Regions of Ruin Review

Comparing Regions of Ruin by Vox Games to other titles isn’t something that I typically do, because who’s to say the reader knows about or played the game being compared to? However, I’m going to make an exception for Regions of Ruin and tell readers that at first the art and play style reminded me of the Kingdoms games. The retro graphics, the side-scrolling exploration, and combat mechanics looked similar. True confession – I didn’t enjoy Kingdom much. It was one-dimensional and lacked the depth and focus to entice me to keep playing. The reason for my making an exception in comparing one game to another is to make a point: For anyone that at first glance thought that Regions of Ruin was a clone of any other game, I would like to dispel that notion.

Regions is deceptively complex with many compelling elements like crafting, town building, and equipment upgrading and that blends game genres like role-playing, action, and sim with a little resource management and NPC recruitment thrown in. Even so, all of the disparate blending doesn’t overwhelm. There isn’t any confusion in what to do or how to go about it. Within a few minutes of starting I had choices in places to go and quests to complete. providing me with ample player agency. I particularly like that each foray out from base was instanced because it lent itself to being played in chunks. Leaving the base level brings up a map and allows for a choice on what to tackle next and I appreciated that ability to choose.

Few things are better from a player standpoint than finding a game that compels, even more so when expectations are low. Regions of Ruin was a great example of this type of surprise. Is it perfect? No, it isn’t perfect, but it checks many of the boxes. One of the drawbacks to the pixel art style is that Vox Games chose to develop in is that the size of the pixels can obscure, overlap, or disguise other pixels which makes it easy to miss details needed for gameplay. It didn’t overly hinder anything, it just made it difficult to discern certain features. Honestly, my comments on the graphics is me being extremely nit-picky; when considering all the game’s aspects it barely ranks. 

Conclusion

Regions of Ruin is an enjoyable and compelling mix of role-playing, exploration, city-building, and crafting (and more) done right. It’s easy to pick up and play and varied enough in it’s execution to keep it interesting. It’s fun and easy to recommend.

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Good
  • There is a lot to do and discover
  • Compelling gameplay derived from a well-blended mix of popular genres
  • It’s fun; you’ll want to keep playing
Bad
  • The pixel-style graphics are pleasant but can occasionally obscure details
8
Great
Gameplay - 8.5
Graphics - 7.5
Audio - 7.5
Longevity - 8.5
Written by
I was gaming way before it was cool or accepted, when games were sold in ziplock bags and gaming clues required a letter and a SASE to the actual developer. I’m not saying that like it’s a credential or an odd badge of honor, but as a statement that video games can be fun and engaging independent of graphics, the number of player choices allowed, or game mechanics. I felt the same sense of joy and exhilaration with text-based games of yore as I do playing the most advanced games of today.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent game. Beat it on the switch recently. Good review dude.

    Reply

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