Soulblight is a top-down challenging action RPG roguelike with a unique system for improving your character. Learn more about this one in our Soulblight review!
The game will throw you into a short tutorial section so that you can learn the basics. You will get to open up your inventory and check what you have on you, as well as fight an enemy as you attack and block. You’ll also be told to find an item which is conveniently located inside of a chest a few feet away from where you fight your first enemy. Taking the item back to a contraption will open the path for you to continue your learning process. A second chest will contain money and an item, as well as a message that tells you that you should find some money to buy stuff. The store is conveniently located close to that chest, so you’ll get to make your first purchase in no time.
The controls will need a bit of trial and error for you to get the hang of things. You’ll move around with the left analog stick, perform your main action with the A button, your secondary action with the X button, and can change targets with the right analog stick. You can also perform an additional action when/if needed with the Y button. The B button is for blocking, but you need to be careful since you can’t block forever. By holding down the R button you’ll be able to sneak around, and you can search or grab something by holding down the ZL button. The ZR button, when held, will open your inventory, and you’ll be able to switch tabs with the D-Pad. The final piece is the Chrono Inhibitor, which you’ll activate with the L button.
If you feel that the control setup is not your cup of tea, then you can also switch to other control options that change things around a bit, so be sure to try it to see which fits your playing style better. Holding down a button for this or that is not something that will please all players, so you can also opt for selecting a toggle version of the available control options so that pressing the corresponding button will toggle the action on and off.
Soulblight’s main system for making your character more powerful is called the Tainting Mechanic. As you take on the madness of the Sanctuary, your choices will provide you with personality traits. You’ll get to select a Taint before you enter the Sanctuary, and each subsequent choice will reshape how your character behaves and what makes you stronger or penalizes you. For example, the Greed Taint will punish you if you overpay for things, but if you amass a small fortune, your character will be stronger. If you select the Fierce Taint, being damaged will make your character enter into a Rage, and killing enemies while in Rage will allow you to secure a permanent boost.
Something else to consider is that your character will grow hungry as you explore the Sanctuary, so you’ll need to keep him well fed if you want to avoid becoming weaker because of its hunger. You can sustain up to four serious wounds, so if you are wounded, you should try and tend to it as soon as possible. You should press the – button every now and then to check on your character’s Taints, Injuries, Conditions (both positive, shown in green, and negative, shown in yellow), Stats and Transmutations. Transmutations are for upgrading items. You can leave an item in the container and fuel the machine to power-up an item. You will need to search everywhere in the Sanctuary to locate new recipes that will allow you to learn new transmutations.
Stats are important, and you should also keep an eye on them. Each of the four available stats will determine a different thing: Attack will establish the power you have when you attack enemies, Defense will establish your defense and your resistance to disruption; Mobility will establish the amount of Stamina you will need for each action you take, as well as increasing your maneuverability and extending your parrying window; and Synergy will be your main source of strength, and that means that if you increase it that will, in turn, increase your damage and resistance.
If you’re looking for a challenging and dark top-down roguelike on Nintendo Switch, then Soulblight is going to cover those needs. It’s an addictive experience that will keep you coming back for more even when the game chews you and spits you back over and over again. The Tainting Mechanic is certainly something different that sets this one apart from other roguelikes, and it’s something I’m sure you’ll get to enjoy.
This Soulblight review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by My Next Games.