Ruin of the Reckless Impressions—Delightfully Frenetic Retro Brawling

Game: Ruin of the Reckless

Developer: Faux-Operative Games

Publisher: N/A

Reviewed: PC

Ruin of the Reckless’ arcade style gameplay is energetic, weird, and irresistible. Faux-Operative Games plonks you right into the thick of things as Stargrove, a modern spirit with an undercut who quickly learns he’s dead, and needs to escape a multilevel melee prison to get his wish granted – whatever that may be. A clear and effective tutorial explains the essentials – the GUI in the top left hand corner tracks health and ability orbs, and displays lightning boots and special gear, but the madness begins as soon as you enter the tower portal.

A timer ticks away, all manner of beasts instantly gravitate towards you, and you’re suddenly facing a fast-paced, randomly generated brawl that demands quick wits and careful strategy. A chiptune synth soundtrack injects a crazy, pumping atmosphere into the game, creating top-down tension that sometimes results in an unforgiving demise: It’s extremely easy to die if you’re not concentrating, and you get pushed back to the start if you do. The influence of the harsh, yet classic difficulty of the NES era is something Ruin of the Reckless wears proudly, and once you get used to it, it quickly becomes addictive and fun. Luckily, there are shop stops every three levels that act as a temporary save point and also let you spend your heard earned cash on new items.

Unlike many other games rogue-like or otherwise, Ruin of the Reckless doesn’t come with a manual save feature because the challenge is instead ascending the tower: Stay alive as long as you can, eliminate all the bad guys, and collect gear to equip later at a place called the Chaos Mat. There’s also local co-op option where a friend can join in as Stella, another spirit with a modern hairstyle of high voltage pink. As enjoyable as this is in singleplayer, I imagine the fun only doubles when it’s a two player affair. It runs well both on controller and a mouse/keyboard combination, with the latter offering a tad more precision in the aiming department. If you’re looking for a fun, casual rogue-like that doesn’t grow stale, Ruin of the Reckless fits the bill.

Ruin of the Reckless is out now via SteamGOG, Humble Bundle and itch.io. It’s availale for 15% off the normal price of $14.99 USD until May 4.

A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.