing

West of Loathing is a single player role playing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which results in a wild quest through the west. The world in which the game is set might be made up out of stick figures, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t fleshed out. There are tons of locations to explore, plenty of puzzles to solve and hordes of enemies to defeat. Even better, it is the type of RPG where stats actually make a difference and your choices make a difference. Fans of the genre will love the amount of depth that the game has, but everyone else will appreciate the brilliant sense of humor. Gameplay: Packed with plenty to see and do, along with a healthy dose of humor. Graphics: The black and white stick figure style visuals might look simple at first, but definitely has a lot of charm Sound: Although the game doesn’t feature any voice acting, it has a great soundtrack and plenty of sound effects.

Mystik Belle

Mystik Belle

Mystik Belle features an addictive blend of classic platforming, Metroidvania inspired exploration and a healthy dose of point & click adventure style puzzles. The beautiful pixel art visuals are a definite plus and the charming characters as well as varied locations will keep you hooked. The puzzles and limited inventory might not appeal to players looking for a more traditional Metroidvania style platformer, but Mystik Belle is definitely worth checking out. Gameplay: Tons of areas to explore, lots of clever puzzles and some huge bosses to defeat. Graphics: Beautiful pixel art visuals with large, detailed sprites and memorable backgrounds. Sound: Features a catchy chiptune soundtrack.

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate started off quite interesting, and had me hooked with its unique story, but by the end I was literally on the edge of my seat. Although it is quite a long game, there is literally never a dull moment. The use of a mobile phone to make choices, and branch the story is a stroke of genius, and with six different endings there is a lot of replay value. If you want to experience a visual novel with plenty of action, drama, suspense and outstanding characters, then don't miss out on Steins;Gate. Gameplay: Not only is the story excellent, but there is actually a surprising amount of choices for a visual novel. Graphics: The artwork and character designs are beautiful. Sound: The original Japanese voice acting is very good, and the music is equally great.

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent

The Secret Order 2: Masked Intent is a hidden object game that doesn’t just confine itself to one theme, or even time period. Instead, you’ll be visiting a variety of locations, spread across the ages as you attempt to thwart a member of the secret order who has gone rogue. It is a good looking game, with plenty of detail and while there is nothing here we haven’t seen before in the genre, it still kept us engaged and entertained. Gameplay: Plenty of hidden object scenes as well as puzzles to solve. Graphics: The locations are nice and varied and the visuals are quite detailed. Sound: The soundtrack is quite moody and atmospheric.

Heart of the Woods

Heart of the Woods

An engaging storyline that reads like a modern day fairytale, beautiful artwork by Rosuuri, and a stellar soundtrack makes Heart of the Woods a must-have visual novel. As long as you are not scared away by yuri content, this visual novel has plenty to offer with great characters, sweet romances and a plot that isn't afraid to take a few dark twists. Overall, this is one of the best western visual novels on the market and one that will be hard to beat by the competition. Gameplay: Very few choices, but the gripping story makes up for this. Graphics: Stellar artwork by the very talented Rosuuri. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is great.

Thumper

Thumper

Thumper is a rhythm-action game unlike any other and will test players' reflexes to the maximum. It features a unique metallic-chrome style for the visuals, which even without the disturbing bosses, makes for a slightly unsettling playing experience. This is further amplified by the aggressive music and unforgiving speed of the game. There's no doubt that Thumper is a very challenging game, but it always draws you back in with the feeling that you can do slightly better with each try and finally conquer that one section that is preventing you from progressing. Gameplay: Starts out relatively simple, but the speed and challenge ramps up very quickly. Graphics: The surgically clean metallic look of the game is actually rather unsettling. Sound: Not exactly catchy, but the music and sound effects fit the game perfectly.

Leave a comment

9 + 2 =