Bonfire Of The Sanities: Wayward Souls

Champion of indie games and decent chap Mike Rose told me of Wayward Souls’ existence at the beginning of the week. I’d mentioned something Dark Souls related on Twitter and he suggested I take a look at Wayward Souls, describing it as a mobile variant. What he didn’t tell me is that the game, from the developers of Punch Quest and the spiffy Mage Gauntlet, is only available on iOS. It is coming to Android later in the year and I imagine it will accompany me on several flights and train journey, but it’s also heading for PC. That surprised me but not like the Jack In The Box that cemented my fear of clowns as an infant – like an unexpected breakfast in bed. There’s a trailer below.

We’re promised six characters with different playing styles, randomised locations and speedy combat. It looks quite similar to Mage Gauntlet, a top-down action game that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I haven’t had a chance to try the iOS version yet because I am an Adam without an Apple.


  1. RiptoR says:

    Was a day 1 buy for me on iOS, and have had a blast playing the game. Controls take a bit getting used to, but once you’re over that hurdle it’s non-stop hack&slashy fun.

    Can’t wait until this hits pc.

    • Snidesworth says:

      How do the touch controls work? I’ve tried playing action games with them before and they never feel quite right. The Metal Slug games were a particularly painful experience on a tablet.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Floating joystick on the left side for movement (you don’t see anything drawn over the screen or whatever but it is basically a virtual stick). Tap the right side to fire your basic weapon, swipe up to fire your primary special (usually offensive) and swipe down for your secondary (usually defensive). (Might have those the wrong way round, I keep mixing them up.) Tap the inventory in the top right to get to the menu where you can see the map, the options or use any disposable items – if they’re potions they trigger right away, if they’re weapons (spells, summons) it jumps back to the game in pause-time so you can aim them. That’s pretty much it.

        I know most of the commenters on this site seem to hate touch controls on principle, but I like them fine for the most part, if they’re done well, and I think Rocketcat have done a pretty good job with them here. The one strange thing which I can’t quite get over and which has objectively nothing to do with touchscreen versus physical controls is you can’t shoot on diagonals (if your character has missile attacks) but monsters can.

      • RiptoR says:

        Eight Rook explained it nicely. I also keep forgetting in which direction to swipe for the offensive/defensive powers.

    • aifasaleem says:

      I was just considering that the prospect of the top-down/ISO Black Souls-is activity. It appears it may be a good design for a powerful, thorough, me lee method just like D. That sounds exciting.
      link to

  2. slerbal says:

    Mage Quest and Wayward Souls look fun. do you know if they are planning on bringing Mage Quest to PC?

  3. hungrycookpot says:

    It looks pretty cool, but I just can’t imagine I’d have any fun whatsoever with this on a touch-control setup.

  4. Eight Rooks says:

    It’s a pretty good ARPG but it’s excruciatingly difficult and no, that’s not down to the touch controls. Imagine Dark Souls where every death is literally “YOU SCREWED UP. TRY AGAIN” and nothing else – health items are almost non-existent, character upgrades do little or essentially nothing, all loot is arguably pointless (it’s either cosmetic items or money for those upgrades), if you fail a run through one of the areas there’s absolutely nothing you can do to guarantee the next one will be any quicker, and the procedural content starts turning up the exact same room layouts very quickly indeed. I can see why people on iOS forums are loving it but I’m starting to suspect it’s just flat-out too mercilessly tough for me.

  5. Nevard says:

    I’m sure the game is good but the aesthetic is very ” early 2000s default RPG Maker charsets” and I’m not quite sure why, considering this definitely wasn’t made using that.

    • The Random One says:

      I think it’s a case of the two drinking for the same source, Chrono Trigger style sprites in this case.

  6. Elevory says:

    Looks sweet! Gonna pretend it doesn’t exist until the PC release, though.

  7. Ross Angus says:

    I just came to praise the headline pun. And I’m out.

  8. The Random One says:

    Looks like an action oriented Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup, and seems to have a lot of class variance (or a lot of leeway in character build?) Maybe you can’t play as a boulder-flinging troll ranger but I’m interested. I’ll wait for the PC release since I just can’t play action games on my smartphone, it feels too weird.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      There are no character builds per se. You do buy permanent upgrades for each class but they don’t really offer any huge boost (extra health regained when you reach a new floor, a chance you won’t use up your secondary ammo when you fire, things like that) and you’ll have most of the useful ones unlocked fairly quickly anyway. The order you gain these upgrades really makes little or no difference, or even how many you have – I’ve all but maxed out the mage, for example, and I still can’t beat the second area (of five) with her.

      EDIT: Sorry, also meant to say that despite this the different classes do play noticeably differently, yes. The differences aren’t hugely nuanced (warrior has a huge health bar, can block things; rogue has a small health bar but can dash, stun and backstab, etc., etc.) but they are meaningful nonetheless.

  9. BigPrimeNumbers says:

    It’s good stuff for sure, but I wonder if it would be too easy with a controller on PC (granted I haven’t made it past the first damn boss, so it could get nuts later!). That said, controller support on iOS would be just awesome!

  10. jonahcutter says:

    I was just thinking about the potential for a top-down/iso Dark Souls-ish game. It seems it could be a good format for a solid, methodical, melee system like DS. This looks interesting.

    On a semi-related note, there’s another 2d Dark Souls-em-up in development. Oblitus. It’s a side-scroller though, but also looks potentially very cool:

    link to

  11. akbarovich says:

    Given the posts about tabletop board games, I don’t see why RPS can’t cover iOS and Android games as well.