Rogue Stormers is a side-scrolling, Run-and-Gun Platform Game with Rogue Like elements. It was developed by Black Forest Games, creators of Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, with a notably rough and lengthy development history.
Originally envisioned as "Ravensdale" as early as 2008, the game went through a canceled Kickstarter campaign, a name change to Diesel Stormers in 2014, a second, successful Kickstarter, a legal suit from the clothing company Diesel over their name, an extremely rough Early Access launch in July of 2014, a broad retooling of its characters and mechanics, and another name change to Rogue Stormers in 2015 as a result of losing the suit, before finally releasing on April 21, 2016. Phew!
An age of industry has come upon the medieval city of Ravensdale, powered by "Goop", a black, oozing substance drilled up from deep beneath the Earth, enabling advanced, Dieselpunk-style machinery. However, Goop has bizarre effects on people, mutating many citizens into brutal orcs and goblins, who have taken over much of the city under the cruel leadership of High Priest Hector von Garg. But there is hope! Members of the former town guard, operating from the safe haven of the city's Pauper's Quarter, have formed a resistance movement against the orcs: the Rogue Stormers.
Thus is where you come in. As one of the five named Stormers, using Powered Armor and rather large guns, fight your way through a series of seven stages with procedurally-generated layouts, fight the orcs, goblins, and the occasional Eldritch Abomination, find gold and upgrades, defeat a string of nasty bosses and, hopefully, don't die. If you do, don't worry too much: though it ends your run and you lose any items you found, you keep any experience you earned, and leveling up gives you a choice of two perks that are yours to keep, making subsequent runs just a little bit easier.
The game can be played solo or with up to three other players in local or online co-op. Get the game here.
Check out the character sheet here.
Rogue Stormers provides examples of:
- Animalistic Abomination: Morkenrav, the boss of stage four, is a large, flying, squid-like entity that likes to shoot bolts of darkness at you. He also apparently likes basketball.
- Anachronism Stew: Several of the items fall into this, going far above and beyond the Dieselpunk aesthetic: there's a Rail Gun, a strap-on micro fusion reactor, an orbital strike weapon, and even the hoverboard ripped straight from Back to the Future.
- Asteroids Monster: Not in game terms, but one of the lore entries mentions that the mini-goblins are created in batches, split by Goop from a single person.
- Attack Drone: A few mechanical enemies are these, and you can get your own from the "Pocket Drones" weapon or certain upgrades: The Gunslinger and Rocket drones mirror your aim, while the Omnidrone fires in eight fixed directions.
- Arm Cannon: Several orc enemies are fitted with these- apparently they have a recurring habit of sticking their arms into running machinery. Their wielders are color-coded based on what they shoot.
- Green: Mines. These bounce off you harmlessly but soon detonate.
- Blue: Single plasma shot.
- Purple: Floating mines. These explode into a starburst of eight shots.
- Orange: Three plasma shots.
- Body Horror: Goop can cause radical physical changes in it those it affects- it turned off-screen reporter Sayetta into a naga, for example.
- Bottomless Magazines: You can fire your primary weapon forever, and any equipped secondary regenerates ammo over time, or when damaging enemies.
- Betting Mini-Game: There are slot machines in the levels called Jackpods. The small ones cost 100 gold and can give you secondary weapons and health kits, while the large ones cost 250 and can give you keys, upgrades or more gold... or less then you put into it.
- Cast from Hit Points: The Hungry Chests require a sacrifice of 30 health to open, but often have very good upgrades. There are a few upgrades that themselves hurt you: The Double Gooper reduces your current health but increases your max, while the Organ "Donation" reduces your max health but gives you 2000 gold.
- The Coup: In the Back Story. A civil war between Ravensdale's previous rulers, the twin Duchesses Katarina and Anne-Marie was ended abruptly by von Garg, who ordered their execution. Although the riots slowed down, von Garg's ambitions and use of goop ensured the violence was only just beginning.
- The Corruption: Goop, more properly known as "Petra Arcanoleum", is black, oozing, and highly mutagenic.
- Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Upon freeing the Great Vori'Thel, Mother of Monsters, She Who Sleeps Below from von Garg's control, the players are rewarded with the power to reshape their fate... in other words, a Skill Point Reset. Apparently she finds humans to be "so very cuddly" but laments our "tiny fragile minds" and regrets any accidental Mind Rape. Notably, she goes out of her way to repair the damage.
- Death from Above: Among other means of vertical damage, an available secondary weapon is an orbital strike, whose massive damage is offset by its lengthy cooldown. Exactly what the beam is fired from is anyone's guess.
- Double Unlock: Certain powerful upgrades are locked until you complete a specified challenge, and even then, you still have to get lucky enough to find one. However, when you do, they tend to be majorly helpful.
- Drop Pod: The Stormers make use of rocket pods fitted with drills to quickly traverse the city. One appears each time you defeat a boss to take you to the next stage. They also appear throughout the levels as occasional free supply drops, or when you activate a Jackpod.
- Eldritch Abomination: Arguably Morkenrav, though he can be defeated readily with a generous application of lead. There are also the amorphous Gloomshrouds, masses of dark energy and tendrils with many purple eyes. More applicable is the Great Vori'thel, whose blood is the Goop! Yup, the technology of Ravensdale is powered by the blood of an elder god.
- Eternal Engine: Several of the stages have this flavor, with a good dose of Toxic, Inc. thanks to all the Goop lying around.
