Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos takes the Legend of Zelda formula and turns it into a roguelite and it works surprisingly well.
The game drops you off in a small town with only a few buildings and villagers. As you earn gems from exploring the dungeons, you can spend them to build up your town. You can build new buildings, such as the blacksmith and the clinic. These buildings are not just simply cosmetic but unlocks additional functionality as well. For example, the blacksmith will let you upgrade your weapons and the clinic will let you increase your maximum health. All of these upgrades cost gems of course. You can pick where to place the buildings, giving you a small degree of freedom over how your town will look.
To earn enough gems, you will have to survive as long as you can in the dungeon. When you enter the dungeon, all your gems are taken away. You are starting from scratch every time you enter a dungeon so it would be a good idea to spend all of them before you go exploring again. The dungeons are quite difficult with traps and enemies around the corner waiting to surprise you. Some of these traps are quite infuriating and well placed to ensure maximum rage. Surviving is hard and you will die often. The good news is that you will keep the gems and be able to spend them freely once you revive in the village. The dungeons are also randomized every time you enter, making them unpredictable and keeping the encounters some what fresh.
The game play follows the basic Legend of Zelda formula but throws in elements of a roguelite. The dungeons are pretty challenging and most players will have a difficult time beating it on the first time through. It will take many attempts but those attempt’s won’t feel futile or fruitless thanks to the earned gems. With those gems, you can unlock upgrades to make the character stronger or you can focus on making the town look better. You can even upgrade your own house. These progression mechanics incentivize you to keep going back to the dungeons. Thanks to the upgrades, each run will feel easier and easier until you finally beat it. It’s a nice mechanic that makes you feel like you’re making progress each run.
The game has both local and online co-op as well. Up to four players can venture forth together. This adds an incredible amount of replayability to the game. It’s actually a really nice feature to have.
Overall, Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a fantastic modernization of the classic Legend of Zelda formula. It makes many smart changes to make the game more accessible and entertaining. They let you acquire many items and weapons in your run without having to unlock them. They can only be used on that specific run and come in limited quanities. This gives you more freedom to play the way you want without making the game too easy to beat. The roguelite mechanics and progression meters give you a reason to go back to the dungeons. It feels like you have accomplished something on every run. The randomized dungeons also keep the game from growing stale. On top of all of this, it even has multiplayer.