Azurebreak Heroes is an RPG with roguelite elements where you need to escape the prison world using one of six unlockable characters. With each character having their own skill tree, boosting your stats in between rounds, and randomly generated dungeons, what makes this game different from anything we’ve already seen?
First, let me start with the lackluster story. We want to escape Heldia, and we need to go through dungeon after dungeon, fighting monsters, pushing our way through to the exit and onto the next dungeon. After a little while, you’ll come across a boss fight before moving forward.
This gameplay is all in one go, too. Even after you beat the boss, you move ahead to the next dungeon. It’s only when you die that you make it back to the main area where you can switch characters and unlock new artifacts to boost your stats.
These artifacts are various ways to boost your speed, health, defense, offense, make it, so you have a trail, a fire following you, your attacks are poisonous, and so much more. The number of artifacts is crazy, and it makes you wonder if you’ll ever get a chance to unlock all of them.
In Azurebreak Heroes, instead of experience points, you earn Azure, which will unlock different artifacts. In the beginning, it seems to take forever to collect Azure since the first tier of artifacts for offense, defense, survival, etc. cost 2,000 Azure each. However, the longer you last in each dungeon, the more you collect. Before you know it, you have 25,000 Azure to spend. It’s balanced quite nicely.
But here’s the thing – you unlock the artifacts, but nothing is boosted until you’re actually in the dungeons. When getting artifacts, you’re accessing spell books to use. In the dungeons, the monsters will drop various loot, such as monster flesh or bones, to gain these spells. It’s a two-step process. Once unlocked, though, you can still jump back into the game with only three attacks and three defense points.
Monsters you defeat will, once in a while, drop a spellbook. There are three tiers, the third being the strongest. Only then can you choose a spell to boost your stats.
The various unlocked spells make for a different game each round, and it’s not just because the rooms are randomly generated. That gets repetitive after a while because even though the layout is different, it’s still the same area as you move your way deeper into the gameplay.
While your stats get reset after death, the Azure you’ve collected remains, as do all the artifacts and spells you’ve unlocked. After a while, you’ll want to die just to go back to the main area to unlock more things so you can have a better and longer run next time.
The balance between your stats and the enemies is nicely done. It’s not often your character becomes too overpowered for the monsters. While the dungeons get repetitive, each round is different than the last, and you’ll last longer also. You’ll find yourself wanting to go one more round after unlocking new spells. However, it does get frustrating to die after you’ve made it so long and need to reset all your stats. But that’s the nature of this gameplay, and I think it works.
I’ve seen and played games like this before where you need to try to go as far as you can in one playthrough. Azurebreak Heroes isn’t revolutionary in terms of something unique. However, it’s balanced well, which is something I haven’t seen too often with these types of games. If you’re looking to see how far you can go with simple RPG mechanics, give this game a try.
Review: Azurebreak Heroes (Nintendo Switch)
Azurebreak Heroes is a well-balanced RPG roguelite with randomized dungeons and no two playthroughs alike. While the story is lackluster and it might get repetitive, you’ll still be able to put plenty of hours into this game.