87 people found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2018
A "Free Alpha Demo" is a really great way to see if any will want to buy this game on release, however there is some obvious missing content, not enough to break the game as you play, but noticable. There are some things that I personally think should be altered which I will get to in a moment.
* I think there should be more inventory slots, not many, maybe add a row, or a mechanic that allows you to equip a small bag to an equipment slot that gives you a couple extra inventory slots, or something along thos lines.
* Something that i think should be removed or altered is the inventory randomness, its a bit annoying haveing to re-organize my inventory when i die because for some reason it puts them in the middle, maybe have an customizable auto sort button or just remove the mechanic that puts my starting items in the middle of my inventory after i die.
* the difficulty seems....harsh? for lack of a better term, its not impossible, but since items are random, you could end up with sweet nothing by the 2nd floor and be screwed by the boss...which brings me to my next point
* The randomness of the loot is rough, I kept dying because i never find anything good to fight with, or armor to protect me, i ended up with a whole run where i got no new sword, and ran out of arrows which never dropped, i was stuck with the same shield and body armor, i got a ring or 2, and the odd time i got a pair of boots or gloves but over all i was screwed on gear.
* The xp rates aren't all that bad, its slow, but with how little monsters there are in the first section, you can only really get what the tutorial gives you (skill wise) and 1 more by the time you hit the boss.
* Maps...omg maps, I got lost SO many times, or missed some rooms to try and find loot to help me, but because there is no map, or a mechanic that allows me to zoom out a bit, i could never find it.
* Some stats of no descriptions, such as Fumble, finess and Savvy (How does one lower chanes of Fumble? what do Finess and Savvy do for your character)
* A rotation button for items in your inventory would be nice, since the inventory is so small, and quite a few of the items are pretty big, and take up quite a bit of space, like the identify scrolls, and potions, personally i think they should only take up 1 slot, not 2.
(ALPHA DEMO ONLY, SUBJECT TO CHANGE ON RELEASE) Pros: - Great art work - intriguing storyline - ok voice acting (could be better) - (imo) Turn-based combat - a nice amount of spells/skills you can unlock - Achievments (because who doesn't love achievment hunting) - Left-alt Highlights loot on the ground
Cons: - No auto item stacking - no sorting option for your inventory - no options to adjust graphics/sound - no item rotation for items in the inventory - not enough information for some stats (Savvy, Finess and Fumble)
Overall i think this is a fantastic game, there are not a ton of bugs concidering this is an alpha game, and I cannot wait until the game releases.
47 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 9, 2018
Only issue I have is that the Search skill and traps are going to be a pain in the♥♥♥♥♥in the full game as they are in every other game. You either move, search, move, search, move, search every step of the way or get punished with a trap or miss out on items. Having to constantly ping for invisible bs is never a fun mechanic, it only ever serves to slow progress to a snail's pace and it's a shame this game will be marred by it too (only difference is you'll be punished for liberal use of Search with draining your hunger/thirst/sanity values faster than if you walked through blind at a normal pace).
29 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 10, 2018
Just so you know -- I wouldn't even refer to this as an alpha, I'd just call it a, 'proof of concept.'
AKA, 'proof that they have something that does what it says it'll do'
And it does just that:
Strategy, turn-based dungeon crawling. A little brutal on the RNG, since there's a LOT of them, and only the one of you.
Handles pretty well, but is difficult to get into, since you start with literally nothing, and they have a lot. Nothing I wouldn't mind, if it only gave you more time to build into your character before swarming you with enemies. 'Tis the fate of RNG.
That aside, the controls are good, though no gamepad option. Takes a little getting used-to, since looting stuff can be a little tricky and tedious (hold alt-click, but you move to another tile).
I do like the self-management thing. How mental-state comes into play. Looking forward to how it comes out into release. Here's hoping for some kind of kingdom-building, and fighting off sieges/rogues. Because why not?
