Halfway through writing this post, I realised ScourgeBringer might be my entire jam. Developers Flying Oak Games' slashing, dashing roguelike just hit Steam Early Access, and it looks killer. A meticulous mash-up of some of the best side-scrolling bloodbaths, offering bite-sized brawls in labyrinthine dungeons. Just thinking about the rhythm of smashing up room after room, an ever-ticking combat multiplier, bullet-hell bosses and freeze-frames that light up the whole room has given me the shakes. Readers, I might need this one.
Graham called ScourgeBringer his next roguelite crush when he took a stab at it last July. Now, I might still be in a long-term relationship with Nuclear Throne, but going by this gif I nicked from his coverage last year, your man might be onto something.
Flying Oak cite Celeste and Dead Cells as inspirational works. And yes, those influences are glaring in the look and flow of ScourgeBringer's single-room bloodbaths. But there's also a real Downwell kick to the way leading lady Khyra punts bugs and balances combo multipliers. It looks like a perfectionist's dream - room after room of arenas to murder your way through, always trying to pump up that combo, always room to be a little more efficient in your killing.
The devs say they've got about 50% of ScourceBringers in place for this early access launch. Right now there are 3 worlds to slash through, complete with their respective bosses and baddies. Roughly half of the planned weapons, upgrades, items and skills are in there too, with more to come over the next year.
That simple stabby foundation Graham adored so much, though? That's all there, and Flying Oak reckon it'll take another 6-8 months to bring the rest of the game to completion.
ScourgeBringer is out now on Steam, with a 10% launch discount at £10.25/€13.49/$13.49. I'll delay picking it up until after my shift. Promise.