Review: Lone Ruin – A No-Nonsense, Roguelike Twin-Stick Shooter

It’s dangerous to go ‘lone.

Though it flew under a lot of radars, Cuddle Monster Games’ Hell is Other Demons was a standout platform shooter of 2019, featuring razor-sharp, ultra-tough action gameplay alongside a delicious neon aesthetic. Considering it was mostly the work of just one man by the name of Hannes Rahm, Hell is Other Demons was an impressive achievement and a great example of a niche classic. Rahm’s latest project is Lone Ruin, which feels in a lot of ways like a spiritual successor to that initial release. That same dark atmosphere and intense gameplay are present, but now things play out in 3D. Though Lone Ruin doesn’t feel like it quite meets the bar its predecessor set, it still manages to be a raucously good time while it lasts.

Lone Ruin is all about the gameplay, which is equal parts thrilling and simple. A typical run involves you entering a room, clearing out all waves of enemies, collecting the reward (if you survive), then moving on to the next room. Most enemies go down after just a few shots, but the tricky part comes in with how easily you can get swarmed by them. Some enemies can shoot lasers and projectiles while others may explode on contact, and when things really heat up, there’s scarcely a square inch of space to be found onscreen where your character won’t be hurt. Luckily, your character is pretty light on their feet, and they also have a dash move on a small cooldown that can grant a few i-frames of respite while you reposition.

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