SanctuaryRPG, the ‘Dark Souls’ of ASCII games


It’s hard to remember the last time that I played an ASCII RPG, let alone saw one that I was excited about. But here is SantuaryRPG from Black Shell Games, in all its ASCII-art glory. With an animated opening cutscene and matching 8-bit music throughout the game, it’s hard not to fall in love with if you are a fan of the once-dead genre.

SanctuaryRPG is bringing ASCII back in force with a mixture of roguelike and RPG elements and a large dash of Dark Souls-esque to boot.

My first few hours with the game left me aw-struck with the level of detail that had to go into designing all of the text-character based interfaces and cutscenes. All of it is really well done.

One annoyance I saw with the game is the structure of the battle scene. In general, I like the layout, but I sort of expected my health meter and stats to be on the top, after all I am the one playing the game, not the enemy that I am battling. Neverthless, after adjusting myself to look where I needed to, I was having a blast, although in my first playthrough, I died at the first boss. Perhaps I should have spent more time leveling up in the grass. Sounds like Pokémon right?

Anyhow, I’ve only had time to attempt the Classic game mode, where you cannot respawn. When you die, you die, there is also a Casual game mode, where dying will allow you to respawn, but with a 12% penalty for doing so. There is also the Survival mode, which looks to be an arena mode where you constantly face a new enemy.

While deep RPGs take a while to crawl all the way through, I do not imagine myself getting bored with this game anytime soon. I even leave it on the menus just to listen to the music as I write.

Screw graphics, you can find me on my laptop playing SanctuaryRPG.