Game Title: Plague Road
Developed By: Arcade Distillery
Published By: Arcade Distillery
Released: December 7, 2017
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Strategy, Role-Playing
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you Arcade Distillery for the review copy!
I have played several Rogue type games in the past, as it is one of my favorite types of games. Any game with rouge lite elements are my kind of jam. Plague Road is an exciting take on the strategy RPG gene with some rouge like elements thrown in for fun. It has a unique way of leveling up progressing through the game. Plague Road had its hooks in me as I kept coming back for more RPG goodness.
The premise of the game is you’re a doctor on the road, heading back to a city that has been consumed by a disease. The game moves like an action brawler but battles are turn based strategy. His job is to rescue those that were left behind on the road and utilize them in any way you see fit, as you make your way to the disease-ridden city. Each area is randomly laid out, so it never feels the same. Your goal is to get to the next area while saving survivors and sending them back to your farm. When you die, you are sent back to the farm where you can assign your survivors that you rescued, to different houses that can increase your stats, abilities, etc. You can also take them out with you which makes surviving battles easier, and getting though the area, you are in. It is a neat concept and addicting once you get going. Some people you rescue are better at different jobs, and each have their own unique abilities, health, and stamina counts. The trick here is deciding who goes where, and which survivors to take with you. When you encounter an enemy on the road, and touch them, the battle begins. It is a turn based, strategy battle. You will move characters and then decide to use an attack, skill, or item. Everything costs stamina and when a battle ends, you do not get your life and a little stamina is refilled. There are chests with potions that can help refill these when your low. It is a lot fun, going into a randomized area and finding survivors, as you never know who you got until back at the farm. The main rouge lite element is when you die you must start the area all over again, and each time you start an area, the layout is randomized. There is a total of four distinct areas to get through.
The game has unique art style that I have not seen before. It has weird colored vegetation and enemies. It reminds a little of a steampunk theme. There are lots of different enemies that have different abilities. Some are wolves, some odd-looking bandits, to scary scarecrows. Each survivor that you rescue has its own distinct look too. The controls work very well on the Switch, though it’s confusing as to which button you press to open the menu. At first, I thought it was a mistake, but it is the plus sign on the right top of your Joycon. The way it looks on screen makes me think I had to have hit the right directional button. It’s a little confusing though I don’t know how to tell people it’s the plus sign, not the directional pad.
Overall I had fun with this game. You will have fun collecting all the different survivors and managing how to best use them. I wanted to rescue all the survivors just to see their different abilities and stats. There is an element of luck, because of the randomness. Anyone wanting a decent strategy RPG with the unique twist of the survivors, pick up Plague Road.