Genre: Roguelike deck-builder
Developer: Abrakam Entertainment SA
Release Date: June 17th, 2021
Edited by AlexKnight2005
It’s no secret that I’m hopelessly addicted to roguelike deck-building games. When I first saw Rogue’s book, I was intrigued. The stylized art hooked me, but I was unsure if the mechanics would hold up. I’ve recently put in a lot of time with the game and can now guarantee you the game is well worth checking out. Let’s dive in and find out where this book leads us.
Roguebook doesn’t stray far from the other deck-builders in terms of mechanics overall, but it does have its unique twists to spice up the formula. The first and most noticeable one is how you construct your deck. At the start of each run, you pick two of four possible characters to adventure with. Each character has a pool of cards to pick from and unique starting decks. These card pools and decks are then combined for your run based on the two characters you chose. On top of this, you do not get free cards at the end of every fight; instead, you must uncover vaults of wisdom on the map and pay a small fee to draft your chosen card. Outside of the way you obtain your drafts, they work the same as most similar titles. There is not a lot of card removal here; instead, you’re rewarded with powerful perks for having a large deck size. These perks can be game-changing and even deck-defining.
Mentioning the draft above brings us to our next major difference. Instead of having a preset path of choices to be made, you are presented with a foggy map with only a single path to the boss clear. This boss path contains an elite, a normal fight, and a few other bonuses. To find more cards, relics, and other things you’ll need to succeed in your journey, you must use different inks and brushes to paint the path to your goals. Normal fights reward you with either inks or unique pigments that modify your brush’s work, while elite encounters provide more brushes. Either way, you have limited options for uncovering your surroundings. You’ll need to plan your path carefully to make sure you get the most out of each map before the boss. Every choice matters, and making the wrong one could lead to you missing out on a good treasure that might be the thing that kicks your deck into overdrive.
There are three characters to choose from at the start, with the fourth being hidden behind an event in the third act. I won’t reveal much about the fourth character here to preserve a bit of mystery here. Shara is the aggressive type, her cards are often low cost, and she has access to bleed and courage as her unique mechanics. Sorocco is the tank. High-cost cards are his specialty, but they both hit hard and create many blocks. Seifer is the risk versus reward character. His cards all have two forms to take advantage of his unique rage mechanic, which works through taking damage. He is also the character who has the easiest access to self-healing, but he cannot heal his partner.
Outside of the runs themselves, a progression system allows you to trade pages for permanent buffs to make future runs easier. These buffs do everything from revealing extra treasures on the map to giving your heroes extra starting HP. You’ll definitely be needing these upgrades after your first successful run when you start getting into the epilogue system. Epilogues are tiered challenge levels where you combine up to three modifiers to create a more difficult run. The modifiers can do everything from making elite fights mandatory to swapping how you earn inks and brushes.
The options are sparse but solid. There are fully rebindable keyboard shortcuts and the game recently added controller support, which can also be rebound. Audio is fully separated into many sliders for each audio element which is nice. The graphics are where the menu is light. It has everything you need, though, as this title can run on almost any modern pc. I did suffer from a few minor crashes, mostly when starting a new run and trying to click around on the map. Outside of these, there were no major issues. I’m pretty sure they’ll be patched out pretty quick, though.
This one’s a buy for any deck-building fans, though I don’t know how replayable it will be when you finish all the epilogue challenges. I kept having that one more game moment every time I sat down to attempt writing this, so the gameplay and strategies will make you want to try again with even more upgrades next time. As a sample of what you can achieve, in one run, I had Seifer and Sharra set up with a couple of allies that deal damage when the characters swap places, tons of dagger generation, and the easy ability to power up those allies for scaling damage. Another run was more heavily focused on generating and playing a ton of daggers at the right time to deal significant damage during the turn. Each character’s card pool blends wonderfully with the rest, leaving a definite need for more runs behind.
- Solid deck-building experience
- Unique mechanics that reward larger decks
- A unique two hero system of deck building
- Minor crashes are still present
GlitchedVision gives Roguebook a Drastik Measure of 8.0 out of 10.0 (80)
Grab this one if you are a fan of the genre, or you know what, get it. It’s a great introduction with many fun mechanics to mess with.