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Now on PlayStation, Juicy Realm proves that simplicity can be a lot of fun

Juicy Realm screenshot
Image: SpaceCan/XD

When we call Juicy Realm “simple”, we don’t mean it negatively. This twin-stick roguelike doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel; it simply adds a bright, colourful design to a formula we feel like we’ve experienced dozens of times before. Is that a problem? Heck no. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just maybe add some fruit.

Being a roguelike, your goal in Juicy Realm is to simply try to get as far as you can. Like The Binding of Isaac, a helpful minimap will guide you through rooms, marking where bosses, shops and other treasures lie. Defeating the boss will take you to a new area, with a new theme. And if you fail? It’s back to the starting area you go, to prepare yourself to start all over again.

Playing Juicy Realm is great fun. There’s a handful of characters to choose from to begin with, and you’ll unlock more as you complete feats within the game. Each one has different skills and starting weapons, giving you a bit of choice over your abilities. As you play, you’ll pick up new weapons and you can (initially) have two equipped at any one time. That means switching between melee and ranged is a valid option. Or simply choosing two different types of ranged weapons. Whatever works.

Juicy Realm
Image: SpaceCan/XD

You’ll find a huge amount of weapons, and that’s partly what makes Juicy Realm so enjoyable — it means no two runs are ever going to be the same. Starting out with a regular gun is fine, playing like a straightforward twin-stick shooter. But when we found a weapon that shot out cluster bombs, we were in our element. Others are even more ridiculous: a squeaky chicken, maybe, or a bowling ball to roll towards enemies. Unfortunately, comedic value doesn’t always equal damage, but you’d be a fool to not at least try them out.

Related: The best roguelike games on PS4 and PS5

We love how it looks, too. You won’t find many roguelike games as bright, bold and fun-looking as Juicy Realm. Heck, it’s a game where your enemies are largely based on fruit: of course it’s going to be over-the-top and colourful. Each area has its own vibe with its own set of enemies: you’ll start out in a woodland area, where gun-toting pears and explosive apples are out to get you. Later, you’ll find yourself in the desert, an ice realm, and more.

Is it the sort of thing that’s going to keep you engaged for hours at a time? Probably not — but it certainly has that “just one more go” sentiment to it. It’s the ideal game for jumping in for short bursts; just one or two runs before dinner, perhaps. And you probably will keep going back to it. We know we will. It’s too joyous to keep us away for long.

Juicy Realm is available on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC.

Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.