I’m a sucker for a Rogue-like. And the upcoming Dandy Ace scratches just about every itch you’d expect from the best in the genre.
Titular magician Dandy Ace has been trapped in a cursed mirror-world by his nemesis, the illusionist Lele. Filled with monsters all out to destroy Dandy Ace, he’s no choice but to press on through, fighting to get out of the cursed mirror. And like any Rogue-like game, death sends you flying straight back to the beginning. So Dandy’s got quite the uphill battle on his hands.
Don’t let Dandy Ace‘s vibrant visuals lure you into a false sense of security. Despite your enemies being cute little rabbits and walking cuckoo clocks, this is one heck of a mean and difficult game that throws everything it has at you. I’ve no shame in admitting that my first few attempts lasted no more than a couple of minutes. When you’ve a screen filled with enemies, all with a mixture of ranged and lunging attacks, staying on your toes and exercising impeccable reflexes is the only way you’re going to survive. And as they always say: practice makes perfect.
Your arsenal of skills and attacks in Dandy Ace depend on what cards you have in your hand. Of course – what could be more fitting for a magician than a deck of cards? At the start of each run, you’ll be given three basic cards to start out with. Typically, you’ll get a dodge manoeuvre, a standard attack and a more powerful attack, though they can vary. Each card has its own cooldown; standard attacks can be used much more frequently, but other, more powerful attacks might only be useable once every five seconds or so. That doesn’t sound like much, but in the midst of combat in Dandy Ace, five seconds is a lot.
Progressing through Dandy Ace means collecting permanent upgrades, helping you get just that bit further next time. As you defeat enemies, you’ll gather shards. At the end of each area, you’ll get the opportunity to exchange these shards for permanent upgrades. Things like a tea potion, which can be used once during a run to replenish your health, extra gold, or random cards at the beginning of each run. It’ll take some time to unlock anything meaningful, but even just one potion can make all the difference.
The real key to success in Dandy Ace, though, is practice. You’ll soon become familiar with each enemy’s attack patterns, and you’ll learn when to dodge and when to go in for the attack. Each new level you reach will throw new enemy types at you, however, so you can never get too complacent. And if there’s enough of them, even the most basic enemy types can throw you for a loop if you’re not prepared. Death comes swiftly for those who let their guard down in Dandy Ace, so be prepared to keep on trying. Dying is never fun, but each time you get a tiny bit further than before is hugely rewarding.
Set to release on PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch soon, Dandy Ace is looking like a must-play for any fan of the Rogue-like action genre. It looks beautiful, its unique enemy types keep you on your toes, and its difficulty is just right. Yes, it’s dastardly as hell, but it’ll keep you coming back for more, that’s for sure.
If you want to dry Dandy Ace for yourself, a demo is available right now on Steam.