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[Beyond PlayStation] Plague Road Review

[Beyond PlayStation] Plague Road Review

Plague Road is now available on Nintendo Switch, giving us a turn-based strategy game to enjoy at home or on the go. Learn more about it in our Plague Road review!


Arcade Distillery took their game Plague Road to Kickstarter last year and it was successfully funded, thanks in part to the game getting physical PS4 and PS Vita versions by way of Limited Run Games. Fast-forward to 2018, and the games is now out for the Nintendo Switch. When I saw the game in motion, I was reminded of Dragon’s Crown, which was interesting considering Plague Road is a roguelike turn-based strategy game and not an action RPG/beat ‘em up.

You play as Doctor Plague who wears a black cape and a 15th century medieval doctor’s mask shaped like a beak (yes, doctors actually wore such masks way back when!). Plague Road is set around a city that is ravaged by disease, and the doctor returns in search of survivors. You will find out how the disease ravaged the city and why Doctor Plague left. The story is about regret and redemption, but I do have to say that the story was a bit on the slow side, taking its time to get into the groove. Unllike a lot of the roguelike release out there, in this one you do get to keep your upgrades, so making progress in the game is very much possible.

When you begin the game the doctor is rescued by a travelling salesman and taken to an abandoned farm, and this is where you begin your adventure. You’ll get to explore the many randomly generated locations and pick up survivors who will aid you in battle or allow you to upgrade your farm, depending on the particular character type you get. Witches and soldiers? Great for battle! Peasants? Awesome at farming!

Enemies are plentiful and varied, along you to run into everything from bandits and wolves to bizarre but entrancing fantasy creatures. Battles are turn-based and take place on a grid, which makes sense since this is a strategy game we’re dealing with. You will also control your party member’s movement and then choose their attack methods before the AI enemies takes their turn, then rinse and repeat until they are gone – that is if they don’t end up defeating you!

You have a mini-map in the top right corner and arrows pointing to connecting areas you can visit. Some will feature enemies waiting for you to come close enough for them to pounce while others will have survivors in need of rescuing. Speaking of survivors, make sure you visit the farm so that you can make the most of their aid. For example, at the start you can only carry three health potions and three stamina potions, but once you rescue more survivors and retire them to various buildings around the farm you will be able to increase the amount of potions you can craft and keep in your inventory. It’s a slow process but definitely worth it.

You can also level up the doctor by retiring survivors to become stronger which can certainly feel like a bit of a tedious process, but with a little patience as you go through the process, and with the right party set upm you will surely be reaping the benefits and making some solid progress. If you end up with a nurse in your party you will have a good advantage over your enemies since you’ll be able to heal. Getting one, however, is very luck-based. I had to die roughly eight times before I managed to get a nurse on my party, and what a difference it made for my overall survival!

Plague road is definitely worth your time on Nintendo Switch, and I’m glad that Arcade Distillery took the project to Kickstarter so that we could get a chance to play this one. The studio is back on Kickstarter with a new game called SkullPirates, which is already funded and working its way toward reaching some stretch goals, so hopefully you check that one out and show your support. And while you wait for SkullPirates to be completed, you should certainly play Plague Road!

This Plague Road review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Arcade Distillery.


Review Overview

Colorful and fun roguelike turn-based strategy release