27 people found this review helpful 10 people found this review funny
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 22, 2018
Look at that door.
It's in your way. Break it down. Try repeatedly. Break your legs. Oh, you don't have any splints? Curb that pain with a little Herbal Essence.
Okay, so you've overdosed on Herbal Essence and you're spun yourself confused and vomiting into a bear trap with your broken legs as a Vampire Mage suddenly notices you. What happens next will probably not surprise you.
"This was destiny!"
- This isn't Darkest Dungeon, your character is pretty thrilled just to be there.
Alright, so take Diablo's aesthetic and general user-friendliness and mix it with a more traditional roguelike and you've got 2 levels and a boss of a deathtrap dungeon with inhabitants to match.
Stoneshard: Prologue is a little promotional game for the studio's Kickstarter (which ended by the time I found out about this, go figure) and exists as a standalone advertisement that shows off a vertical slice of the final game's gameplay.
It works well, and between the enemies that pose more of a threat than most family reunions, the level of intricacy in inventory management (sadly you're not looking at Nethack with the comparatively bereft environmental interaction) and the production quality hitting up and above the ceiling you'd expect, this a fun romp that gives you something to chew through quickly and a reason to look forward to the full deal.
An appetizer, flavoured with RNG and death.
I don't have any real complaints. Most I can say is, as you can expect from a game with a name like "Stoneshard" the setting is painfully generic and nothing you haven't seen a hundred times before, but it maintains enough of a goofy camp atmosphere without going full ironic to be enjoyable despite that.
The Prologue's boss is a difficulty jump that requires some decent drops, something the RNG probably won't favour you with. Other than that you can handle any situation with spacing and mindfulness.
So definitely give it a go if you like what you see, this is worth your time. It asks for next to nothing from money or time and investment and delivers plenty.
32 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 6, 2018
Absolutely enjoyed the demo. If the finished product is all like that then I will be buying. Only problem I have is the amount of RNG. I love difficulty, but it took me 4 times to finish the prologue boss fight because the first 3 times I received almost no loot from full clears of each level. Only on the fourth time did I get enough decent loot to finish the boss, and that was all owed to my lifesteal potion. Balance the RNG and solid game.
A nice little demo, good enough that I would at least consider getting the full game.
Some notable positives: + Okay art style, music etc. + Plenty of containers to loot and barrels to smash. Got to love smashing random barrels. + Quite detailed, with a variety of buffs/debuffs it seems. + Hard enough to not be boring or mindless, easy enough that it's not annoying/rage enducing (Mostly. We'll get to that point). + It's voice acted. That's not too important, I just like how more effort has been put into the game. + Healing isn't a '1 click, you're done thing'. It's like Metal Gear Solid 3, where an injury has to be cleaned with ointment and a splint put on etc. It's not always fun, but at least it is thought provoking. + No 2 runs will be the same with roguelike randomly generated loot.
