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Let's! Revolution! Review: Revolutionizing A Classic

EDITORS' RATING : 6 / 10
Pros
  • Gorgeous visual style and unique look
  • Interesting and innovative gameplay loop
  • Easy to jump in and quickly play through a run
Cons
  • Not enough variation between runs
  • The world and story is extremely barebones
  • Unlocks feel lackluster

A PC code for "Let's! Revolution!" was provided to ZaaZ for this review. The game will be available on July 19 for PC.

"Let's! Revolution!" has a great elevator pitch. It is a hand-drawn fantasy game that blends "Minesweeper" with roguelite mechanics to make something completely new. Its most boiled down description manages to make sense while getting your imagination running with what such a marriage of concepts could possibly result in. One can't help but wonder how the gameplay works, and the game's gorgeous visual design from the creative studio BUCK only make "Let's! Revolution!" all the more intriguing before playing it. 

Once you are in the game, you take control of a warrior fighting to free the varied worlds of your fantasy realm from the rule of a ridiculous and narcissistic king. To do so, you have to push the king out of hiding until he is trapped and forced to face them once an for all. Along the way, you'll collect upgrades, defeat guards, upgrade your warrior, and explore beautiful worlds while unlocking new upgrades and characters to use in future runs. It is an undeniably unique game, for better and for worse in near equal measure. 

Minesweeper but more

"Minesweeper" is a classic puzzle game that was originally released in 1989. The game is deceptively simple, presenting you with a grid of tiles that hide a random assortment of mines. Using limited information, you have to deduce where all of the mines are. It is a simple formula with loads of depth available to master.

"Let's! Revolution!" adds and subtracts from this basic structure to make an interpretation of that core gameplay loop that is both more forgiving and complicated. Each of the game's maps have both wilderness and road tile types. Wilderness tiles display how many road tiles are adjacent to them, but road tiles have a chance to have different enemies on them. Each enemy type has a different amount of health, type of attack, and a cooldown between attacks that is decreased every time you make a move. 

To beat a level, you have to survive long enough to find the tile with the king on it, which requires a lot of careful planning and resource management. Using pieces of equipment and abilities, you need to defeat enemies before they deal too much damage to you, position yourself around the map efficiently, and do it all with limited resources. It is an addicting combination that gives you a lot of interesting decisions to make throughout each run, and is the highlight of the game.

Sprinkle in some roguelite

The roguelite elements of "Let's! Revolution!" help set it apart from the standard gameplay experience of "Minesweeper," but they are also responsible for the game's weakest aspects. The roguelite elements begin with you selecting your warrior and associated play style. There are three characters to play as, with each having two versions. The first character focuses on eliminating enemies and slowly exploring. The other two are much more complicated, and force you to adopt specific playstyles. It is great to have a variation of playstyles available in the game, but it is unfortunate how there isn't much of a middle ground in the options offered. The beginning character works well while learning the ropes, and then the other two represent massive spikes in difficulty and complexity. 

The roguelite influence also brings with it different abilities and pieces of equipment that you can unlock by playing and purchase during runs with gold found while exploring levels. You can also find different vendors during runs to purchase upgrades, consumables, and actions to help them throughout the run. The options on offer are a solid foundation, but there is not nearly enough on offer to give players options and different builds to explore during their runs. This issue is made worse by how short runs are. Each is only nine levels with a tenth boss level, but there is only one boss. There is simply not enough variation to keep you engaged beyond the first handful of runs.

A beautiful but unrealized world

Coming from the acclaimed visual designers of BUCK, it is no surprise just how beautiful "Let's! Revolution!" is. With hand drawn animations and backgrounds, the game drips with style in every corner. The visual design is wacky and fantastical while exaggerating elements just enough to implicitly flesh out its identity. Unfortunately, the game's world is little more than set dressing. 

As you go through runs, every few levels are set in the same region of the game's world, giving them different backgrounds and upgrades that you can purchase from vendors there. This is an interesting way to showcase the regions of the game's world, but they are never explored beyond that. There is no information given about the world or the people that live there. Even the characters you can play as are completely void of context or definition. 

Even the rebellion against the terrible king that is at the center of the game is nothing more than a rough outline. There is no mention of why the king is so terrible or anything about him beyond his taunting of the player. Not every roguelite needs to strive for the story-telling excellence of its genre peers like "Hades," but the complete lack of context or information to ground the player in the game's world makes it difficult to become connected to it. Even a minimum amount of information about the game's setting and characters would go a long way to bring "Let's! Revolution!" even more into the light

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