Learn over 15 spells, summon some monstrous pals, and fight over 30 challengers as you train to defeat a villain who casts a wide shadow over the world in The Lich Ruin.
The Lich Ruin, from Dollarone, is one of the most sweeping, expansive games made in the Pico-8 engine I have ever played. Even down to its play-style, the game is leagues above many of its contemporaries, offering a large campaign, an extensive bestiary of summons, and a very cool mage-vs-mage combat.
Combat, which is where you’ll spend most of your time, is a case of pressing your arrow cursors in the directions that you want to deploy your troops, while attempting to horde summoning crystals and ultimately overwhelm your opposition.
There are several systems at work in this time-turn-based combat section. If you hold a crystal tower for five turns then you gain an extra crystal, and you can shuffle through your summon cards in real-time with relative ease (buttons shift through the cards, with a cursor keypress returning to the fray). Hearts, swords and other symbols denote strength, elemental effects, and health — and it is all extremely easy to read once you’ve been playing for a few minutes.
Through winning these little 1vs1 duels, you unlock further beings and creatures to summon, widening your combat options very quickly from a single-hit goblin. Combat favours the varied, and as you familiarize yourself with a few favourite spells, you’ll find that success comes more often. Thankfully there is more depth to the spells than simply weak-cheap and strong-expensive.
The Lich Ruin is available to play now via browser over on lexaloffle.com