And yet it's not all good: - The settings menu is English or Russian. That's it. Thankfully however that's already been noticed and an actual settings menu was already in the works. - Half the stats aren't explained. Stealth +2? Sure, I guess that's a positive, but how good is it? Is it better to have than block +3%? Should I get Block 1 Absorbtion 1 or Absorbtion 2? I know that preferences to certain stats will depend on the build but it's not always feasible to be specialised when you're at the mercy of random loot. And that still doesn't account for all the stats. How does Fortitude affect my defences or resistances? Is my health related to my Vitality? What on earth does Savvy do? The game needs some sort of guide/journal to explain this, or at least a nice pointer to show me the explainations I'm missing. - Several buffs and debuffs just come and go randomly. You walked a step forward? Now you're feeling Optimistic. You ran away from an enemy to rest? You're feeling really Heroic now. Opened a door? Now you have Prudence. Combine this with unknown stats like morale and sanity and it's impossible for me to determine whether these are noticably beneficial effects or completely ignorable. Actually, that's wrong as they're completely ignorable so far. - So an enemy attacked you and now you have an arm wound. Supposedly it'll heal on it's own if you have high health. However a max health of around 30-odd doesn't seem to be enough unless you need to wait for eternity, so you'll need to manually heal it if you don't want half of your stats falling (And who knows whether that's bad or not). So, use some ointment. Now it's a mild wound. Use some more ointment. Now it's a stabilised wound. Now wait 40 turns for it to heal on it's own, all the while coping with lower strength. However your arm hurts (bringing more stat debuffs) so you need some pain killers. Take some of those and now you're toxic (with yet MORE lowered stats). You need to either use some anti-toxin item or hope it goes away. Or watch as it increases for no reason. Oh, as a reminder, using an item or seemingly even moving your inventory about counts as a turn. So if you've been doing this in combat, you've probably been punched about more. - Inventory management needs a rotate feature if there isn't one hidden somewhere. - Enemies seem random themselves. Some die near instantly, some are near impossible to kill, expecially seeing as they have a range of half the screen and about 7 damage (remember that 30-odd max health?). - Combat can be quite 'meh'. You did no damage, they did no damage. You did no damage, they did no damage. You did no damage, they did no damage. You do no damage because this time they blocked, they fumbled and only did 1 damage. And so on until someone gets a few good hits. - Arrows go through walls. If you can see them, they can hit you. You can't hit them though as your bow has half the range of theirs. And is probably out of arrows anyway if you plan on using the bow often. - The game throws loot at you. Which is nice. However it's a shame it's either more stuff you don't need (Yet another bread, yay) or equipment that you have no idea whether or not it'll be better than what you have already. - The main dialogue's translation into English is questionable at best and broken nonsense at worst. But it's a translation, that can just be fixed anyway. - The voice acting and the way some sentences are pronounced is quite entertaining, yet not in a positive way. - There are a few bugs, graphical mostly. A wall had the texture of a floor, the exit was blocked by a table (forcing my character to walk into the table to go through), an enemy was pinned in the corner by terrain and couldn't be hit, an enemy was pinned inside a table and couldn't be hit but could constantly take shots with his crossbow at me, closing a door or walking into it's space is more luck than it should be etc. - A clearer indication of when a turn passes would be nice. Even if it's just the person having 'wait' above their head, it'd be better than not knowing whether or not a turn passed. - Going into rest mode doesn't always go into rest mode. As in, you'll go into it, you won't be able to do any actions, move etc. but no turns will pass, meaning you have to turn it off then back on again to ACTUALLY go into rest mode. - Rest mode is op. Why use limited resources to recover health/mana when you can use rest mode between every encounter? Hunger and thirst don't counter this, they take too often to occur and have too many food/drink items thrown at you to be even a remote threat. - Mana seems bugged slightly. I have 12 mana, my spell costs 12 mana, I can't cast the spell. I get 13 mana and now I can cast. - It needs a map or some other way where I won't have to wander about the explored corridors to find any rooms I've missed. - Enemies quite often forget to fight. As in they will literally stand there whilst you hit them. They're not even missing, they are actually doing nothing. - Do you want to move diagonally? Flip a coin, to see if you do or you move only horizontally/vertically to get there.
If you don't mind the suprisingly large list of negatives it is a good game and the free prologue version is worth it at least.
Game is fun. Fairly challenging. Only problem I have about it is some line of sight issues. An archer shouldn't be able to hit you if Archer (A) is positioned in a way to Player (P), with a wall between them. Makes absolutely no sense. (Floor (*)) (Walls ( I _ )
A|___|P ********* *********
Another situation is when the archer and player are positioned this way. I don't think archers have throwing curved (bullet) skills in this game, like the movie Wanted. cmon...
A|____| * |____| ********* ******P* *********
Despite these glaring issues, the game is still pretty fun with replayability. More character options possibly, or maybe even the ability to create your own?