Lost Ruins

in Hive Gaming6 months ago (edited)


Losing your memory and forgetting yourself is one thing, but to top it off with waking up in an unfamiliar world filled with magic, goblins, and who knows what else, is a whole other can of worms!


In Lost Ruins, an action-platformer from ALTARI GAMES, you take control of a young girl who, after finding herself lost in a mysterious world, must hunt down the followers of a “Dark Lady”, in order to find answers to her conundrum. To do that, you’ll be exploring the vast and labyrinthine Lost Ruins, collecting unique equipment, and using your environment to defeat a diverse cast of monsters, all in hope of regaining your memories!



Lost Ruins is one of those games that has been on my list for a long time, and being a big fan of action-platformers of the metroidvania persuasion, it was only a matter of time before I finally pulled the trigger and started playing the dang game. What initially drew me to it though, was its gorgeous character designs. Designs that reminded me a lot of another of my recent favorites, Touhou Luna Nights.


Plus, I really liked that instead of being a hectic flurry of hacking and slashing, the action in the game seemed much more methodical and deliberate. Where timing, and knowing which items to use at any given time could mean success or failure, similar to what you’d find in many Souls-like games. It also didn’t hurt that there seemed to be some exciting looking boss fights, as well as a large cast of monster-ladies. A weakness of mine, I won’t deny it.



Aesthetically, Lost Ruins really does deliver on every level. Like I mentioned earlier, it has some truly stunning character designs, but once you begin the game and start exploring the world, it all comes to life. Even though you’ll find yourself exploring dark dingy dungeons most of the time, the graphics remain vibrant and eye-catching, and that’s true from moment one, to the last line of credits. Truly what impressed me most is all of the subtle details added to each of the sprites, as well as the backgrounds. And of course the game’s smart usage of lighting and particle effects to tie it all together. Which is all given even more character when everything starts animating. The game is just so dang satisfying to watch, and play because of it. And if I’m going to be perfectly honest, it’s the one thing that single handedly compelled me to keep playing every time I picked up the controller, especially when it comes to the larger than life bosses you’ll be fighting as you progress through the game.


One of Lost Ruin’s biggest features, aside from its amazing art, is its large variety of weapons you can find hidden throughout the world. What’s unique about it is that each weapon has a few different stats including attack speed, as well as various attributes that can be used to exploit enemy weaknesses or enhance your other abilities. Like elemental affinities or bonus damage to specific enemy types. Which meant I was swapping weapons quite often so I could experiment. That said, each time I found a new weapon it did take some time to get used to it. Especially when finding something with a slower attack speed. It didn’t always make you feel like a powerhouse, but it was satisfying to defeat enemies with them since it took learning the attack timings to get it done. I also really liked that you could find some non-standard weapons like brooms, plungers, and even a possessed bunny plush! Not all of them were useful all the time, and you’d usually find yourself relying primarily on a few of the more powerful weapons in the late game, but they did bring a smile to my face every time I found one.


It may have been a blast experimenting with the weapons, but what I found the most fun to use was the magic. Since it required managing your MP and always having to carry MP restoration items, it could be a bit more difficult to rely on than hacking and slashing your way through mobs of enemies, but discovering and utilizing Lost Ruin’s unique mix of spells was one of my favorite parts of the action. I mean, you could find a spell that could suck the life and mana out of corpses, which was great for exploring any of the areas infested by the undead. Having a swirling array of magical swords is pretty dang fun too! By themselves the spells were pretty powerful, but you could also supplement their powers, and even the effectiveness of your weapons with the accessories you’ll find! Which can include things like a bathing suit that’ll prevent you from getting wet (and slowing down) in water, or a maid’s outfit that’ll allow you to cause more damage to male characters, while taking more damage from female characters! It’s quirky things like that on top of everything else that really makes this game quite special.


As a metroidvania, level design and exploration are a key part of the experience. Although I’d use the term metroidvania loosely to describe Lost Ruins. I say that not because it doesn’t feature a labyrinthine world, or interconnect levels, or a variety of rooms and loot to discover, because it does. And each of those levels feel distinct with their own sets of enemies and hazards, while still feeling like a continuous part of a whole. However, what it does differently is that it doesn’t prevent you from progressing based on the abilities you’ve acquired. Instead, all you have to do is reach and defeat the boss of the current area you’re in. This does make it feel a bit more linear than your run of the mill explor-a-thon metroidvania, but it also reduces the amount of backtracking, which I appreciate. That said, there are a few instances where you can choose between different paths as well, so that at least gives the game some open ended-ness. What I appreciated the most about the level design was that you could utilize the environment to aid you in combat, and even solve a few puzzles. So, if a group of enemies were wading in water, you could shock it with lightning or freeze it with your ice spell and it’ll do continuous damage to them or inflict them with a status effect. Or if you happen to have a zombie puking green goo at you, you can ignite it and have their attack backfire in their face! As for the environmental puzzles, most of them had you either aiming lasers at mirrors, or blowing up walls with cannons, but all were satisfying to solve when you got the opportunity.



Going into Lost Ruins I had high hopes that I would enjoy my time with it, and I’m happy to say that it certainly didn’t disappoint. Not only was it gorgeous to look at, and an absolute joy to play, but it also included enough unique features that helped it stand apart from the increasing amount of action-platformers you can find every day. It was challenging but balanced, and I can’t ask for more than that. The best part is, the game offers more content to explore even after you complete the main campaign! There’s the Boss Mode, which lets you play through as and swap between a handful of the bosses, as well as the Magician and Assassin modes which modify the game so you can only use magic or melee weapons respectively. Each adds a lot of bang for your buck, and they give you a way to freshen up the experience if you want to play through it again.


I also appreciate that the game is short and sweet, clocking in at about 6 or so hours, and that’s after collecting everything I could. Meaning it doesn’t overstay its welcome and it wouldn’t be too much of a time commitment if you wanted to jump back in to see if you could attain the other two of its three potential endings, or maybe even clean up those achievements you missed on your first playthrough. Not something I do very often these days, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was tempted!!


With stunning graphics, thoughtful level design, and satisfying methodical combat, Lost Ruins is an easy recommendation! If you’re a fan of action-platformers and you’re looking for a rewarding experience that has you experimenting with unique weapons, slinging powerful spells, and going toe to toe with playful enemies, then you can’t go wrong! Two spell-casting thumbs UP from us!

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Who would think of using a plush rabbit as a weapon? Game makers have been doing funny things lately. I've seen something like this before. I don't think all games need to be long hours. Some of them should give you 6 hours of good time like this one.

 6 months ago  

Haha I know right? It's interesting seeing what devs will come up with when they're making their games. If nothing else, at least we know they're having fun with it!

I also agree, a solid and concise 5-6 hour game is perfect.

a 6 hour metroidvania-esque experience with great graphics and medium-level difficulty? Sign me up!

 6 months ago  

It's a pretty great combo isn't it haha

If you give it a shot, I hope you like it!