Sanctuary RPG is an ASCII-rogue like RPG that puts you in the role of an adventurer that has taken on the task of taking down someone named the Matron. You will have boundless adventures ahead of you, and you are sure to run into some interesting situations. This is a game that you get into a rhythm, but don't be lulled to sleep by it, chances are there's going to be a curve ball that will definitely destroy you if you are not careful. You will have bosses, and enemies will all kinds of advantages blocking your path, but if you can survive the waves of monsters, and become strong enough you might just be able to take on the Matron in a battle for the world.
Graphically this is actually a game that I was very interested to play. I'm not saying that there was no graphical presentation, but it was interesting to see everything is ASCII. It was also refreshing to see a little bit of color to spice things up, and also alert you to opportunities that could give you bonuses, or allow you to take down a monster faster. You will see a rotation of static images made in ASCII, and they will all have to do with exactly where you are in the game. So its not like you are going to be dealing with the same four scenes, but you are going to see a lot of certain scenes as you go through the game. Here's a helpful hint, ALL WAYS look for the green text, if you pay attention it can help you more than anything else in the game.
The music in the game makes me feel like I'm playing an original Nintendo game, and I have to say that it fits perfectly with the game.
The controls for the game are pretty straightforward. You are going to be using the keyboard, and the keys corresponding to the commands that are presented on the screen. For the most part, when in combat its all about 1-4. When you are out there's keys assigned for different actions, such as looking at your character, checking out the shop, visiting the blacksmith, and crafting items, just to name a few.
This game is a time portal to what made random generated game play so amazing. The trick that the developers were able to pull off was that the randomizing of the game, sure it was there for grinding purposes, but you will never lose sight of the story, or your place in the story. Once I started playing I couldn't stop, sure I had it on the lowest difficulty, so if I did screw up it wasn't perma-death, but it was still something that stood up in all shapes and forms.
You will get to choose a type of character to start off the game, and then you never really look back. You will always need to be on the look out for better weapons, shields, armor, and trinkets. Now I do want to warn you that there's no inventory when it comes to equip-able items, if you don't equip them they will be salvaged for parts, and if you decide to equip something new, what was equipped becomes salvaged parts. So one of the first things you will need to keep an eye on is if you really want to get rid of the item you are getting on display right now.
There was one aspect of the game that I really really liked, and that was the Tavern. I hate to spoil it for some, but at one point you become the owner, and this is a great way to make extra money, and also it gives you a chance to gain items, sometimes its of the equipping variety, other times its material. I found that this part of the game definitely helped me take my mind off of things and it gave me a great chance at getting good stuff for cheap. Speaking of getting stuff, there's also the crafting mechanic, which I kind of hinted at. Now most of the time, for me personally, I never got any items that were better than what I have, but it is an interesting give and take mechanic. You can craft at different speeds and strengths, but be careful you need to be mindful of the durability of the materials you are working with. If you can go through all the progress you might find yourself with something that can help, or at least will give you a break from the game.
This is not a game for everyone, this is definitely a game that screams remember the days of old, and it might be boring for some, but for me it was something that I really excelled at. Sure there were times were I got a bit too cocky and let the enemy charge at me causing too much damage for my poor body to sustain, but in the end I kept coming back for more. Oh I did want to mention one more thing before I gave my review, and that is, no matter what type of character you start out as, or the name of your attacks, you can use WHATEVER you want to use. I'm supposed to be ranged, all my attacks speak of rains of arrows and such, but I'm actually playing with a Maul, and there's no penalty for that. So lets get down to scoring this game, and after all I went through, my triumphs, my grinding, and everything in between this game gets an 8.9 out of 10.