- Platforms: PC, PS4, PSVita, Switch, XBox One
- Platforms Played: Switch
- Published: Dec 7, 2017
- Publisher, Developer: Arcade Distillery
5/10 – Fun initially, but quickly devolves into a grind fest that does not reward the player nor value their time.
According to my Switch, I’ve played Plague Road for about 5 hours, which is longer than I’ve played many other games I’ve purchased. I probably only enjoyed the first 2 and continued out of curiosity until finally giving into boredom.
I picked up the game for only a couple dollars at a steep discount (which it can often be found at), and was immediately pleasantly surprised with the production value. The game looks much better in motion than the screenshots let on, and while the art style is unique and well enough in individual elements, I found it far too busy to support a game that requires identifying different characters and objects on the screen.
Part of what kept me going was the lack of instruction: I enjoyed discovering new characters, abilities, and mechanics. The game takes place on a road that leads through a few different environments and eventually to a city (which I never reached). The road is randomly generated, and populated with enemies, obstacles, treasure (items), and survivors. Bringing the survivors back to your base (a farm), you reveal their characteristics, and can add them to your party or add them to different structures on the farm to yield different benefits. So far, so good.
Each time you leave the farm, the road is randomly generated again, so it’s always different. Each area of the road will get a fresh batch of enemies, but the survivors become more sparse, as you find them. The combat is not bad, but it’s difficult to avoid, incredibly repetitive, and you do not get experience or really any reward for doing it. Even when your party is clearly more powerful, you have no option to skip battles, so it eventually just feels like a waste of time. Ultimately, this is what led me to putting the game down.
If you’re curious, it’s definitely worth a couple bucks, but I would have been very disappointed if I paid full price.
- Plague Road was a successful Kickstarter project in 2016 and released about a year later in 2017.
- A couple folks from Destructoid worked on it.
- If you like the unique style, Luc Bernard provided the art direction and has a few other games with similar aesthetics, including Death Tales which is currently in public beta on PS4, and Mecho Tales which can also often be found on sale for $1 in the eShop.
- Budget Gamer’s positive Youtube review of Plage Road was what initially sold me, and at the sale price I have absolutely no regrets.