I tried this dark fantasy pixel-art RPG that looks like a mix between Final Fantasy and Darkest Dungeon and I loved it.
Legends tell of a place betwixt worlds, a region outside time and space called the Valley of Fallen Sinners. A dense, preternatural fog lays like stinking breath over black woods. What cursed hordes await? Vicious beasts, damned warriors, the undead, and worse chthonian horrors, all with a unslakable craving for new souls to perpetuate their own unnatural life.
This region is for the most contemptible cowards, those who died because of their sins and the darkness weighing down their souls. At one time, they lived as brave heroes across a multitude of worlds, and bards composed ballads to their noble deeds. Until the day darkness flooded their hearts and killed them.
Now regret consumes them, but their souls will find no rest. They are doomed to wander the Valley endlessly, searching for rest, respite, an end to their torture. But they will know no peace until someone destroys the seven seals of the Portal of the Worlds. Only then will the gates open and the damned finally escape their prison… Truth be told, no one has attempted this before.
In Sin Slayers, we lead a party made up of different characters, each with unique characteristics and abilities. We will have to visit different locations and defeat the area bosses to unlock the next areas. The fighting takes place in turns, in Final Fantasy style. Let’s look at some of these elements in detail.
Church & world map
The worn and unsafe church is nothing more than our base. Here we can handle our party, accept missions, crafting objects, weapons, and armor. Once ready, we can click on the big door and head to the world map.
The world map is made up of different locations and each one is controlled by a mini-boss and a big boss. To proceed we will have to dedicate at least 2 explorations to each location because in the first we will deal with the mini-boss while in the second we will have to defeat the main boss. Once this is done the paths to the other locations will open.
Once we decided the location to visit, we will enter the heart of the game. The exploration.
Let’s start by saying that in Sin Slayers every map is procedurally generated, so even the exploration of the same location will never be the same.
We will move our party into darkened grids until we visit it, so we won’t know what to expect in a particular cell. What we can find are first of all monsters of all kinds, but then traps, chests, crypts, corpses of other adventurers, etc.
We were saying that every area we visit is headed by a mini-boss or a boss. Our main task will always be to find and kill him in order to return to the church.
We will always have to pay attention to the sins bar, if it goes up too much, the level of the enemies we face will also rise.
During our exploration, we will have to pay attention to sins bar. This bar as it fills up will level up the creatures we face, if for example, the bar has reached level 2, it will be much more likely to face creatures of that level or higher.
This bar increases when we decide to desecrate some crypt, to look for things of values on the bodies of dead adventurers etc. on the contrary instead, to be able to lower the level of sin again, during our explorations we will find altars that will drastically lower the bar or even refusing to visit a particular point of interest will lower the level of sin.
Classic Turn-based combat
Sin Slayers presents a classic turn-based combat system with pixel-art graphics. Each unit has its turn depending on the initiative points and once its turn occurs, a unit can decide to use a simple attack or attack using special abilities that require RAGE points.
I found the fights to be of the right difficulty level. In any case, if we miss the right strategy or don’t have the right party, we will really struggle.
The RAGE bar fills with a point at every turn, or thanks to passive skills can recharge even in different ways. During the fights, we also find the attacks that alter the state (poison, stun, inhibit the RAGE bar, etc.)
The crafting system is a pleasant addition and allows us to create lots of weapons, armor, accessories, and items. We can create many things even during the exploration but many other recipes are only accessible to the blacksmith who is in the church.
Sin Slayers has a simple but at the same time rewarding crafting system.
At the beginning our recipe book is poor but during our raids, we will be able to find new recipes.
- 10 playable characters with their unique histories and skill sets
- Many pixel-art stylized monsters characterized by damage, skills, and behavior.
- 7 regions, each of which belongs to one Sin Lord.
- A unique system for assessing the player’s behavior in the game, called «sin-o-meter»: think carefully about your actions in the game and do not commit bad deeds. Otherwise, the power of the monsters will increase, and you will not receive additional game bonuses.
- Generated maps of locations with a variety of events and encounters: get ready for surprises. The Valley is full of mysteries and secrets lurking at every turn.
- Game regions with their own events and game conditions, monsters, bosses and the Sin Lords: explore the Valley of Fallen Sinners and their enemies, information about the game world and foes will increase the chances of winning.
- Personalization of skill sets and line-up of characters: choose characters and their skills and magical abilities accurately; your strategy will define the outcome of the decisive battle.
- Enjoy JRPG-styled turn-based battles.
Goonswarm is a small team of indie developers. They already released Alteric and Pandarama: The Lost Toys on the Steam platform and now they are working on Sin Slayers.
Release date & platforms
Sin Slayers launched its Kickstarter campaign on 4th April 2019. An estimated release date for Pc will be September 2019 while Switch, Ps4, Xbox One, Android & Ios version will be out in 2020.
Definitely, an indie project to keep following. An RPG that pushes you to optimize every party member in order to be able to face each mission in the best possible way. A dark setting and a pixel art style that I really enjoyed.