2023年 10月 14日
Indie Tsushin 2023 October issueThis article was featured in our 2023 October issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

Note: We received a free copy of IGNISTONE from the publisher.

Title screen of IGNISTONE

When you play a game, the physical sensation can linger in your muscle memory, and you can recall in your bones the feeling of playing that game long after it's over. You are likely to experience this when you encounter a game that feels good to play, and the act of using your everyday controller or mouse is transformed like magic into something completely different. I recently fell under that spell again with a game called IGNISTONE by mono.

IGNISTONE is a roguelike action game that can be enjoyed with simple button controls. Battles use only the mouse: left-click to attack, right-click to guard, and middle-click to unleash your special attack. The key to winning battles is to guard against enemies at the exact moment they strike in order to parry their attack and launch a counteroffensive of your own.

Player doing a perfect parry against an enemy attack. The screen is lit up with sparks and there is a big CRASH! sound effect.

Guard at the right moment to parry enemy attacks!

The game opens with a very whimsical tutorial, starring the lovable bean-shaped Mame people. If you are planning to play the game, I hope you enjoy the comical presentation of your partner and the other villagers. On top of being full of charm, it will teach you how to pull off the perfect parry. You may have already fallen into the unique and gentle atmosphere of the world.

After finishing the tutorial, you go to check out the festival in town. Suddenly, a group of thieves appear and steal the town's precious IGNISTONE ore, kicking off the story proper. You and your partner must dive into the dungeons to retrieve the IGNISTONE, fend off brainwashed Mame enemies, and collect items to upgrade your gear. While all of this is going on, the festival is still carrying on as normal on the surface, and you can return to town to join the party whenever you like.

Player character and partner sticking their faces through a picture of a giant crystal with cut-out holes. In the background is a Mame villager saying, 'Let's play a lot of games today!'

"Let's play a lot of games today!"

The character designs are simple but charming, with a variety of enemy designs. The art style has a flat 2D style that makes the characters look like performers in a paper puppet show when they spin around, dance under a disco ball, and pantomime battles. Everything from the aesthetics to the mechanics of the game is just very playful and fun.

Although combat is quite simple, there are a wide variety of enemies with their own unique attack patterns that require different timings to parry. Your regular guard will block some damage, but not all, so learning how each enemy moves and how to parry their attacks is key to making it through the dungeons alive. But if you are not good at parrying, there are a lot of recovery items and equipment you can use to mitigate damage.

Player encountering a group of enemies saying, 'The intruder has broken through our defenses!'

"The intruder has broken through our defenses!"

I started writing this article in the middle of my playthrough of the game. Even when I was writing, my fingers itched to click the mouse button at the right time to trigger a satisfying parry. Eventually, I stopped typing this and went back to playing. I wanted to get back to the fun conversations with the Mame, the big colorful festival in the village, and the fun mini-games. I also wanted to get back to leveling up my character and finding stronger items for them to equip, and hone the accuracy of my parries. It's a really hard game to put down!

At first, your quest is to reach the 100th floor of the dungeon. It goes by in a flash, but don't worry: there is still plenty more to see after that. Come to think of it, the player character isn't from the Mame tribe. Who are you? Maybe you'll find out if you keep pressing on in your adventures.

All of the Mame villagers gathered in a huge mob and heading down to the dungeons. Your partner Mame says, 'The pride of the Mame tribe will be sullied if all we are good for is being rescued!'

"The pride of the Mame tribe will be sullied if all we are good for is being rescued!"

Some people have a hard time with parrying in video games. However, this game is designed so that even people who usually do not like parrying can pull it off here. Before you know it, your hands will be put under the same magic spell as mine, and you too will be itching to get back into the action.

IGNISTONE is out now on Steam, iOS, and Android. And you can watch us play IGNISTONE on stream!