Is it okay to kill if you resurrect your victims afterwards, right?
As you make your ways into the depths of the tomb, Tama and Koko's story unfolds and shows why they mean so much to each other. That's right: Sword of the Necromancer is a rogue-like love story.
The voice actresses do a great job, and the romantic story gives you plenty of reasons to delve ever deeper into the dungeon. The game itself is a pretty straightforward Japanese-style dungeon crawler, and the big twist is your ability to resurrect fallen enemies.
Keep your undead minions alive, and they will level up and gain new abilities as they fight by your side. Different monsters suit different playstyles, and it's fun to explore the pros and cons of the different enemies you encounter. Learning how to keep your monsters alive adds a lot of variety, and avoids feeling like one big escort mission.
If you should die, you are sent back to the start of the game, lose half your levels and all your gear. If you find that happening too often, you can adjust the difficulty so you don't lose levels or gear when you die, making failure considerably less punishing — and means Sword of the Necromancer is one of the rare rogue-likes you can play for the sake of the story.
You can only hold four items at a time — with the fourth being the titular sword of the necromancer — so you constantly have to make choices about how to equip yourself. There's an inventory chest in each level, so you don't always have to throw away loot you don't need, and a forge where you can spend materials to upgrade your equipment – but it's a bit hard to justify since you risk losing it at any time.
The storytelling and gameplay are both very engaging, but the art and animation are not particularly noteworthy. The animated opening looks great, but the rest of the graphics are pretty simple – yet that doesn't detract from the game's charm: The storytelling and necromancy makes Sword of the Necromancer stand out in the crowded field of rogue-like dungeon-crawlers.
- Neat necromancy system
- Cute little love story
- Flexible difficulty
- Occasionally frustrating
- Simple art and animation
- Little incentive to upgrade equipment
Sword of the Necromancer is available today on the Nintendo Switch. Developer Grimorio of Games kindly provided a Nintendo Switch review code to DailyBits for free for the purposes of this review.