Nexoria: Dungeon Rogue Heroes is a strange game that I felt a little weird playing. It has very little explanation for any of its systems and it wouldn’t let me take screenshots or create videos. If it suddenly disappeared, I could believe it was some sort of creepypasta, rather fitting for October. That being said, this strange opening is perhaps the only thing I think I’ll remember weeks from now.
Nexoria is a basic dungeon crawler where you choose a team of four characters with each run, as you prepare to investigate the “Nexoria Dungeon”. This doesn’t stop here and Dark Forest, Hardcore mode, and Rogue mode are also available to play upon beating certain bosses. They offer a harder experience and unlock more characters to play from, like a witch. The characters you get to choose from initially include a cat warrior, healer, ninja, defender and much more. They attempt to offer the choice of team setup but some feel significantly worse than others to play due to limited spells and low stats. You are often better finding out what works and sticking to that than experimenting.
Upon picking your dungeon, you are just sort of thrown in to Nexoria with no warning and even less story. On the right side of the screen are your party and their health, sanity and hunger. Underneath you can find things such as food and your gold. You must traverse through the dungeon, reserving your food and keeping your characters alive. The dungeon you find yourself in is very sparsely lit and this means that, while fumbling around in the dark is challenging at the start, very quickly it becomes infuriating. You must manage your party or that light will go out even quicker.
Managing your party becomes harder through combat, mixing a traditional turn-based RPG with a deck-builder through its actions. Initially, every character has moves like a basic attack, defence and the chance to run away, but this is expanded as you go further. You can also swap party members around – an important skill for the way Nexoria is set up. Every time you attack, the attacking member moves to the front of your party; this makes them easier to hit and, therefore, a target. This means hitting with your tank or hitting with a smaller person and swapping around again is the preferable way to approach combat. As well as this, you can find scrolls that teach random moves that are usable in the future. You have to test the scroll once to find out what it is, meaning a potentially wasted turn.
Each character has their own stats that determine where they act in the queue. A particularly slow party might act after every enemy has had a turn, meaning swapping up stats and party members is a must for a long life. The different classes also have their own special abilities like a healing spell or a fireball that fires in a straight line, hurting anybody in the way. Every party member has a shared mana stat, which is a strange choice that will leave you swinging blindly for entire turns, just waiting for it to fill up. The mana recharges over time during rounds, pausing when you are waiting to take a turn. Often you will spam your way through encounters until you have made up just enough mana.
It seems a lot of your time in Nexoria: Dungeon Rogue Heroes is spent waiting to get somewhere better, stumbling around in the dark hoping for something bigger. It fails to deliver. It is also quite difficult with lots of enemies, little loot and high damage to contend with. You will likely repeat the first two rooms of a run continuously until you get lucky enough to get further, where it gets easier. There doesn’t appear to be much attention drawn to balancing, having some runs and items coming across as much better than others. Further, its hunger and sanity menus don’t add enough to leave you feeling fulfilled, and end up just feeling like a hindrance the more you play.
The general atmosphere of Nexoria is decent though, with fitting but simplistic pixel graphics. However, the audio comes across as generally unnoteworthy music, filled with midi instruments. It is occasionally catchy but not much more. The look of enemies and characters are varied but uninspired too – a ninja looks like a ninja, a cat is just a cat. It lacks any real flair in design but suits its function.
In a sense, one can say the same for Nexoria: Dungeon Rogue Heroes on Xbox One. It is simplistic and more than a little tedious but, for its price point, it’s hard to expect any more from it. If you need something cheap to kill the time and want to get frustrated at an RPG, maybe Nexoria will satisfy you. If not, I wouldn’t bother.