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Written by Russell Archey on 5/31/2017 for PC  
More On: Rezrog

It wouldn’t surprise me that some of you reading this are probably familiar with Dungeons & Dragons.  There’s nothing like creating your own character to traverse a fantasy world filled with monsters to fight and treasure to find.  One of the best parts of it for me were the dungeons and actually visualizing how everything took place on a map using miniature figures to represent the players.  What if there was a video game that took that part of D&D and made it its own game?  That’s pretty much what we have with Rezrog.  Now before I proceed, please note that I am fully aware that Rezrog isn’t related to Dungeons & Dragons and that the game works differently than the analogy I gave above.  However, that was the first thing that came to mind while playing though the game.

One day in the land of Rezrog a group of adventurers meet under unfortunate circumstances as they are being attacked by many creatures of the land.  United they defeat the creatures and find a tavern as night begins to fall.  However, the tavern appears empty.  As they begin to eat and drink to their hearts content they begin to wonder why the tavern is deserted and, even more importantly, where the tavern owner is.  Once daybreak arrives they realize that nothing has changed.  They decide to head out to find the tavern owner, not aware that their journey will take them though the most dangerous parts of Rezrog.

The game begins in the tavern with your seven heroes, each a different class with their own stats.  You can hover over each character to see what stats they specialize in and what kind of weapon they start out with to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses.  Once you choose your character you can click on the map on the table to go to the world map to choose your dungeon.  Once you enter the dungeon  a roulette wheel will randomly choose an effect the dungeon will contain such as stronger enemies or more experience per enemy defeated.  You can move your hero around by clicking where you want to go; an arrow on the ground will show you the path you’ll take to get there.  However, one minor nitpick is that you MUST pay attention to where the path takes you.  Otherwise you might not notice that it’ll take you through a trapped tile that’ll damage you as opposed to going around it.  The dungeons are procedurally generated meaning they’ll be random each time you traverse it.  The loading screen before each dungeon will show you your goal.  Once the goal is completed and you find the dungeon exit, you’re free to leave.  However, if your hero’s HP reaches zero, that hero is captured and will remain imprisoned in that dungeon until another hero comes to save them.  If all of your heroes reach zero HP, the game ends and you must disband your party back at the tavern and start from scratch.

When traversing the dungeons you can move about freely and check any chests and such you come across.  Once you get near an enemy however, combat begins and you become limited in what you can do.  You technically get a certain number of actions to do something, but that’s kind of deceptive as you only get the full amount of actions (three by default) if you move as much as your turn allows, then your final action to attack, use an item, or wait.  I get that attacking should end your turn, but even using a potion ends your turn making it hard to regain your HP when you’re surrounded by enemies.  There is an element of strategy to the fights though as attacking from the sides or rear increases the damage you’ll do if you hit the enemy, but the same goes for you as well so be careful you don’t get surrounded.  Sometimes it might be better to back away and come up with another strategy.

The tavern does more than just let you choose your hero.  After you clear the first dungeon and return to the tavern, you are introduced to a few more of the tavern’s functions such as the trader to buy and sell items, the shared stash to store unneeded items for future use by another character, the forge to repair equipment, and the inventory to manage your inventory before a dungeon.  There’s also a spell book that will keep track of each skill you’ve found along your journey and allow you to swap them between characters.  What’s interesting is that any character can use any skill or spell as each character has mana available, but some might not be a good fit for certain characters, such as elemental spells for a fighter since he has low Intellect; he’s better suited for physical skills.  Furthermore, the more you use skills the more the skills themselves gain experience.  After so many uses you can level up skills by using specific gems found in the dungeons.  These increase the effects of the skills and spells and they can be leveled up more than once, but the more you level them up, the more uses and gems they require to level them up again.

The final important thing in the Tavern is the Legacy Forge.  Along the way you’ll come across Legacy Stones.  Using these at the Legacy Forge in the tavern will give your character one extra stat point, but this is a permanent stat boost.  Remember when I said that if every hero is capture the game is over and you have to start from scratch?  Stats from Legacy Stones will remain even when starting over to give that hero a small boost when starting out.  My only nitpick here is that you can’t seem to swap gems between heroes, even the skill-upgrading gems.  There’s a tab in the shared stash that has a gem on it but I can’t seem to access it unless I purchase the first five shared stash tabs and that costs way more gold than I have at the moment.

