At first glance, it might be easy to dismiss Tangledeep as another throwback-style RPG with its tile-based 16-bit graphics that sort of looks like a Secret of Mana sequel. The old school visual style, however, gives way to an impressively deep RPG and combat system that hardcore rogue fans will enjoy but will easily intimidate casual players.
The name Tangledeep is a fitting title thanks to the sheer amount of detail, player choice, and complex options available. With a dozen character classes to choose from, a few of which must be unlocked, the player is immediately thrown into the deep end in terms of choice. Character classes are also unique and not the typical knight or basic mage. Instead, the player must choose between a Paladin, Bladedancer, or Vanguard, for example, each with strengths and weaknesses. Then, the player also has to select a difficulty factor. For true roguelike fans, permadeath is an option in which you lose everything and must start from scratch upon each death. Luckily, there are a couple other options that allow the player to retain some experience, gold, and equipment after kicking the inevitable bucket. The hub town also can grow with the player, furthering the RPG elements and has some Harvest Moon-like elements to explore.
Battles are actually turn-based although they look like they might play in real time. However, this is a rogue game so the player moves on a grid but each action is one turn. Each action the player performs is an action the enemies also take. In other words, when you move, the bad guys move. If you attack, the enemy might also attack at the same time. Same goes for spells and even using items. This is a roguelike after all.
Tangledeep is a not a bad game, it is just a complicated one. There is so much detail presented to the player at every moment, it is easy to get overwhelmed and intimated by all the options. Just looking at a screenshot of the UI is a sensory overload. Combine these options with other constant elements such as character class selection, equipment inventory management, enemy placement, town growth, dungeons that always change, and even monsters that can be tamed, there is so much the player has to micro manage. Without question, much respect must be given to Impact Gameworks for putting so much into their game. Because of this, hardcore fans should totally eat this up and the higher price to download is definitely justified; an all-star cast of developers that worked on this title and it easily shows. However, casual players or newcomers to the rogue-like category of gameplay might want to look elsewhere to keep their sanity.
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