Flame Keeper plays similarly to a standard, small-level-based rogue-like game. In each section, the objective is to charge a bonfire that serves as a gateway to the next area. Though it may sound simple, this task involves a lot of exploration and combat. To charge the bonfire, players need to gather lamps and take them back to the bonfire, as well as utilise flame energy obtained from vanquished foes.
Flame energy is a crucial resource in this game. This can be used not only to unlock chests and lamps, but also as health. The game, to some extent, becomes a form of resource management.
On top of managing this resource, there is a lot of combat to attend to. There are numerous enemies that must be dealt with in each area. However, the game provides quick and responsive combat, complete with dodging, abilities, and buffs to add some excitement to the mix. It is satisfying to defeat enemies, even if it does start to feel repetitive.
The serene land of the fox-like creatures has been infiltrated by malevolent shadow monsters who have snatched the Eternal Flame from its guardians, creating an atmosphere of gloom and conflict. The main character, known as the Flame Keeper, promptly arrives to safeguard the land and thwart the shadow monsters’ evil plans.
The hub area of the game features stations where the player can acquire combat abilities, purchase upgrades, and use acorns to upgrade the stations within the hub area itself. Since this version of Flame Keeper is only a preview, several combat upgrades are inaccessible, and I was not able to test them out. However, based on what I observed, these upgrades could enhance the combat experience and make it more enjoyable.
Combat can also feel really repetitive at times because each area has respawning enemies. This is a double-edged sword. If enemies did not respawn, they would not drop flame orbs that replenish flame energy, resulting in a finite resource and making the game more challenging. However, since the game has an abundance of enemies, it feels less frustrating which is good. Throughout my gameplay, I noticed that i never really seemed to run out of flame orbs to progress through each area. However, the trade-off for having an abundance of flame orbs is that the game focuses heavily on combat, its lack of variety makes for some bland moments.
Despite the abundance of flame orbs, the game remains challenging, and I encountered many close calls due to exploding enemies and being surrounded by multiple foes. However, I appreciated that the game was not as unforgiving as some other rogue-likes and found the difficulty level to be just right.
Enemies in Flame Keeper offer a pleasant mix of diversity, with features such as the underground-dwelling worm that surprises the player by attacking from below, adversaries that hurl mortar-style projectiles, and huge tick creatures that dangle from trees and can poison and hamper movement. This variety elevates combat beyond a mere routine of hitting the attack button. Dodging, jumping, and utilising skills are imperative for success.
Game Levels & Theme
The game follows a relatively linear path, but the levels are procedurally generated, which means that the layout and placement of objects and enemies differ each time you play. As far as level design goes, there isn’t a whole lot to discover. The sensation is consistent throughout every level in a specific terrain. Each area has a chest that holds significant upgrade materials. Apart from that, there isn’t much to explore, resulting in a somewhat repetitive atmosphere, albeit with slight variations.
In addition to the regular combat encounters, there are also boss fights and tower defense levels incorporated into the game. These additional gameplay elements add variety to the experience and help keep things engaging.
As for the look of the game, it reminds me of the Rayman series a lot and it’s a big throwback to PS1 video games in a way. The subdued hues used in Flame Keeper’s art style create a spooky atmosphere, reminiscent of Halloween themed games. The villages are full of charming little fox-like creatures. The main character of the game has a unique appearance with its short stature, along with floating hands and feet, which I found particularly interesting. The overall visual style of the game is reminiscent of a charming children’s book, which adds to its appeal for me. Check out the official trailer below to get a better understanding and see actual gameplay for yourself.
In the end, enthusiasts of this category will experience a sense of déjà vu while playing Flame Keeper. You will definitely enjoy playing it and have fun at the same time. It’s not gonna win any game of the year awards by any stretch of the imagination but if these kinda titles are your flavour then you can’t go wrong. Flame Keeper is out now on Steam, Nintendo Game Store, Sony PlayStation Store, and Microsoft Store.
- Graphics – 65/100
- Longevity – 70/100
- Fun Factor – 70/100