Back at the start of this review I likened this concept to moving miniatures on a grid in Dungeons & Dragons, and in that regards I did enjoy Rezrog, but that doesn’t mean it’s not without its issues.  My first issue, and probably the biggest one for me, was that it was pretty slow going at first.  It took quite a while to finally get everyone through the first dungeon.  Keep in mind that if a character is captured, everything gained in that dungeon is lost from what I can tell, including experience (otherwise I’m not sure how my Warlock had zero experience after each time I rescued him when he had killed a few enemies before getting captured).  Also keep in mind that a captured hero stays in the dungeon he was captured until he’s rescued.  What that boils down to is if you get one hero way far out before getting captured, you might have to take another hero through a lot of earlier dungeons just to level up enough to save the first hero.  It doesn’t help that the first couple of dungeons can be deceptively difficult since you have little to no armor or potions.  The final enemy in the first dungeon is a wizard that can conjure up another enemy and they both can deal some decent damage to you.  It took several attempts with a few characters to make it past him.

Once I got going through the game really becomes enjoyable, but you’ll still possibly hit a brick wall at some points.  I had one dungeon goal to destroy three crystals.  Once I destroyed the first one though it spawned three enemies with each of those capable of spawning another enemy, so within a turn of combat I had a six-on-one disadvantage.  Needless to say I had to back out.  Yep, you heard that right.  About to die to a mob of enemies?  Don’t like what came up on the roulette wheel at the start?  Just hit Escape and return to the map.  The only downside is you’ll lose everything you’ve found and earned to that point in that dungeon, plus any consumables you’ve used will not return.  Still, it’s a small price to pay when your other characters are five levels below your current character and you really don’t want to get captured.  Since you can go through any dungeon you’ve already cleared, it might be worth it to go back and do a small bit of grinding.

There is one minor thing to note and that there’s a bit of a bug in the game.  Once you clear the first dungeon, make sure to go back to the tavern to see the tutorial for the tavern’s functions.  I went right to the second dungeon, got captured, and when I went back to the tavern I couldn’t do anything but move the mouse cursor.  I had to Alt+F4 out of the game and go back in, but even then after getting captured in the second dungeon the bug happened again.  It didn’t clear up until I went back into the first dungeon and then backed out and went back to the tavern, so there might be something in the code that won’t trigger the tavern’s functions until you go back to it after leaving the first dungeon.

Rezrog is a fun game once you get going.  Early on it can get kind of tedious as you get the hang of how the game works.  I spent the better part of the first couple of hours just getting past the first three dungeons as I kept on getting heroes captured and having to go back and grind the first two dungeons for items and experience, and you only get a couple experience points from the first dungeon.  New skill slots will open up starting at level ten so you can equip more skills, but a lot of this game requires strategy to get through unscathed.  If you can stick with it long enough to really get going, you’ll find an enjoyable and challenging game…and if you think it gets difficult early on, you have one hundred levels across several environments to explore and battle through.  Hope you came prepared.

Rezrog is essentially the “miniatures on a grid” portion of Dungeons & Dragons so to speak and I enjoy that.  However, the early going can be tedious as you learn the game’s mechanics and some frustration may set in until you start to get your characters leveled up.  This is definitely a game where strategy must be employed to survive without getting your heroes captured, but if you stick with it long enough you’ll find an enjoyable experience that tabletop RPG fans will likely enjoy.

Rating: 8 Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I began my lifelong love of gaming at an early age with my parent's Atari 2600.  Living in the small town that I did, arcades were pretty much non-existent so I had to settle for the less than stellar ports on the Atari 2600.  For a young kid my age it was the perfect past time and gave me something to do before Boy Scout meetings, after school, whenever I had the time and my parents weren't watching anything on TV.  I recall seeing Super Mario Bros. played on the NES at that young age and it was something I really wanted.  Come Christmas of 1988 (if I recall) Santa brought the family an NES with Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt and I've been hooked ever since.

Over 35 years from the first time I picked up an Atari joystick and I'm more hooked on gaming than I ever have been.  If you name a system, classics to moderns, there's a good chance I've not only played it, but own it.  My collection of systems spans multiple decades, from the Odyssey 2, Atari 2600, and Colecovision, to the NES, Sega Genesis, and Panasonic 3DO, to more modern systems such as the Xbox One and PS4, and multiple systems in between as well as multiple handhelds.  As much as I consider myself a gamer I'm also a game collector.  I love collecting the older systems not only to collect but to play (I even own and still play a Virtual Boy from time to time).  I hope to bring those multiple decades of gaming experience to my time here at Gaming Nexus in some fashion.
These days when I'm not working my day job in the fun filled world of retail, I'm typically working on my backlog of games collecting dust on my bookshelf or trying to teach myself C# programming, as well as working on some projects over on YouTube and streaming on Twitch.  I've been playing games from multiple generations for over 35 years and I don't see that slowing down any time soon.
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