|DEVELOPER||PUBLISHER||RELEASE DATE||GENRE||PLATFORM TESTED|
|Sept/2018||Dungeon Crawler, RPG||Nintendo Switch|
A challenging action RPG with deep souls-like combat and rogue-like elements. Explore a dreadful dungeon and fight smart enemies that will plan and collaborate between themselves to defeat you. Developed by Behemutt.
People have been disappearing, and you, young traveler, have taken on the duty of solving this mystery that has plagued your townsfolk.
In a world where monstrous creatures and mythical nightmares reign supreme, humans have been bumped down the food chain a few notches due to the lack of Mana, a source of pure energy, which humans desperately need in order to defeat the beasts.
Together with the ever helpful Li Wei, another adventurer, who recovers your “unconscious” body when you are defeated, you set up an encampment deep in the woods. The aim being to provide a base of operations, where you may enter areas such as Wolfbane Woods. It is here that you will slay your way through various nasties ranging from giant spiders to murderous skeletons who ride on the back of wolves.
As you progress through Mana Spark you collect runes which Li Wei will use to coerce more travelers to come to the encampment, bringing their skills with them.
By doing so you will see the arrival of handy people such as the Blacksmith, or Cook. These additions allow you to grow stronger, with the end goal of being strong enough, and well enough equipped to take on the final boss.
Runes aren’t the only item of interest in the Woods and Dungeons of Mana Spark. Every enemy you kill has the possibility of dropping either runes or coins, and these coins are what you will use to purchase buffs, traps, and consumables.
In true dungeon-crawler fashion, your task is simple. Journey into the danger zone or randomly generated levels, grab as much loot as possible and make it back to the safe zone, which in this case is an area called the “Peculiar Room” where you can deposit the runes for safe keeping, acquire items, and save your progress.
That’s pretty much it, the story hobbles along, for several hours at least. There are only three bosses, each fairly easy to beat compared to the often nail-biting experience the standard levels offer. After defeating the first two bosses, you’ll unlock another playable character, that can be switched between out your encampment.
The gameplay, more specifically the controls for the game, are basic and tick all the boxes. You have your right stick to move the reticle, right triggers will fire your bow, and left triggers will use your equipped item.
The second character you play as, uses a crossbow, and starts with one less health, while the third character wields a sword, each of them are quickly upgraded and essentially feel like they are all on par in terms of power, and ease of use.
Overall, Mana Spark is pretty Meat and Potatoes but that doesn’t counteract the hours of fun you will have trying to ace it, or if you were so inclined to speedrun it…
- Incredibly responsive controls across all characters and weapons.
- Replayability factor is huge with Mana Spark. Lot's of different ways to beat the game.
- Not forgiving to players unfamiliar with the many deaths required to master a rogue-like.
- Random-spawned Mini Bosses are too powerful for mid dungeon battles.