Regions of Ruin by Vox Games combines a retro pixelated art style with modern day game mechanics which gives the player the best of both worlds. Regions of Ruin was released on Steam on February 5, and draws on mechanics made popular in most platformers, but also ties in open world RPG elements.
Features such as exploration, gear optimization, leveling, and material gathering are all a major part of the game. Combine those mechanics with 2D side-scrolling game play and you have the core of Regions of Ruin. The added bonus and kicker is the ability to take the materials you have gathered to build your small camp into a town with workers.
The initial story line around Regions of Ruin is rather basic. The dwarven race has been beaten, battered, and driven out of their mountain region homes. This has left your kind scattered around the world and left to fend for themselves. Most have been captured, or worse, killed. It is your job to find them, save them, and rebuild and lead your people back to prominence!
You start out as a lone dwarf who encounters a caravan that has broken down. You discover that the caravan is in need of wood to make repairs. The caravan leader agrees to take you to establish a camp if you are willing to find the wood needed to make the repairs. After you agree, you receive an ax and shield and immediately after setting out, you encounter goblins.
After clearing the area, you find a caged dwarf and upon releasing him, he decides to join your troupe. Together you bring the wood back to the caravan leader and the group sets out to make camp. From here, the game starts in earnest.
Different structures and creations open up new game features. Your first task is to build a campfire, which is where you go to upgrade your skills as you level up. Quests can be found as you explore the world, which can be done with the cost of food resources. You will come across NPCs and locked up dwarves who also give quests back in your camp/town. Each area you explore requires you to clear the area or solve a puzzle to ultimately unlock new aspects of your camp and acquire new workers to maintain your new dwarven hub.
Throughout your travels you will continue to upgrade your gear and take on more challenging tasks. Your workers can start to gather resources on your behalf, which is a nice feature that doesn’t force you to farm tirelessly.
What may be the best feature in this game is the world map. This map is what allows you to explore new regions and branch out beyond your immediate surroundings. As mentioned, the cost of exploration comes in the from of food, and the further you explore the greater the cost. There are a ton of different outposts and camps for you to explore and challenge with the reward for doing so coming in the form of new allies, materials, and upgraded skills and gear.
The developers compare this game to Kingdom, and while there are similarities, Regions of Ruin feels like a much more rewarding and rich playing experience. The game can be a little slow to start as your learn the features via tutorial. Playing on a game pad can be a little choppy at times and the right joy stick did not always respond properly on the world map. However, the controls do translate quite well from the keyboard to the game pad.
Overall, Regions of Ruin provides a fun story line with solid core mechanics. It follows a pattern which has the player access the map, travel to the destination, clear the area, save the dwarf, and claim your reward. The additional features such as town building and crafting are what give this game the flavor needed to spice up the overall experience. The auto-save feature is nice and saved me quite a few times when I got careless and died without saving for awhile.
If you enjoy pixel art or retro game style with modern day game mechanics, then Regions of Ruin may be for you.
Thanks to the entertaining story line and rich game features, Redonkulous Gaming gives Regions of Ruin a score of 8.6/10
Avid gamer across PC, Xbox, and Switch platforms. Check me out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.