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Banners of Ruin Review {Early Access v0.29.4}

The Blackfoots have been dealt a mighty blow by the fearsome House Ender - you must infiltrate their defences and cut out the rot. Let us build our deck and fight our way through the city of Dawn's Point!

What is it? / Play Intel.

Welcome fella card-deck building animal combat dungeon crawling bear's with hoodies lovers!

We're here with our FIRST EVER Early Access review for indie game Banners of Ruin version 0.29.4; Kindly given to us by Johann from publisher Goblinz Studio (and incidentally, the creators of Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master, which we almost might have take a look at soon before they come to their senses and prise the key they offered us for it from our sweaty paws).

Banners of Ruin is created by MonteBearo (fella Brits I believe, so be kind people) and can be described as a Card Deck building Combat Roguelite dungeon crawling hybrid. It's published by the aforementioned Goblinz Studio as well as Maple Whispering Limited and Mugen Creations according to Steam. I've played just over 5hrs of the game on PC via Steam; settings maxed at 1080p & 4K.

If you'd like to see gameplay with an explanation of mechanics and features, with have 2 videos available in 2 different flavours.

Remember, it's Early Access.

Now remember, this is Early Access game releasing just today (30th July 2020) and thus this review is based on the assumption that the game is priced correctly for what is already present, and that it will be updated to perfection as promised as is typical with these kinds of early access gigs. That aside, 5 is an average, below a 5 is below average and anything above that, is, well, above average; go figure!

Also, all links including Banners of Ruin Twitter, game page, the whole shabang, are in the description below, so bear with me and let's try our hand at reviewing this deck building animal friendly beast (sorry about all these puns, I have to keep you watching over the first minute you's a YouTube thing)

Feel free to share your thoughts with everyone in the comments below on the game or this review. If you have any questions, have purchased the game or are planning on taking on the war, let's us know about it.

And as ever, if you find value in this content, do subscribe, like and share with a pet Bear, she would greatly appreciate it!

The Good

• Nice visuals and fitting art style.

• Good Animations and animal faces (especially the bear, we like bears in video game around these 'ere parts!).

• Fun core game mechanic loop.

• Good performance as you'd expect for what's on display and good sounds (where they exist, remember, early access).

• Easy to understand the core of the game the more you play.

• Some nice strategic combinations and starting base cards, passives and equipment.

• Might as well mention there is some achievements there which (if they're working at this point) will add some challenges / end goal to the released core content.

Not every game has this, so it's worth mentioning it has an master volume setting and audio device selection along with monitor selection for multi-monitor setups, all of which is very helpful for broadcasters, believe me

The Bad

• Possibly needs some balancing in regards to healing (as you typically lose a member of your party member by the time you hit near the end of the first street).

• Again, may need some balancing in difficulty or more access to survival equipment / mechanics toward the end of the road. Difficult is fun if it's balanced, jury's out on that but not unacceptable or surprising for an Early Access release.

• Some minor bugs like q/e button looking clickable but not, new party member not showing up in the formation window until you fiddle in it, can't cancel a card selection once selected (sure that will be fixed), all minor stuff like that (It's early access, it's all good).

• Seems to be missing some music / sound effects in some menus or events (again, tis early access).

• Not sure if there's an endgame at this point.

And in regards to unlocks it may be too hard or takes too long to feel the benefits or discover the benefits of them. Doesn't feel like attributes I've gained in a rougelike style that I can use right away. I'll need to research this aspect more to know for sure.

The Ugly

• Not really anything ugly at this point, but it might need some more clearer end goals, or an explanation on how the unlock reward system works, or even allowing people to benefit from said unlock rewards a little sooner, to keep people playing longer in its current state.

The Score


As for a score, I'm giving Banners of Ruin an Early Access Ferocious Hand of 8 out of 10; So far so good I'd say. I'm really looking forward to seeing how MonteBearo develops this game as there's loads of scope for adding, improving and beefing it up.

The core gameplay loop is fun, addictive and also importantly, balance withstanding, works well. It may not impress as much perhaps if you've played loads of this kind of game with maybe more features fleshed out in similar early access releases.

But then I'm also probably not the best person to ask for card game comparisons outside of The Witcher 3's own mini-game version of Gwent, so opinions may differ here.

In saying that, I didn't once want to look for the game to end due to boredom or needed forcing to play, in fact I was shocked to look at the clock & see hours passed in an instant, and that, right there, says a lot, for something received 'freely'.

#BannersOfRuin #MonteBearo #GoblinzStudio #The1ntegerReview

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