Banners of Ruin (Review)
Source: Review Copy
Price: £15.49 (£21.28 for bundle with Supporter stuff, Supporter Bundle on its own £5.79)
Where to Get It: Steam
I do love me some anthro dark fantasy. A tale of revenge, the last members of a clan of animals making their way through the enemy’s city to claim their head… Yes, this is very much my jam.
And, despite some qualifications, Banners of Ruin is also my jam.
So, in case you hadn’t guessed, this is one of those games where you pick cards for events (out of three each time, although you won’t always get a choice), level up your characters, build up a deck of combat cards with which to beat down the enemy, and weapons and armour to help screw them up, recruit more characters (potentially), fight a variety of enemies, and… Well, most likely die on your run until you really get to know the game.
Just roguelike things, y’know?
Honestly, though, while this isn’t anything new, per se, it’s solidly built. Choices are relatively simple, and everything is clear… Well… See, this is where one of the qualifications comes in.
Accessibility wise, it’s fuckawful. Serif fonts, often tiny. Colourblindness unfriendly symbols which are also tiny… Would a white outline, or, y’know, a high contrast colour kill you, folks? I can tell it’s bleeding from the drops, I can tell it’s a wound from… I know what the symbols mean because of your tooltips… It does have some of the basic stuff, like windowed mode, removing motion blur or screen shake, so on so forth, but… Something this ubiquitous is something that really needs looking at.
So there’s that. I did, however, like the fact that fights that seemed extremely deadly at first were actually manageable… Well, until the first boss, who utterly ruined me… But that’s generally the case with this sort of roguelike. I liked the fact that moving a party member from their position flummoxes the direct attack enemies, but doesn’t work at all on archers, and has only limited use with pikemen. However, be warned, keeping weapons in your stash also means they’re cards in your deck. Cards you can’t use, or, more accurately, I couldn’t quite use. Similarly, switching equipment from the looting screen is… Awkward. Tiny icons again, folks… Tiny icons.
And visually, I love it. I’m a sucker for painted art, and the art is good. Soundwise, I don’t feel particularly strongly either way.
If the accessibility issues were fixed, I’d whole-heartedly recommend this one to folks more experienced with card-based roguelikes, but as it is, it comes with that heavy accessibility qualification.
The Mad Welshman wants all dark animal fantasy to be as accessible as possible. The only thing I’d say we need more than dark fantasy anthro games is lesbian otome villainess isekai games.