Haven Review: Virtual Rogue

Virtual Rogue is an isometric “rogue like” dungeon crawler. It uses a twin stick shooting mechanic similar to other titles in this vein of game. Virtual Rogue places you in a large room filled with enemies and instructs you to find the exit. Killing all the enemies in the room will get you some stuff, or you can leave whenever you want. I say “stuff” because I never figured out what anything I picked up did. It was all just crap and tat to give you some sense of accomplishment.VirtualRogue 2016-04-29 15-36-05-40

Everything you pick up in Virtual Rogue looks the same. It’s got this computer theme to it, so all the pickups look like desktop icons or computer chips. Nothing is clearly defined as anything. I couldn’t tell the difference between money, item drops, or health. It was all just a vague blend of sprites. Ugh. The sad thing is, this game probably prides itself on me calling all its shit as sprites. “See that’s the joke. It’s a computer game based off computers, therefore it’s funny that they’re sprites!” says the game. Except it’s not funny or clever. It’s just kinda annoying. Gold is gold for a reason. It’s easy to recognize as currency. If you are going to deviate from that, make sure it’s clear you are doing it, and that your currency stands out from everything else. The rest of the graphics aren’t any better. The room just looks like green computer circuit boards, and the enemies are more poorly drawn computer parts. There’s nothing interesting to it.

The game feels like it has this “good enough” mentality and never really takes anything to an interesting or clever level. Everything about the game feels that way, not just the graphics. The mechanics are slow and tired. Enemies attack much faster than you, so strategy boils down to running out in front of an enemy, shooting once, hope you hit and then running back behind cover as a stream of bullets almost hit you. That or back pedal and shoot as an enemy rushes at you. You never have to react to new enemies, you always just do the same thing again and again for pretty much everything. VirtualRogue 2016-04-29 15-37-35-39Your own bullets are so incredibly slow that you have to commit to shooting something. Since it’s based off of what direction you hit on the right stick of a controller or the direction pad on the keyboard, it’s possible for your slow-ass bullet to barely miss an enemy because you didn’t angle it right. There is about a one-second delay between each bullet, so every miss is just frustrating.

There’s nothing more to say about this game really. It’s an average, uninspired, half-assed creation whose entire sense of humor is based solely on referencing memes. There’s nothing clever, creative or technical to make this game stand out. At best it feels like a good attempt at someone’s high-school gaming project.

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
-Jordan Kamm-