I am ALLLLL about mashing up genres together, especially when one of those genres is roguelike. There’s just so many different aspects to what we’d generally call a roguelike game that even tiny tweaks here and there can provide a surprisingly unique experience. In the case of RogueJack, the new game from Ponywolf, the makers of last year’s really awesome Knights of the Card Table ($4.99), the twist is combat that is based on the rules of Blackjack. Well, not just BASED on the rules of Blackjack, you basically play hands of Blackjack against enemies until one of you perishes. The rest of the game is a pretty straightforward dungeon crawler as you’ll explore each floor for treasures and loot, take out the enemies, and move down further into the dungeon. But these aspects are pretty stripped back as each floor is quite small and it’s obvious the focus is on Blackjack battling with enemies. Here’s a trailer.
Like any good roguelike, you’ll come across items that will help you on your journey like new weapons and potions, and you’ll collect coins which can be used to buy random items from vending machines around the dungeon. Who places and maintains these vending machines in the dungeon? Who knows! The coolest aspect in RogueJack is the persistent leveling up system that sees your character level up and morph into different classes as you gain XP, and this carries over from game to game. Each new character morph comes with special attributes that can mix up the normal Blackjack battling, like one with an ability to see what the next card in the deck is or one that gives you multiple cards to choose from during your turn.
I LOVE that the emphasis in RogueJack is on the battling and that this feels like a fun Blackjack game first and foremost with a lighter set of dungeon crawling elements mixed in to keep things interesting. The game is currently in open beta and you can find links to both the iOS and Android beta versions in the thread in our forums if you want to have a crack at it, and the iOS version is available for pre-order on the App Store right now as well with an expected release date of February 14th. I’ve been playing an early version and it seems like this will be a winning combination when RogueJack launches next month.