- Evil Genius: Ubertinker Kranz, a goblin responsible for inventing both the Stormers' armors and the various "Wunder Weapons" used by von Garg's forces.
- Fat Bastard: von Garg. Incredibly so, on both counts.
- Fictional Document: "The Inner Voice", the official newspaper of the resistance forces. It pops up whenever you unlock a new character or upgrade, or finish the game and receive a respec token. It introduces the new character or upgrade to you, as well as offering bits of Back Story.
- Mutant: A good chunk of the cast, thanks to Goop, including von Garg and his orcs, as well as Brecht, Camille and the off-screen reporter, Sayetta.
- Gatling Good: The rare minigun upgrade. There's also a version with two sets of barrels.
- Good-Guy Bar: Several lore entries mention the "Drowned Goblin" tavern, where the Stormers like to congregate.
- Gratuitous German: German Humour is an advertised feature of the game.
- High-Class Glass: Available as a dropped upgrade, it increases your weapon's range by 20%.
- Humongous Mecha: The Dreadwalker, operated by Kranz, one of two possible bosses of stage two.
- Joke Item: The "Authentic" Wiener can occasionally drop from enemies in addition to being found in chests. It provides a measly +1 maximum health.
- Lovecraft Lite: If you couldn't guess from Morkenrav, reading just a few of the lore entries makes this very apparent. It helps that the elder goddess in question is actually nice.
- Our Goblins Are Different: In that they used to be people! Aside from that, they're what you'd expect: small, mischievous and mean.
- Our Orcs Are Different: Same deal as the goblins. They're actually Mutants, but aside from that they're big, loud, and dumb.
- Madness Mantra: Anyone who comes into contact with Vori'Thel's mind gets fits of this.
- Mercy Invincibility: Called a "grace period" in-game. Camille starts with a large bonus to the duration of this and you can find several upgrades that increase it.
- More Dakka: Most of the available weapons are ballistics, and several of them are automatics. Various alternate means exist of increasing your dakka, chiefly through damage and fire rate- and finding the rare minigun, or even dual minigun upgrades.
- Mutagenic Goo: Goop again.
- No OSHA Compliance: Pipes that leak fire, lightning and Goop are everywhere, and the fire is as dangerous to the orcs as it is to you! There's also a lot of Exploding Barrels lying around.
- Perma Death: Death ends your run and dispenses with all your loot, but you do keep your experience.
- Powered Armor: The Stormers wear full plate... with combustion engines strapped to their backs! The armors are Super Prototypes the Stormers stole from Ubertinker Kranz. Among the unlockable lore entries are technical briefings on each suit, which reveal they were originally designed for brutal riot suppression at the behest of von Garg.
- Power-Up Food: Potatoes, apples, pretzels, cans of spinach, bratwurst, wieners, candy... most of these increase your maximum health, and sometimes other stats. They also give you health equal to the increase. The fat carrot on the other hand increases weapon damage and range.
- Rail Gun: An unlockable upgrade, the "EM Device", replaces your primary weapon with one.
- Randomly Drops: Gold, keys, secondary weapons, and passive upgrades. Secondary weapons can additionally spawn with random affixes that cause them to, for example, inflict burning or Chain Lightning. Even the Experience Points are random, gained from drops instead of killing enemies directly.
- Recursive Ammo: It's possible to find a Mine Launcher secondary weapon with the "Mines" affix, meaning each mine spawns more mines.
- Rocket Boots: How the Stormers are able to jump so high wearing all that gear. Upgrades can be found that allow you to hover in the air and perform a Double Jump, triple jump and more.
- Sentry Gun: One of the mechanical enemy types, and also available to you as two flavors of secondary weapon, one that fires normal shots and the other with a Rail Gun.
- Skill Point Reset: Successfully completing a run rewards you with a token to reset any one perk choice.
- Skill Scores and Perks: Leveling up rewards you with a random choice of two perks. Most perks have several ranks and can be taken more then once for an increased effect.
- Special Attack: Each Stormer has a unique active ability that can be used freely barring a short Cooldown.
- Shout-Out: A direct one to the Cthulhu Mythos with the unlockable R'yleh Sleepy Statue, a little statue of Cthulhu that grants players true flight and increased movement speed in exchange for halved health recovered from pickups.
- Standard Status Effects: Aside from the fire, lightning attacks can stun and Goop inflicts slow.
- Status Buff: The "Amplifire" secondary is not a direct attack, but rather a Status Buff for your primary weapon, increasing damage and adding a burn effect. The special abilities of Brecht and Presto also are also buffs, the former increasing fire rate and the latter range and damage.
- Underground Level: Much of the game is this. Only the uppermost floors of each stage will be on the surface, and only one boss, the Mouse Panzer, is fought there. The early stages take you through the sprawling industrial complexes and caverns beneath the city, with stage six having you explore the ruins of the ancient city of Vori'Sothl, buried even deeper beneath.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: Secondary weapons can spawn with the "Black Hole" affix, which causes them to create miniature ones that pull in enemies. There's also an upgrade that give any of your secondaries this effect.
- Videogame Dashing: All the Stormers can perform a short horizontal dash that can be used to safely pass through enemies and enemy projectiles. It's also handy for crossing gaps or extending your jump. Several upgrades exist for it, adding things like knockback or damage, turning it into a Dash Attack.