[PlayStation 4] Iris And The Giant Review
Iris and the Giant from Louis Rigaud and publisher Klabater is a roguelike deck-builder in which you must help the titular character escape. Learn more in our Iris and the Giant review!
Iris and the Giant from Louis Rigaud and publisher Klabater is a roguelike deck-builder in which you must help the titular character escape. You’ll take on the role of Iris, who must do whatever it takes to overcome the dangers and hazards on her path to escape. While your father was driving you to your swimming lesson, you were really not paying attention to what he was saying. Something is wrong inside you, with sorrow bursting through. As you take a dive from the high platform, you depart from the ordinary world and enter a peculiar land. When Iris wakes up, she’s being transported by the ferryman of the Styx. Her fear and anguish are gone, but she knows she’s there to face her demons.
The game can be played in one of two difficulty settings: Easy Mode and Classic Mode. For Easy Mode, you’ll be able to explore the world of Iris and the Giant at a slow but steady pace, with a challenge that has been dialed back a bit so as not to overwhelm those new to the genre. Classic Mode offers the standard challenge, just as indie Louis Rigaud intended. And once you complete Classic Mode, you’ll unlock Nightmare Mode, which will test everything that you learned during your Classic Mode run.
As for the gameplay mechanics, during each turn, you’ll get to draw four cards. Each card will have a different effect when put into play, and you’ll need to learn what each one does so that you can have a chance of surviving wave after enemy wave. The axe card can be used to attack all demons in front of Iris on the front row. Sword cards are used for attacking a single enemy, but their advantage is that you can play all of the sword cards in your hand in a single turn, thus keeping enemies from retaliating until you’re done.
Once your turn is over, it will be your enemies’ turn to attack. Each enemy has a different attack pattern for you to keep in mind, with some being way more dangerous than others. Some enemies can attack from a short distance, while others can damage you from the back row. Some will be able to withstand more damage, forcing you to focus on them during your turn if you want to lower the enemy count to something a bit more manageable – especially if they’re protecting a long-range attacker on the back! When you defeat all enemies, you’ll be able to select the stairs in the playing area to move on to the next floor.
During some battles, you’ll find special crystals on the ground. Touching them will allow you to collect them so that you can then exchange them for rare cards. You will also run into treasure chests. Opening a treasure chest will not end your turn, so you’ll be able to open them and then take another action. While opening treasure chests will allow you to choose two packs of cards, there’s also an extra use for a treasure chest. If you attack it twice, it will end up exploding as it deals damage to enemies!
On top of regular attack cards like the aforementioned axe and sword – and the bow and arrow that allows you to attack an enemy on the back row – you’ll also find other very useful cards for your runs. Some examples include the shield card that will block all attacks for a couple of turns, a mighty fire card that will deal damage to three opponents in a straight line, or a confidence card that will restore Iris’ will, which acts as her hit points. If her will runs out, then you lose the game.
Adding extra cards to your deck is very important. Why is that? At the bottom left of the screen, right next to Iris’ health indicator, lies an icon for your bag. You can check your back with the Triangle button to see which cards you have left. If your bag ends up empty, then it’s game over! This is why it’s also important to keep an eye out for how many stars you have on you. Every enemy you defeat will give you one star. Once you collect enough stars, then Iris will become stronger.
When she collects enough stars, Iris will level up! When this happens, she can choose from different upgrades for her traits or open a chest right away so that she can get some extra cards to extend her run. The traits that can be boosted include examples such as Trick, which will make it possible to return one card to her bag for every 12 cards she plays; Imagination, which makes her draft five cards instead of the starting four; or Resistance, which will boost a shield card so that it protects her for three turns instead of two.
Defeating a larger demon will leave behind a large star. Collecting this will instantly grant Iris a magical power from the available selection. Imagine how things would go your way if you selected a magical power that makes it possible for any demon not defeated by an axe attack to be left stunned for two turns, one that grants you daggers that can be used to attack enemies on the second row, or an attack boon that grants you two swords at the start of each floor, which are drawn immediately.
You can also find yourself some Memories. Memories are very special items that will allow you to gain permanent upgrades, which is how you can get the upper hand during subsequent runs in this roguelike deck-builder. Memories will also show you a memory from Iris’ life so that you can get a better understanding of why she ended up in this place in the first place. Like Iris herself, these memories feature voice acting to help drive the point home about how her life was not everything she envisioned.
To give you an idea of how powerful memories are, allow me to discuss a handful of the many that you can unlock before starting your next run. You could make one demon on each floor wear a Golden Hourglass. When you defeat that demon, you’ll be able to take an extra turn. You can also make it possible for Iris to fall to her knees after receiving a fatal blow instead of getting a game over right away. If she can survive the next attack, then she can get back on her feet and carry on. Another one will allow you to get a chance to draw your entire hand at the start of each floor while returning your starting hand to your bag.
Iris and the Giant features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy waiting for you. The list is split into 5 Bronze trophies, a single Silver trophy, and 10 Gold trophies. All trophies are tied to completing a series of special challenges you can access by way of the teleporters that you’ll find. Said teleporters will lead you to secret rooms where you will need to use the hand you’re dealt to defeat all enemies. If you receive damage, you’ll be
Iris and the Giant was a pleasant surprise on PlayStation 4. I’m a fan of roguelike deck-builders, so I was looking forward to seeing how this game would handle things. I’m happy to report that it does a great job of giving us a fair but challenging experience that feels fresh. There’s plenty to see in this one since there are 59 cards in total, 62 demons to battle, 18 memories to collect, 16 imaginary friends to find, and 31 magical powers to unlock. Iris and the Giant is out on PlayStation 4 at a $14.99 price.
This Iris and the Giant review is based on a PlayStation 4 copy provided by Klabater.