Lost Ruins Review thumbnail

Lost Ruins Review

A survival-based Metroidvania

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS4 on

Lost Ruins is also available for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Lost Ruins is rated Teen by the ESRB

Metroidvanias aren't usually all that challenging yet Lost Ruins is here to toughen you up and it's quite a spectacle to behold as well.

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Lost Ruins screenshot 1
How does that little chum wield such a massive blade?

What is Lost Ruins?

Lost Ruins stars a girl who finds herself in a mysterious world that's filled with monsters, traps, and plenty of oddball characters. She soon meets Beatrice who assists her by teaching her the ropes when it comes to survival and from then on, the girl will have to use her wits and resourcefulness to overcome a perilous journey and discover just what the heck is going on. v1d30chumz 18-204-56-185

Survival

Even though many other Metroidvanias implement lots of RPG mechanics, there is no level-up system in Lost Ruins. Instead, you'll need to collect, equip, and utilize items in order to survive. Whether you equip a piece of armour for some additional protection, learn a new spell that can devastate enemies, or hoard a bunch of heal potions; every bit of planning and experimentation is a rewarding feat that's sure to pay off. Plus, as you progress, you'll acquire a wealth of artifacts that provide substantial boosts such as extending your HP and MP gauges and allowing you to equip more armour. Keep in mind; it's an incredibly challenging game where perseverance is key. 😅

Lost Ruins screenshot 2
Deploying these lasers sure is satisfying

Map

The game world within Lost Ruins is a pleasure to explore, especially after you complete the game and try to collect all of the missing items that you missed such as gallery art and logs. Thankfully, there are puzzles to solve, side-quests to complete, and keys to discover that will unlock doors so it's not just running around and fighting. On the downside, the map is rather small and you'll become very accustomed to each area as you traverse it over and over again. The good news is that the characters you'll meet along the way stand out in exceptionally quirky ways, especially the collection of bosses that transform while their strong personalities remain intact.

Mechanics

Equipment within Lost Ruins is balanced in a way that not many pieces are clearly better than others so swapping your gear depending on the boss or area is always a good idea. Adapting like this adds to the feeling of survival, too. There's also a checkpoint system although they can sometimes be too far apart and once you activate one, you can't activate it again before touching another one so it can be frustrating to restart from the same one after multiple failed attempts, especially if it happens to be far away. 🙁

Now that I mention it, another highly annoying aspect is the fact that you can miss out on some missions. After beating the last boss, I tried to achieve 100% but couldn't because without realising it, I failed 1 mission that's actually needed to complete another one. So, that added up to a few missed trophies and I don't want to start the campaign all over again just to get them. I might later, though.

Replayability

With all of that being said, Lost Ruins features some additional modes that unlock upon completing the game so there is definitely incentive to play through it again. Specifically, you'll unlock Witch Mode with only magic, Assassin Mode with no magic and only certain weapons, and Boss Mode where you play as 3 of the bosses that you can swap between on the fly. How awesome is that? 😄

In addition to these extra modes, there are different endings to achieve and as of right now, I'm not entirely sure how to unlock them. When you factor in how much stuff there is to collect, you're looking at one highly replayable Metroidvania despite its brevity.

Lost Ruins screenshot 3
This boss is making things a bit too chilly for me

When it comes to Metroidvanias, Lost Ruins presents a unique inventory-based formula that's packed with challenge and oodles of fun. If you enjoy the genre and want to play something off the beaten path, definitely give this indie gem a go.

  • + Solid Metroidvania formula with a unique focus on inventory items
  • + Kooky world with memorable boss fights
  • + Loads of replay incentives and modes
  • - Game world is quite small and contained
  • - Missables can be a huge pain in the ass
  • - Checkpoint system is sometimes frustrating
7.6 out of 10
Gameplay video for Lost Ruins thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Lost Ruins
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