PREVIEW / Pyrene (PC) – That VideoGame Blog

The demo for Pyrene features a gamer’s trinity, in that it combines a dungeon crawler, roguelike, and card game. The game’s art design will also pique the interest of those of you who love a game with style. We’ve been playing the demo version of Pyrene and it’s giving a somewhat accurate glimpse of what we can expect on launch.

As this is a demo build of Pyrene, only one character is currently available for selection. The fact that the demo is only giving us access to one play style makes gameplay feel extremely linear. Many of the important customizable elements that make a roguelike really special aren’t present here as they either aren’t, (understandably,) finished or are being kept secret until launch. Unfortunately, the stripped-back nature of this build made going through the first few biomes of the game somewhat troublesome from the perspective of the player.

What makes a roguelike a roguelike is the improvement factor, in that every game over is a learning lesson. Typically there are also some gameplay elements that make your next run easier than the last. In the demo for Pyrene, those elements are severely lacking on account of this game’s current state. There were times when I noticed that upgrades were available while going through a stage but weren’t carried over after the many failures and successes of a run.

While the demo for Pyrene states that there are many ways to complete a battle, this current iteration only really focused on one way to win. This involves going through your deck until a winning card is drawn and the character gets to that card. The problem here is that, since the demo only allows for a certain number of cards in the player’s deck, an imbalance is left in the number of enemies present in the battle deck, something that obviously makes play a lot harder.

To put my last point into perspective, think of it as you own a certain number of cards, while the enemy has an infinite number. You mix your cards with the enemy’s and you place them all on the battlefield. The winning card you need will show up after a certain number of cards are drawn. While your cards are guaranteed to show up, you have no idea how far down the deck they are or where the winning card you need is going to be. If you use all of your cards in the first couple of turns and there is a giant wall of enemies between you and victory it doesn’t bode well for your success.

Pyrene still has a long way to go before feeling like a finished article. The makings of a really good game are there but the demo isn’t currently giving the best first impression concerning the game’s mechanics. This could turn out to be a masterpiece but it will need a lot of tweaking before it comes close. There is still obviously a lot of work to be done and there are some really interesting elements present but it’s definitely not there yet. If you want to get an early look at this game you can do that here, just please remember that this really is a demo if you do.

This preview is based on a demo build of the game provided by the publisher.

A demo in the truest sense

Plenty to be done

There is still a lot that needs to be done before Pyrene is anything close to being a really enjoyable experience. This being said there are still some very interesting ideas floating around here and the art style is very nicely done. This is going to be one to watch in the truest sense.

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Microsoft UK IE

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