Help Tama to save Koko using the powers of the forbidden Sword of the Necromancer. Turn your foes into allies and reach the depths of the Necromancer's dungeon. Defeat the guardians to gain enough soul power to bring Koko back from the dead, no matter the cost.
Sword of the Necromancer is a title that stands out for its good story and characters, as well as its mechanics of resurrecting monsters that will surely delight fans of challenges and rogue-like. All of this is accompanied by a good soundtrack that helps create a challenging proposal.
Sword of the Necromancer is a neat, engaging, and surprising rogue-like with some great ideas and a curiously deep narrative. The mechanic of reviving enemies to fight for you is a great concept, and general features like diverse weapons and effective combat maneuvers feel superb, however, this strange inventory design feels like a huge setback. The inclusion of the latest update which allows for a more customized experience is an improvement, but it did sour my enjoyment of the game just a little to not have it from launch. As it stands, you can’t really let yourself get attached to anything other than the titular sword which directly contradicts the key point of the narrative; that Tama has grown attached to Koko. If you are looking for a nice, light rogue-like to jump into that doesn’t feel mindless, this is the game for you.
While its queer twist on a usually heteronormative story deserves to be recognised, the game is let down by not letting the new ideas come to fruition. It feels like I received a bouquet of violets, but instead of them being fresh and in-bloom, they are already wilting. With just a few tweaks, the bouquet could revitalise into a fun roguelike, and while it’s overall a serviceable experience, there’s really no reason to go back once you have the true ending, if you don’t feel tired out before then.
Unfortunately, a cute and thoughtful story isn’t enough to distract from Sword of the Necromancer‘s other struggles. There’s a competent action RPG in there, but it’s lost beneath a misguided attempt at a roguelike experience that misses most of what makes roguelikes exciting. Even something as unique as a system of reviving slain enemies to fight alongside you gets lost in the narrow constraints of the game’s other systems, resulting in a largely forgettable experience.
Sword of the Necromancer isn't really a bad game, and if it was released during Gameboy days it would've probably received much better. There is a soul in this game and the care is obvious, but unfortunately the gameplay feels very limited and not really engaging. There are much better games out there.
Sword of the Necromancer feels more like a proof of concept than a full-fledged experience. The idea of using former enemies as allies is a great one, but its shoddy execution and lack of content hamstrings that premise quickly. People who are looking for another exciting roguelike game after finishing Hades should keep on looking, as Sword of the Necromancer doesn't live up to the potential of its one great gimmick.
With nothing to offer besides some pleasant storytelling, we cannot recommend Sword of the Necromancer on any meaningful level. It’s not horrible, but it’s bereft of both meaningful content and any manner of unique execution. A sequel or heavily-modified relaunch could salvage the game into something much stronger, as the core idea of resurrecting fallen monsters is a decent one, but its treatment here renders it irrelevant. What a shame. This could have been something special. It's not a complete and total disaster – occasionally, when the screen is a little busier, you might feel a flicker of engagement as you dash between combatants – but overall, we'll be leaving this one for dead.
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