Roguelike RPG That Shows Potential but Falls Flat
First, let’s get this out of the way. Based on appearances, Endless Quest RPG looks like it was made in a community college 2D Gaming Club. I couldn’t sell you this game based on looks alone. But, if you’ll bear with me as we jump down this rabbit hole of stretched JPEGs and featureless overworlds, you’ll find that… yeah this game isn’t that great actually. Let’s break it down anyways to see where it shines and where it doesn’t.
As a Roguelike, maps are randomized, and there’s the usual penalty for death. The game encourages you to play through it multiple times and try to reach the end, which as of this review I still haven’t done, for various reasons (the least of which being a spider mage that summoned endless spiders that I failed to attack, constantly, but we’ll get into that later). Endless Quest RPG is a bit different from other Roguelikes, in that the story itself is randomized too, and supposedly there’s a different final boss every time. Also, when a character dies, they’re gone forever. If all of your characters die, tough luck. Off to “New Game” you go.
Surprisingly Robust Skill System That You’ll Never Get to Fully Use
When you start Endless Quest RPG, you’ll build a character, or up to 4 if you wish. You aren’t given much to identify your characters. They get a name, a gender, a generic profile picture, and a race from out of a roster of five (with three more unlocked through in-game currency). They don’t get a class, but they do start with one skill, then they’re kicked out into the real world.
I gave my first character Virtuoso, which basically just gave him the ability to sing. This unexpectedly unlocked a vast array of song-related skills, as well as reclassifying him as a bard. As it turns out, your class is determined not at the start, but you fluidly fall into one of many classes with the skills that you choose. The game’s fluid and detailed skill system pretty much ensures that no one character will turn out the same through your playthroughs.
The diverse nature of the skills also surprised me every time. For example, if you start off learning magic, you can also take Devoted, which turns you into a Cleric of sorts, but from there, as you level up, you can learn Holy or Unholy magic and become their respective priests, or even revert to learning basic Elemental skills, which somehow turns you into a Nature Priest. Exploring all the skills and classes is easily the best part of the game.
Miss, Miss, Miss
The combat system, on the other hand, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s reminiscent of D&D, with all the die rolls and stats involved. But, here’s how combat plays out. You roll a D20, and the enemy AI rolls another D20. If you roll higher than your opponent, you attack, and if you don’t, you miss. Repeat the same for the enemy’s turn. If you’ve ever paid attention in math class, you know this leaves you with only a 50% chance to hit. This unfortunately applies to any and all of your skills.
So, what does this mean? For example, you have a powerful attack that takes ten turns to charge up. When you select it, you’ll have to flip a coin. If you miss, you need to take another ten turns just to have another chance. Good luck. My poor bard, who had a specialized skillset based on stringing songs together to create a harmony, could only create a flat tone, as the songs he was supposed to sing ended up missing, again and again.
A Waste of Potential
Don’t get me wrong. Endless Quest RPG could have been a great game, and maybe it still kind of is if you squint really hard. The fact that the bad die roll system ruins the ingenuous skill tree is quite disappointing, but the low-effort art style and the sluggish pace at which your party meanders through repetitive dungeons leads me to believe that this was the inevitable outcome.
I’d recommend this game only if you’re the kind of person who can keep your cool through constant misses and mind-numbing exploration in order to fully explore the potential that this game has. Otherwise, let me save you some time by saying it isn’t worth it.
Is it Hardcore?
Only if you are a masochist.
Endless Quest RPG features an ingenuous skill tree that explores a ton of potential strategies. However, the combat system forces you to miss frequently, and the mediocre art style and featureless maps only serve to drag it down further.