wed 24/04/2024

Wayward Souls | reviews, news & interviews

Wayward Souls

Wayward Souls

A fast-moving RPG with plenty of replay value

Wayward Souls

Wayward Souls is an action role-playing game in the mould of Nintendo (NES & SNES) classics like Secret of Mana and Legend of Zelda. It also manages to incorporate elements from that most voguish of retro formats, the roguelike.

What this means is that you get a fast-moving action game that puts you in the role of a lone adventurer, battling his or her way through dungeons, mines, castles and all the other trad RPG locations in search of loot. There are six characters to choose from (three must be unlocked by clearing specific areas) and each has a unique load-out of weaponry and abilities. The Warrior, for example, is a lumbering tank who can hack his way through hordes of enemies and throw axes to hit ‌distant foes. The Rogue, by contrast, has no ranged attack but she can quickly slip behind enemies to stab them in the back for increased damage or to dodge their blows.

Wayward SoulsThe areas you explore are themed but the actual maps are randomly generated with each play-through, as are the locations of enemies, loot and powerups like healing tonics and flashbombs. This roguelike touch is complemented by permadeath - once your health bar runs out it is game over and you must start again from scratch with a new character. Unlike most roguelikes, you do get to keep any cash you find on each run and you can use this to upgrade a character before you descend into the dungeons, buying tiny percentage boosts to their skills that can make all the difference.

Staying alive is tricky, not just because of the variety of highly aggressive enemies but also the incredibly stingy way the game doles out healing potions. To get very far you need to learn the patterns of each enemy type and avoid their attacks where you can or use items or skills to gain an edge.

Each character has a plot that is revealed in illustrated captions between levels and each provide both a reason for their adventuring and the opportunity for a unique encounter or two deep into the game. The steep difficulty curve means it will probably take you a while to reach that point, however.

Wayward SoulsGraphically, the game has a retro style that nods towards its SNES influences but the game engine is capable of rendering decent lighting effects and is a lot more polished than it appears at first glance. The touchscreen controls are well thought out and keep the screen uncluttered. It would still probably work better with a controller or mouse/keyboard and - sure enough - a PC version is said to be on the way. As an Android or iOS title this is still great fun, however, and Wayward Souls is one of the better implementations of the action RPG formula on mobile.

There are no in-app purchases on offer and this is all to the good. Rather, Noodlecake have packed their game full of entertainment from the outset.

A lot more polished than it appears at first glance.


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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