Rogue Grinders for Android
Kurakurture’s Rogue Grinder, or as it appears on the Google Play Store, Rogue Grinders – Roguelike, offers up a somewhat compelling retro-styled dungeon crawler. First and foremost, I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that this game was created entirely by one person. That man is Dmitry Ulitin.
So will you be expected to replay the same levels over and over? Of course you will. But, is the gameplay worth the grind? Let’s find out.
Not For the Timid
Rogue Grinders – Roguelike’s Google Play page promises retro-styled art and gameplay and it delivers. The pixel art is beautiful, ridiculous, and best of all, retro. Now, if you played games from the 80’s and 90’s on early consoles, you might remember turning a game on and just diving in with no instructions. No idea how to attack, what to expect, or even what the objective is. Cluelessness like this could be considered retro, and if you fall into the group that considers cluelessness retro, then welcome to Rogue Grinders.
Now in Rogue Grinders – Roguelike, you play as Pierrot the Parrot. You don’t know this until after the tutorial where you play as a rat. I never unlocked a single other character. There are a few other characters to unlock, but in order to do so, you have to collect a certain amount of random items, such as cucumbers, honeycombs, or gems. And in order to collect all those things, you must grind and grind and grind. Again, the game gives fair warning that this is what to expect. At some point, however, it starts to feel like a chore.
Rogue Grinders – Roguelike claims to feature turn-based combat, which is technically accurate. You move, the enemy moves, and so forth. However, if you’ve ever played Dark Souls, you can count on the kind of unforgiving treatment experienced in that remorseless series. The combat in Rogue Grinders is a strange mix of turn-based and puzzle solving. Red X’s appear to warn you of the enemy’s next move, but you’ll often find yourself in the enemy’s inescapable path. Then death greets you and you must start over. Even when you have the advantage, the enemy can still harm you during your attack, which results in your death. I was not a fan of those situations.
Pierrot the parrot does come with some unique perks as the player character. I assume the other playable characters do, too, but the grind was too tedious and long even for me, and I played the game for two weeks. Pierrot’s perks include a greater chance to find coins. Exchange coins for weapons and health at level-exclusive shops. You will never have enough coins to buy anything. Let me repeat that. You will never have enough coins to buy anything. You lose everything upon death.
Pierrot’s other perks are that he sometimes lays eggs, because that’s what male parrots that look like roosters do. Right? The last perk is that he has a decreased chance of finding gems. Somehow, a decreased chance of finding the most vital resource in the game is a perk. Not to worry, though. When you die, or if you miraculously beat a level, you’ll be rewarded with gems! Like, two gems. The pixel art is fantastic, though.
Rogue Grinders – Roguelike for Android is exactly what’s advertised. A dungeon crawler with an extreme emphasis on grinding. If you have a lot of time to kill and just want to collect items and suffer merciless death repeatedly, this is the go-to game on Google’s Play Store. While I have played more creative and well-balanced games in the same niche, for being the lovechild of a one-man band named Dmitry Ulitin, this is a solid piece of work. No seams are showing and you can tell Rogue Grinders is genuine labor of love.
Is it Hardcore?
Alluring pixel art and a friendly user interface isn’t enough for a game in today’s fast-paced gaming culture. It’s not that the grind itself isn’t fun. It’s just that there is too little reward for the effort you put in. With little hope to make progress, you’re likely to move on before the game gets good.