Lost Ruins has combat, platforming, fancy particle effects, and a terrible idle animation

Coo with me at the fanciness of this in-development voxel engine

Voxels have been making a comeback recently, but they’ve never looked as good as they do in this in-development engine from programmer John Lin.

Lost Ruins is a 2D sidescrolling action platformer in which you can mix-and-match abilities while fighting monsters, but I’d hesitate to put it in a box alongside Dead Cells. The rhythm of its combat, the weight of its movement, and its anime grimness places it alongside other games like Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight and maybe the more recent Skul: The Hero Slayer.

It’s out now and there’s a trailer below.

You play a young girl with amnesia and a maddening idle animation, who is looking for answers and must fight monsters along the way. There’s a heavy RPG-ish element to it in the way you grow in power, choosing the spells and equipment you’re going to use to increase your damage output. Numbers spill out of your enemies along with their blood and guts.

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There’s a strong elemental aspect to the combat. You can burn and freeze bosses with your various wands and spells, but you can also manipulate the environment by setting fire to flammable materials and freezing pools of water. This looks nice in the trailer. Everything seems to be a 2D sprite, but if you set fires they seem to illuminate the world dynamically.

Is there a subgenre or a taxonomy that helps to categorise this separately from Dead Cells, or do we just call this an action-platformer/metroidvania and then start piling on the adjectives? Can we all agree that “roguelike” has lost all meaning now? Do I need to make it clear that the anime art in this looks a bit uncomfortably horny, or does that go without saying?

And seriously, what is up with that idle animation? Is she dancing?

You can grab Lost Ruins from Steam now for £15.49/$20/€16.79.

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