I picked up Tomasz Wacławek’s RONIN a few months back when I was in the mood for exploring some of the indie games available on the Humble store. It took a while before I got to playing it, but I’m very glad I did as RONIN ended up being one of the more unique ‘platformer’ titles I have played in a long time.
Set within a minimalist story of betrayal and revenge, RONIN casts the player as a nameless(?) heroine seeking to avenge the betrayal and murder of her father. As a result, said main character has trained to become a deadly assassin – making use of katana, aerobatics and a slew of gadgets.
The game plays as a relatively normal platformer / stealth game for certain sections – though the player’s ability to use a claw-shot-esque gadget to stick to walls, roofs and door ways makes moving through a level more interesting than many conventional platformers may be. As soon as combat initiates, however, the game becomes something akin to a spacial turn-based-strategy, in which the player must seek out and kill any enemies present while avoiding gunfire, melee attacks, and predicting the enemies next move.
The seamless integration of real time movement outside combat, and the turn based strategy when in combat means that the player can seek to remain hidden until they are ready to strike, giving them the initiative in battle, or potentially entirely removing the need for battle should the player dispatch an enemy before she is noticed.
RONIN is carefull constructed to let the player think for themselves, and ther are many ways in which rooms / levels can be cleared of enemies, providing the player with great opportunities to ‘think outside the box’ in terms of both combat and navigation. This coupled with the intensity of later levels lays the foundation for a highly satisfying game experience, and something that seems to punch well above its weight for a seemingly short indie game.
For those of you who are fans of strategy, stealth, or games with a cyberpunk aesthetic, I would strongly suggest checking RONIN out for yourselves!