Soulblight is a new action RPG from My Next Games. This challenging roguelike adventure has already made made its debut on Steam with mostly positive reception. Time to see how this dark and unforgiving venture fares on the Nintendo Switch.
The game’s premise is to make players think of both sides of the fence in terms of what is good and what exactly is evil. Does one supersede the other? Soulbight is presented in a top-down perspective. The art style used throughout the game gives it a unique and fitting presentation. There is a disparity felt by the colors and lighting used that add to the fact that this is no walk through the park. The game offers up some serious challenge where each battle can easily be your last.
The game tells the story how things became so dire. Once protected and cherished, the Soul Tree is now tainted, which curses the land around it with a crystal. The goal is to cleanse the tree of this poison and restore the land. This is where the Tainting system come into play. The levels are randomly generated, giving the title high replayability. On top of that, players must decide on which Taint to select for each journey and properly equip their character for just the right balance.
Your character has 4 basic core stats, which include Attack, Defense, Mobility, and Synergy. Each of these change in relation to your current equipment and effects. Other key indicator are your present Taints, Injuries and Conditions. Arguably the most important stat in the game is your Synergy, as it will affect all of your skills and abilities such as Mobility and your Attack and Defense. Heavier armor and large weapons will take a great deal of stamina to bear and they will slow your character down, but it will also provide greater defense and a higher rate of damage. You’ll need to continuously strategize before engaging in battle to survive. The safest route is taking your enemies out through stealth. You are only given one life and all items, outside of the ones you place in the storage chest (which is limited), will be lost upon death. Take note, this game will punish you.
The end goal is to reach and defeat all three bosses in one run. This will restore life and purity to the Soul Tree. Accomplishing this is a truly daunting task, keeping in mind this must be done with only one life and this one life can only sustain 4 injuries before death. What appears as a fairly simple game, proves to be anything but. There is a level of complexity here that keeps you coming back time and time again. The farther you get on each run, the more addictive this game becomes.
Each taint has the potential to both help and harm you. This is another way strategy comes into play in Soulblight. For example, using alcohol can increase your synergy due to the fact your pain is numbed. You want to use each taint to your benefit. Conditions are only temporary thankfully, where injuries can slowly get worse till they kill you if not addressed. Steer clear of anything that might possibly trigger the particular taint you have, but this is where it can be tricky as you might consider a “give and take” scenario to acquire the optimal synergy buff at the time.
- A unique Tainting Mechanic designed to encourage role playing
- Tons of weapons, armor, and utility items
- Dynamic and tactical combat build around stamina management and distance control
- Optional stealth approach that complements fighting
- Randomly generated, visually breathtaking levels
- High difficulty level emphasized by permadeath mechanics
- Gameplay-driven narrative
Soulblight offers a unique take on the roguelike dungeon crawler genre. It proves to be a brutally difficult game that will eat and spit you out in short order. It’s gameplay proves to be much more complex than it first appears on the surface and quickly becomes hard to put down. The dark art style compliment the overall feel of the game nicely and it all looks fantastic on the Switch. If you embrace the challenge, you’ll find Soulblight to be a refreshing change from the normal roguelike formula that offers up some serious replaybility for $15.