Lost Ruins is a 2D metroidvania. You play as a young unnamed school girl with amnesia who has been teleported to a fantasy castle’s dungeon by an evil goddess. A witch, named Beatrice, has helped you defeat a monster and given you a safe haven. She says your missing memories are trapped within the various followers of the goddess and the only way to get them back is to defeat the minions. So your task is to survive and defend yourself from the monsters of the dungeon, to obtain magic, weapons, and gear to support yourself, to defeat the followers of the goddess and get your memories back, and lastly to deal with the evil goddess so that you can get home.

There’s not much overall story as it’s a metroidvania, but there is side story stuff throughout the game in the form of journal books from an evil creature that summoned and made creatures only to let them suffer and die. The other type of side story information is smartphones which have information from other girls that were summoned to this world, usually these talk about injuries the girls suffered, or monster’s they’ve come across, obviously none of these girls survived, you find the phones near skeletal remains.

There’s a plethora of weapons in the game, I believe it’s around thirty, from daggers, to axes, swords, great swords, missile launchers, thrown weapons, etc. Each weapon has its own range, damage output, sometimes even damage types (typically fire or nothing), and attack speed from slowest, slower, slow, medium, fast, faster, and fastest. Usually the weapons with more damage output are the slowest because they’re big beefy things, that being said, high immediate single hit damage doesn’t always matter when you can attack faster and still have higher DPS, but because of the reach of various weapons you’ll probably find a weapon you just personally prefer. I preferred shorter objects like short swords and small axes; daggers didn’t work because there wasn’t enough reach but I liked to be on the slightly faster end of attack speed.

The gear you find can augment abilities, damage taken, regeneration of both HP and MP, weapon attack speed and damage dealt, etc. There’s something like twenty pieces of gear, each one comes with it’s own positives, some come with negatives as well, you’ll really want to pick these up. You can equip two at the start of the game but as you beat some of the bosses in the game you get access to a new slot to equip another gear item to, at the end I think the amount of slots goes up to five.

Enemies vary in each area as well, at the start it’s all just goblins, spider women or Arachne as they’re commonly called, and slimes. In the next area you get zombies and skeletons. Yet another has ice based monsters. Again in another there’s fiery demon monsters. There’s all sorts of monsters to fight in the game, each has their own attack patterns as even within a specific type of monster, there’s typically two to three different versions of the monsters. For instance for zombies there’s a standard shuffling zombie that when you kill it it plops onto the ground as just it’s upper body crawling to attack you and you have to kill it, there’s a version that’s just the upper body as previously mentioned, another that’s big and tall that vomits acid onto the ground and you, and lastly a fast one that attacks with bone outcroppings. That’s just different types of zombies, each area which has different enemies has typically four to six different monsters in it and it generally makes sense where the monsters actually are. For instance you find skeletons in the crypts, in icy places you find dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun ice based monsters, big shocker I know. But it’s nice, in lots of games you just find random ass monsters in each area even if they don’t make logical sense.

Combat is… usually generally good. You can dodge enemies’ attacks if you want, if you have a shield you can block though the block isn’t something you can just hold, it’s a momentary thing and both of them cost energy, and so does running. If an enemy is trying to attack you, if you hit it you stop their attack, most of the time anyways, some enemies have unstoppable attacks where you have to dodge instead. But enemies can do that same shit to you too, which is where it can be less than fun as sometimes enemies will bunch up together and just stunlock the shit out of you until you die. There is two real problems with the combat, one is that enemies can share the same space and that doesn’t sound like a problem because in most games if two enemies are in one space you hit them both, in this game that isn’t the case, instead you hit one, and which one you hit seems to be random, so while you hit one the other will hit you and then the one you hit will hit you and you’ll be stunlocked. Another issue is with one specific enemy in the game, there’s a skeleton that has an unbreakable shield, only one other enemy has a shield and it’s breakable, so the only way to hit it is to dodge behind it or hit it first when it goes to hit you. The problem with this enemy is that if you dodge behind it, even if you do it when it attacks you by the time you roll behind it, turn towards it, and try to attack it, it has turned and blocked you, and trying to hit it before it hits you is pretty hard because it has a medium range weapon but attacks faster than you do, and it can stop it’s attack to block, which makes this enemy one of the most annoying fucks in the entire game. The last major problem is that this enemy spawns with other types of skeletons, and as stated with the first problem with combat it will stand into the same space as other skeletons, which means anytime you try to attack it’ll block all attacks instead of letting it hit the other enemy which means they can just outright kill you without you being able to do ANY fucking damage. I HATE this monster, HATE, HATE, HATE it, and it’s not even one of the late game enemies. I fucking hate this monster, you don’t even understand the degree of hatred and anger I have for my many deaths by this shit bag when I’ve managed to beat the entire game every boss, no problem, this mook, a fucking mook, has killed me more than all the bosses combined. I fucking hate iiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttt.

There are multiple endings for the game too which is awesome, there’s technically, I believe, three. There’s two for the main playthrough one that is a basic ending, and another that is the true end. After you beat the game you unlock a few new things, witch mode which only allows you to use magic, assassin mode which only allows you to use thrown weapons and daggers, a boss run mode, and lastly a new campaign where you play as three of the boss characters at the same time. This new campaign also gives you the last ending of the game. I haven’t played any other mode but the triple character mode so far. It took me around 20ish hours to beat the main campaign the first time, and I’m working on the trio campaign right now. The other modes don’t interest me that much, personally.

Overall, I really like the game, it’s cutely drawn, the combat is pretty good, the boss fights are all fun with interesting character designs. It has a few problems but they’re ones you can simply bypass if you want which is what I started to do out of sheer annoyance. I heavily recommend this game, though it does have lots of blood and vulgarity in it so maybe not for children. There’s also some fairly funny perversions in the game for instance all the bosses are girls and their ‘assets’ jiggle a lot and are often where you target enemies to do damage because they are sizable attack areas. I found the game funny and fun for the most part, there were a few parts that made me think that’s a little weird, and a few things that annoyed me as you’re aware, but otherwise it was great.

Lost Ruins was developed by Altari Games.

Point of Sale: GoG, Steam, itch.io.

Price: $20

A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher, DANGEN Entertainment.

darkmikasonfire awards Lost Ruins and boss boobies the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.