Overrogue Review thumbnail

Overrogue Review

Roguelike + card combat + retro RPG

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing an Xbox Series X on 🎴

Overrogue is also available for Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Nintendo Switch

Overrogue is rated Teen by the ESRB

Overrogue offers a nifty combination of genres for one intriguing formula so let's see if you have what it takes to become the Overlord.

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Overrogue screenshot 1
Sael and gang hit the town

Roguelike

Overrogue tells the story of Sael who's a vampire on a mission to become the next Overlord by conquering a Selection Battle. Along the way he'll be joined by friends such as his overly protective servant Monty, a quick-tempered living doll named Elize, and the silly wolf-lady Narba who's surprisingly insightful. These personality types complement Sael's kind nature and the dialogue is full of funny moments although it's quite roughly translated at times. Anyway, the premise and party dynamic reminds me a great deal of the Disgaea games and I wouldn't be surprised if the developers drew direct inspiration from that franchise. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140

The gameplay loop of Overrogue will have you master node-based labyrinths while fighting enemies and encountering random events. As you progress through these labyrinths, you'll gradually alter your deck of cards as you enhance cards with upgrades and gather different card types. However, you'll have to start at level 1 whenever you attempt a labyrinth so there's only so much you can do to prepare for each excursion. Making decisions in the labyrinths is also part of the fun as you may focus on optimizing your current run or unlocking more goodies. The fact that your deck of cards gradually evolves as you adventure and redeem coins at the Sagan Gacha machines makes for a rewarding mechanic, especially when you discover a card or combination of cards that can give you an advantage in battle.

Overrogue screenshot 2
How did that giant skull fit on that little body?

Card combat

Speaking of battle, fighting enemies in Overrogue essentially has you select cards from your hand whenever it's a party member's turn. These cards can enhance your team or attack enemies and there are oodles of interesting types as well as cards that work together. For example, one card may lessen its cost for each turn that you leave it in-hand while another will cause more damage if you have specific cards in your hand at the time. You might even discover helpful combos on your own such as a card that hurts you a bit when you use it which also happens to power-up another card in your hand afterward. There's a lot to experiment with and it's all great fun. 😄

In addition to choosing cards, Overrogue has a mechanic where you can rotate your party members via Change. This has different effects such as putting the combatant in front in more danger while the ones in back could heal. You can also charge your characters with Fortitude and Swiftfoot to make them more powerful. Anyway, there's a limited amount of MP that you can use at each turn so maximizing each character's output will rely on not only the cards that you choose but on the order that you use them, too.

Retro RPG

Between labyrinth runs, you'll explore a town and home base area which can be a bit boring, especially if you forget where a certain character that you need to talk to is. On the plus side, the fact that the home base area expands and becomes more populated as you progress, complete quests, and fulfill offers is satisfying stuff. On top of that, there are loads of unlockables, challenges, and collections to fill out which makes each run even more rewarding. However, you'll occasionally need to grind in order to progress such as by filling your enemy catalog and doing so can get quite tedious. I also wish that you could set up your party in some minor ways between labyrinth trips because some runs can be particularly unlucky which makes failure feel less deserved than if you had a bit more control.

Overrogue screenshot 3
You should, Narba; it's a pretty great game!

The amount of fun to be had in Overrogue is impressive with card combat that's deeper than it initially appears and oodles of rewarding unlockables throughout. If you enjoy these kinds of roguelikes then you'll love adventuring with Sael and his quirky chums.

  • + Enjoyable node-based labyrinths with rewarding combat and themes
  • + Silly cast of delightful characters
  • + Loads of challenges and unlockables
  • - Having to grind at gated content can get tedious at times
  • - Exploration segments can be boring
  • - Could use more character set-up options
8.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Overrogue thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Overrogue
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