Source of Madness - Review, an experimental and chaotic roguelike

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In recent years we have seen many developers playing with the various genres at their disposal, experiencing their potential. Source of Madness, title of which today we propose ours review, fits perfectly into this type of work. It is a video game that originates from a specific genre and draws on some of the most classic and well-known elements, reworking everything through an almost literary inspiration. cumbersome Nowadays. This is by no means the first video game inspired by the work of HP Lovecraft that we analyze, the point is that there is plenty of it on the market for products with this specific cultural and aesthetic identity, so it becomes crucial to try to give new life to something towards which consumers are quite nauseated. Starting from this reflection, they are supposed to have worked on the development of this particular video game which, as mentioned above, takes its first steps in a context highly recognizable, trying to inlay it with elements designed by one experimentalism that works up to a point.

Ah, so what?

Source of Madness is a roguelike, it is good to specify it immediately in a review, and as such it is designed by many dynamics typical of this genre of games. The "plot" develops along the lands of Crete. Its lands have been invaded by hordes of shapeless monsters from the Moon, to which a particular connection rite is linked. The main goal of the player will be to free these lands wherever possible by driving some sort of sect which are part of the so-called cultists, men of knowledge gathered in a group by a common goal that we are given to discover step by step. The boys of Carry Castel they have built a deliberately smoky title in which to move, being dispersive from the beginning and playing with the subjective perceptions of those who are playing. The events open in a path that leads to the immense central hub. In Tower of Madness we will get in touch with the first details to paint the game world. The place, in fact, offers curious encounters with other cultists like us, characterized by fleeting phrases and various indications. This will be the place we will get to know better over the course of our runs, as we will return to it very often, so it shouldn't scare its greatness, rather intrigue about future possibilities.

In this Source of Madness review we obviously can't refrain from talking about the gameplay. This, as in any self-respecting roguelike, is drawn by an infinite amount of run, of attempts and of the dead. With each defeat everything is reset to start playing again with a brand new cultist. These are distinguished from each other by name and surname and by gender. The aesthetics are always the same. Trying to make your way into the world outside the tower is equivalent to coming into contact with both the two game coins (blood and coins) and with all the monstrosities to draw it. The blood accumulated from time to time will remain with us, allowing us to work on growth of our character. Depending on this, there is a specific one in the Hub growth tree in which to spend the points obtained both to unlock the classes available each characterized by specific elements and particular bonuses), and to unlock the weaponry - mainly rings - along the route (these are distinguished from each other by rarity), and by the various ones ability. Once a new run has started, everything will depend on the case even from a defensive point of view. Exploring is finding, and finding also means picking up defensive items like i caps, oi cloaks or the stones, or some supporting elements. In addition, the world in which we move also presents safe places in which to shop for particular items merchants, as well as final checkpoints where it is possible, at the end of an area, to save the game, as well as to reload one's life flasks.


As mentioned above, Source of Madness has two very important features, a familiar gameplay to lovers of the genre (here the roguelike elements blend with an action style of immediate reading), and as we will read shortly in the review, one style very experimental. It is precisely the experimentalism behind this game that attracts attention. From an aesthetic point of view it is Lovecraftian in all respects. The game context is very dark, as are all the characters who live there, both friends and enemies. From the point of view of sound design, nothing to say, also because the sensations returned are perfectly consistent with what they are supposed to convey. From a structural point of view, however, some flaws slow down the general emotions.

The idea of ​​finding yourself surviving in a world totally procedural remains interesting, giving the setting some artistic flair that should not be underestimated at all. The quarrels, however, arise when you face the various monsters. These too are procedural, designed and managed from time to time by an artificial intelligence that grows with the various runs. The problem arises when we find ourselves too often facing unspeakable ones deformed monstrosity and sprawling difficult to read from an offensive point of view. The difficult management of some clashes affects the general experience, quickly transforming the fascination and difficulty of the game into pure chaos on the screen. A pity especially for the starting idea.

  • Source of Madness (Tested on PC) 6 Final grade

    Source of Madness opens its possibilities from an undoubtedly curious idea. The attempt to rework Lovecraft's aesthetics in a world that regenerates itself from time to time inspires curiosity. However, the way in which all this manifests itself remains doubtful. However, we are talking about an interesting and familiar roguelike for those who know the genre, built by a small team that has put a tangible commitment into it, even if the final result leaves some perplexity.

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