I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost!
HIGH Perfectly distilled roguelike action.
LOW The lack of variety can be draining.
WTF What’s the obsession with cheese sandwiches?
Hi everyone! Eugene Sax here with another review from Gamecritics.com.
There’s a spooky tower with a ghostly prince on the loose? Call the Spook Squad, and they’ll be sure to capture him! Yes, it sounds like marketing speak for a board game, and I could see it being one! This title’s aesthetic is that of a table top board game, along the lines of something like Dungeons and Dragons. Grab some dice and a character token, and dive into the world of Fuzz Force: Spook Squad.
In this action roguelike, players will travel across a game board looking for the exit to get to the next level. As they explore, they’ll come across chests that can give players new dice, shops to upgrade weapons and dice, and ghosts to capture. After each floor, players will fight a boss monster before advancing to the next map. If players can make it through three maps, they will have a chance to fight the Polter Prince to win the game.
Combat is turn-based, and all controlled by dice. Players can attack to deal damage, shield to prevent from getting damaged, and charge batteries that allow them to attack and defend. In addition, players will get to choose a “lucky number” that can trigger an extra turn if they roll it. Also, as players roll they will simultaneously charge a special attack which can be anything from an extra powerful strike to a significant defense boost.
Not only do the dice affect combat, but many other aspects of the game as well. As players uncover chests and shops, they can use these resources to roll bonus dice for helpful effects like reducing the costs of items in shops, making some items free, giving buffs to the player or debuffs to the enemy. In true board game fashion, unlucky rolls of the dice can cause problems for the player, like making shops more expensive, giving enemies stat boosts, or even turning chests into mimics that will immediately attack. Players will need to balance resources and weigh their options when deciding to use the bonus dice or not.
This dice mechanic can be very cruel, and sometimes will turn a battle from one the player can win easily into one that will either be very difficult, or in rare cases, impossible. It never feels unfair though – players have ample opportunities to gain and change out their dice on each map, and nothing forces the player to go for a bonus die on any event. That “push your luck” aspect keeps the game fresh, and adds a bit of spice to Fuzz Force.
So, it’s got a beautiful aesthetic, solid roguelike mechanics, and strategy that keeps players on their toes — it sounds like a perfect game, but it doesn’t quite get there, even if my gripes are minuscule.
For example, variety is not Fuzz Force‘s strong suit. Enemies, events, and bosses don’t really change from run to run and the bosses, at least at the time of this review, are the same three bosses in the same order each run. The minor enemies may be changed up and in different spots in each map, but players will be fighting the same enemies most of the time. There are also some special mission types, but a lot of the difficulty in Fuzz Force comes from self-imposed restrictions since the main game isn’t the most difficult, and I found myself losing mostly due to my own greed instead of enemy attacks.
Despite those issues, Fuzz Force: Spook Squad has quickly turned out to be one of my favorite roguelikes. The cute atmosphere and board game mechanics provide a sense of childlike glee, and each run rarely takes more than maybe an hour, but players can also save and quit at the end of each map to come back later. I imagine that I’ll keep coming back to Fuzz Force for a long while.
For me, Fuzz Force: Spook Squad gets a 8.5 out of 10.
Disclosures: This game is developed and published by Fuzz Force, and it is currently available on PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 7.5 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the multiple runs of the game were completed. There are no multiplayer modes.
Parents: There is no current rating for this game according to the ESRB. The content is great for all ages. Everything has a cute Animal Crossing meets Ghostbusters vibe, all in the style of board game tokens and pieces.
Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: All information is displayed through text, but text size is not resizable. The sound provides ambiance, but is not necessary to play. This game is fully accessible.
Remappable Controls: Controls are not remappable, and there is no control scheme. All actions are done via mouse click.
While Sonic and Street Fighter were great places to start, his first love was Final Fantasy X when his dad bought a PS2. Ever since, that love for gaming has evolved -- there are a number of game worlds out there, and he intends to explore them all. RPG to horror, platformers to casual and everything in between -- if it’s available, he’ll play it.
While his time is short between writing reviews, tabletop gaming, and attempting to start a cheesecake business, he has caught all 806 pokemon and can speedrun Star Fox 64 in less than 40 minutes. He’s always looking for new things to try and new challenges to conquer. You can find him on Twitter -- @eugene_sax.