Indie Review: Arcane Arena
Arcane Arena, developed by Wirecube from Armor Games, is a top-down action indie game with RPG elements. You play as a mini arcane mage tasked with the quest of liberating the world from monsters, and the three greatest evils.
- Worth The Time?Yes, definitely.
- Things LovedThe zelda-like visual style, simple gameplay design and the progressive difficulty level increase from level to level.
- Things HatedThe music was a bit underwhelming, and that was about it.
- RecommendationIf you enjoy old school Zelda and RPGs of that generation. Then this is for you.
- Name: Arcane Arena
- Genre: Action
- Players: Singleplayer
- Multiplayer: None
- Platforms: PC
- Developer: Armor Games
- Publisher: Armor Games
- Price: Free
- Reviewed On: PC
What are the three greatest evils you ask? Well, they are a rainbow shooting panda, an enraged clown and an overpowered mage. Now isn’t that both awesome and random at the same time. But under all of this randomness the game is quite fun. The controls are simple with basic direction keys, numbers on your keyboard dedicated to spells and the spacebar for dashing. Yet when the levels become progressively harder Arcane Arena reveals a darker side, and the game can become frightfully terrifying. Well it’s still a game, anyway.
In the game, you start off from level one where you’re introduced to the basic controls, and the first enemy a little slime monster which is speedily inching towards you with killing intent. The first spell you’re given is a flame spell, and serves you well in torching the little buggers. More slimes soon descend upon your tiny mage who’s stuck within the boundaries of a tiny map that he has to manoeuvre around with his dashing ability, and the flame spell becomes invaluable. Dash is also useful to take out the lower level slimes, but things soon change.
As you play, the amount of enemies on screen increases drastically with an array of elemental gremlins, goblins, slimes, armoured soldiers and the aforementioned bosses. They all make up this kooky cocktail of magic spamming domination as they endlessly attack you horde after horde. This happens every level and continuously with only a few moments of rest before the next wave of magic wielding anarchy arrives in anime ‘chibi’ style.
After annihilating a wave of enemies successfully you can unlock a skill from a selection menu as a level up bonus. Selections can include options like new spells such as lightning, turrets (which can be infused with other elemental spells), ward, ice shards, as well as other selections which increase health and damage resistance. There are indeed quite a few options to choose from. This gives the player great variety and is great to see in a free indie title such as Arcane Arena.
Visually, the game has bright colorful Zelda type visuals that catch your attention. Aesthetically all the enemies are differentiated with elemental colouring accordingly for each enemy set and each race of enemy from slime to imp, or whatever those things are, is clearly identifiable. Enemies can go invisible and also use spells and in the chaotic mess on screen clear-cut visual differences come in handy in dealing with the hordes of enemies. The soundtrack on the other hand is nothing to rave about and whilst suitable is not a clear highlight of the game.
On the plus side, the boss fights are quite challenging and the game doesn’t stagnate because of a limited amount of levels. However, I must warn you that after you hit the level five mark and move upwards the game becomes relentless as enemies are furiously spawned. Arcane Arena won’t give you a moment’s rest. This is a really good thing for a free indie game and I highly enjoyed it.