Such text, much awesome. That sums up the game in a nutshell, and honestly I wasn’t expecting the hilarious and fun adventure that I got out of Sanctuary RPG, which makes it all the better when you find out that it’s free.
The first thing that I was struck with other than the initial fact that the entire game is made out of text and punctuation to make pictures and menus, was that there was some great writing. Of course, the main plot is the same as many before it: save the world from this evil enemy and restore peace to the realm, but the events and dialogue is where the game truly shines. Every time you create a new character, for example, a summary appears telling you about your character. Many people will skip over this dialogue but it’s almost the best part of the game in my opinion because it randomly generates a backstory for your character every time you play (see picture for the example character I made).
Many times I would come to a random event, my first being an encounter with a stray potato on the ground. My opinions were to “Kiss it, Slap it,” or “Walk away.” Of course, I just had to kiss the potato and it blew up in my face. But the fact that I had those opinions really made me laugh. Needless to say I was wary of everything I could kiss after that first instance.
Surprisingly, there is only a little dialogue. Besides setting up the story in the beginning and some major plot points, the game for the most part lets you to level up and explore the areas that you come across. Sure you have to read some things before and after battle, but not much in the way of dialogue outside of the main quest is presented to you.
When you start a new game, you are asked to pick from a selection of classes to be for the game, Barbarian, Paladin, Assassin, Wizard, Druid or Ranger. Of course they all have their own respective specials and starting stats but for my first playthrough I picked the Paladin which worked out wonderfully since I had decent life, damage, and a heal to start me off. You then go on to select a gender and name for your character.
If you have unlocked any augments it then asks you to apply them to the new game. Augments are only found while playing in classic mode but have a doubled drop rate if you play on Inferno or Monster Power Level 5 modes. After you pick your mode of play, you are then made to decide where you are from. Every area of the world and your race have other special effects that add to your character’s innate ability. There are over 100 ways to mix and match the classes and races, so finding the right combination might be trial and error or you might get it right the first time around if you know your play style already.
The story then starts you off by meeting a woman who, after wondering why you are walking around naked, gives you some starting items. After this an interactive tutorial on how to get around and fight ensues. The tutorial covers all of the basics and lets you do things in between so I didn’t find it annoying at all. You can turn it off in the options on the main menu once you progress and better at the game.
Since everything in the game is made from text, it would only make sense that the way you play the game would be in the same way. In order to get around, equip items, talk to people, open chests or anything else in the game, you have to press the corresponding letter and then ‘enter’ to confirm the action. For example, in the picture, I had just got my first weapon, I can choose to either [E]quip or [S]alvage it for materials. By pressing ‘E’ and then enter I choose to equip the item and proceed. This makes for simple game play and strategic battles.
Santuary RPG also has its own crating system and a tavern that you have to manage, which can make you a lot of money if you do it right. There is also a Colosseum that you can fight in, but try not to get killed and ruin a run like I did on my first try! There are also secret areas that you can go into and explore by pressing ‘x’ when the picture at the top of the main game menu is highlighted green. There is a lot of depth for something so simple, and I love it!
Sanctuary RPG at first glance looks like a game that you wouldn’t expect much in the way of audio, but I was pleasantly surprised with the depth of the music. It was catchy and changed to what menu you were looking at. When you run across a good weapon or armour, a new song might play and while it might not be the armour or weapon that is better than what you might have, it’s still nice to have an indicator via audio.
SanctuaryRPG OST by Rafael Langoni Smith
Sanctuary RPG’s replay value, because of the many different classes and races that you can combine, is very good. In classic mode, when you die, you lose all progress, but it’s worth the replay to just get better and better at the game as well as make different choices about things you didn’t on the first try. The multiple modes are there for when you get better at the game so they keep things challenging and interesting if you truly want to conquer the game.
You can download the game from Sanctuary RPG’s website. The game itself is free but you can donate to the developers if you wish!