Game Review Pawnbarian review – “A minimalist roguelike that’s hard to put down'” Android + Steam

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Pawnbarian review – “A minimalist roguelike that’s hard to put down'”

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As you step into the horrors of the fabled goblin lair, put together for the monstrosities lurking round each pungent nook. Overgrown rodents and ogres with boils of their depths are stated to have been corrupted by Blight, however – armed with nothing however your chess-based expertise and unwavering resolve – are you able to actually embody the spirit of the Pawnbarian and overcome the Blightvoid unscathed?



Despite the ghastly horrors you’ll have to face all through the roguelike title, Pawnbarian boasts a pleasant minimalist strategy that makes preventing unholy abominations look tremendous clear. The characters you unlock and play as – the Knights Templar, Shogun, Nomad, Capyzerker, Mystic and the Pawnbarian himself – all characteristic easy vector-graphic-like designs towards equally clean-looking enemies, whereas fight is laid out on a minimalist 5×5 chessboard.

The intro web page for every new dungeon incorporates a hand-painted take a look at the caverns you’ll enter, however in any other case all the pieces is generally monochromatic, and the playing cards or strikes you unleash are represented as silhouettes of chess items shifting you throughout the board transfer .

The fantastic thing about such a neat visible design is that it permits you to concentrate on the roguelike’s gameplay with out pointless distractions, as a result of sure, the gameplay actually deserves your full consideration.


Depending on the character you play, you primarily have a chess-based deck of playing cards that you should utilize to defeat the randomly generated enemies that seem in your board in every stage. These playing cards have their very own distinctive traits and may be modified and upgraded based mostly in your character if you buy boosts from the store.

The gold you purchase after defeating flooring can be utilized to buy these upgrades, whether or not it’s including a particular assault to a traditional pawn or buffing a turret with a helpful protect impact. Of course, the longer it takes you to defeat all of the enemies on every flooring, the much less gold you earn. Aside from attempting to survive, you’ll even have to take into consideration how to kill these pesky golems as rapidly as attainable.

1652815343 367 Game Review Pawnbarian review quotA minimalist roguelike that039s hard - Game Review Pawnbarian review - "A minimalist roguelike that's hard to put down'" Android + Steam

You may purchase a coronary heart or 1 HP in any store when you’ve got sufficient gold, which is fairly vital in your survival on the following flooring. Since it is a roguelike, dropping all of the hearts means you lose the sport and you’ve got to begin over with every new run.

While all of it sounds easy sufficient, Pawnbarian in some way stands out from different video games within the style thanks to its presentation and distinctive chess-based mechanics. The key to surviving every flooring with as many hearts as you want for one more combat is to anticipate your personal strikes in addition to these of your opponents. You can long-tap on an enemy to see their goal tiles, in addition to review your personal card’s properties and the tiles you need to transfer to.


If you intend forward, you may take out a number of targets without delay or preserve your HP. Red notches on tiles inform you what number of hits you’re going to take if you land on that sq., and it’s a fairly helpful mechanic if you’re boss stage and solely have one coronary heart left.
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Of course, you will have to watch out not to long-tap on tiles when you’ve chosen a card, as releasing your finger might simply unintentionally carry out that movement (this has occurred to me a few occasions, and useless to say, it led to final downfall my character). It’s additionally a little bit irritating that you would be able to’t instantly see what the standing results of sure phrases imply.

For instance, once I first began attempting out the Mystic Character, an extended faucet on its icon supplied me an outline that stated, “Can’t buy shield, but can purify.” The first transfer of every flip leaves a safety.” Obviously, I had by no means performed Mystic earlier than, so I had no concept what Purify was doing or what a ward was. There are loads of these situations within the descriptions, and it’s a disgrace you will have to play by way of the sport and sacrifice a number of early runs simply to see what the enemy assaults are for and what sure icons imply (there’s additionally this factor known as Blight, and enemies depart this a lot behind).

1652815345 378 Game Review Pawnbarian review quotA minimalist roguelike that039s hard - Game Review Pawnbarian review - "A minimalist roguelike that's hard to put down'" Android + Steam

Still, these minor inconveniences didn’t cease me from actually having fun with the sport, particularly after first deleting the Pawnbarian character and having the ability to unlock all the opposite fighters and dungeons. My favourite to date is the Nomad (with the Mystic a detailed second) as a result of it’s all the time enjoyable to search out unknowing enemies from afar with out anybody noticing.

Overall, Pawnbarian is a pleasant addition to the roguelike style that may be performed in brief bursts everytime you fancy a chess-based problem. I personally don’t understand how to play chess, however I nonetheless had a whole lot of enjoyable taking part in the sport, although I by no means discovered precisely the place a horse piece might go.

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