It’s been a while since a solid representation of a Roguelike RPG has entered the market. Sure, they’re out there, but few are to the of the same caliber as Wayward. Reminiscent of such games as The Odyssey for the Mac and Diablo for the PC and Mac, Wayward brings its own ideas to the already-set table. Standing somewhat alone with its unique crafting system and free play-style, hopefully something great will come of this currently beta game. To note, it’s being developed and published by Unlok, a small-time game company based in Canada.
Wayward – Graphics
Although referencing the same graphical style as many of those original Roguelike RPGs, Wayward seems to freshen it up for the society used to life-like beings and realistic approaches. I also feel these representations appeal to the retro/hipster demographic that’s rising so effortlessly. However, the gameplay involved with the graphics can get unusual, as many aren’t used to 2D stylings.
Wayward – Gameplay
From the beginning, Wayward can turn people off due to the unnecessarily complicated controls and often cluttered user interface. Most of the time, I just end up reverting to a mix of arrow keys and mouse clicks, as moving purely with the mouse becomes too much of an utter pain. Along with that, the user interface consists of a rather overbearing amount of windows and options, sometimes overwhelming the player on the status of his character and the possibilities available in the heat of gameplay.
Don’t get me wrong, once the player gets used to the design flaws, or rather, ignores them, Wayward can be an excitingly fun experience. Sponsoring the same no-save play-style as is rather hand-in-hand with the genre, you’ll only have one chance to do things right, or end up starting over. In the beginning of a new game, starting off can be rather difficult. There is certainly a learning curve when it comes to becoming a veteran of Wayward. However, a starting guide is available on the wiki, which can be found here. With the help of the guide, new players should be able to jump the learning-curve hurdle and dive to the bottom of the experience.
Wayward – Captivity
I will admit that the captivity of Wayward is substantially lower than I would like it to be. After a successful experience, one may feel captivated to give it another shot or come back after a short break, but when things just don’t go your way, returning to the game is the last thing you want to do. At many times, it has gone either way. On the days that you just can’t seem to get it right, though, Wayward can be the bane of your existence and really rile you up. Hopefully throughout development, the coders will receive and implement the feedback that you, the player, can give.
The captivity of the Wayward also depends heavily on the personal preferences of the player. Those who enjoy games such as Diablo and other Roguelike RPGs will have an easier time adapting to the circumstances portrayed in Wayward than those who are used to RPGs, but new to Roguelikes. For them, it may not be received in the best of light.
Wayward – Overall
I do recognize that there’s some unfairness when it comes to reviewing a game that is only in beta, yet I have kept that in mind throughout the review. Regardless of your previous experiences with Roguelike RPGs, Wayward is a creation that you should take for a test-drive. After reading the wiki a few times and getting used to the funky controls, Wayward will dig its claws into you and never let go. Give it a shot and play it here! (HTML5 Enabled Browser Required)