This delightful experience from Garden Shed Studios first entry onto Steam has a distinct arcade feel to it while blending hack and slash, dungeon crawling gameplay with rogue like mechanics. Challenging, varied and visually lovely, Super Stone Legacy is a game with significant amounts of re-playability that offers a vast amount of enjoyment.
The gameplay centres around you having a party made up of six different classes; a knight, a Wizard, an Archer, a fighter, a cleric and a duellist. You start off as one class and can switch between the characters as you go. You also switch to a different party member upon death until you have run out of people, at which point it’s game over and you begin again with a different dungeon generation and a different combination of bosses and enemies. Each level involves clearing two rooms of more generic mobs before the boss room and upon defeating one boss you repeat this format until the end, giving the game a bosh rush layout. The setting and the pool of enemies alters with each run through but once you have cleared two rooms a boss will then appear without fail offering you a different challenge each time.
Only having two rooms before each boss may seem like it could be repetitive and yes, maybe it doesn’t have as much scope as more well established titles within this collection of sub genres, but the sheer amount of variation between the bosses and the fact that each run features a different combination of enemies certainly keeps you on your toes.
As you defeat each boss you can spend the money you have collected from defeating enemies on upgrading your surviving characters to improve their health, damage and speed and improve their chances of making it through the next level. Despite improvements, your characters never become over-powered. You cannot tank damage and dodging enemy attacks remains the only sure fire way to survive. At most, you become able to take a couple more hits from smaller mobs but bosses are still a significant issue if you don’t dodge the attacks. The real improvements occur in damage output, meaning that successful timing and dodging combined with well placed attacks makes the boss fights simple enough, but minor errors are punished. Trying to keep your entire team alive is beneficial as you do locate healing items in the levels sometimes and you are able to heal up surviving characters at the end of each level by buying food. This means that tactical character switching is another strategy that becomes very useful.
There are many things to learn and get the hang of in Super Stone Legacy, very much like the various other comparable games in these genres, so there is certainly a learning curve. A number of deaths will likely occur before you really start to get into the groove of the game.
The pixel art style of the game is beautifully executed, enhancing the retro feel without making the game seem dated or overly nostalgic. Varied and vibrant colours with simple but distinct sprites means that Super Stone Legacy is lovely to look at as well as lovely to play for those who enjoy a pixel art graphical style.
An energetic soundtrack accompanies the fast paced gameplay and bright visuals which further adds to the tension and overall excitement experienced through each level. The music is well crafted and fits the game perfectly, feeding into an already enjoyable play experience
In all Super Stone Legacy is a beautifully constructed game that firmly cements it’s place as a true gem among the large pool of rogue likes. It’s fluid combat, varied bosses and in depth learning process make the game a joy to get into and provides the player with something they’ll feel keen to return to. With it also being available in multiplayer extends it's accessibility as well as the game being compatible with both controller and with mouse and keyboard.