Bite-sized but very tough to chew, Yōdanji is a devilishly tricky roguelike with a fun theme, addictive, goal-based gameplay and massive replay value. Its 21 unlockable characters are the key to the latter, with each yōkai essentially acting as its own unique class, and discovering and trying to master the mechanics of each monster is pure old-school joy. Its anachronistic presentation won’t be for everyone, and clunky controls make for a sometimes confusing crawl, but anyone looking for a tough-as-nails good time with plenty of personality will get more than their money’s worth here.
Excellent value and great fun, there is much more to like about Yodanji than its $5 price tag and developer's history would suggest. Starting with three Yokai, you must traverse an increasingly difficult dungeon, aiming to collect scrolls and defeat the end boss in order to unlock more Yokai and improve your final score. It's graphical style is very basic, and the game is tough as nails. You will die many many times. It took more than 5 hours before I finally cleared the dungeon for the first time. I have now racked up 40 hours of playtime and will not stop anytime soon. For $5, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better game on the eShop.
This is an underrated and cruel little title that I'm too young to know how on earth to improve myself with it. I enjoy trying my best with it and the Yokai are obviously a joy, but geez this game is tough. I haven't had the pleasure of playing the true rouge-style games, so I'm not sure how it compares. Give it a try for history's sake.
Yodanji manages to take Japanese Folklore monsters and turn them into a dull turn-based rogue-like. The random nature of the game completely undermines any interesting ideas and, unfortunately, the whole experience ends up falling a little flat as a result.
While there certainly will be a market of people that will enjoy Yodanji I think that selection of people will be fairly narrow. In a year that has seen dozen of roguelikes becoming increasingly popular, one from a text based era may have some issues finding a following. For me personally, although I have enjoyed many of the recently released permadeath titles, the prospect of the collection of yokai just wasn’t enough to overlook the minimalist gameplay and 80s inspired graphic design.
Yodanji is a rogue-like RPG made in the style and look of old PC games. The player starts out with three Yokai and must journey through a procedural dungeon in order to unlock more. The game is very challenging, making unlocking new Yokai feel accomplishing and getting a chance to try all of their diverse playstyles kept me engaged for more hours than expected from a $5 game.
For new players deaths may seem unfair, but every enemy follows strict rules about their abilities and stats. The more one plays the more they learn to deal with abilities that earlier may have seemed cheap.
Yodanji is full of Japanese folklore, each Yokai having their own backstory and concept art that are filled with the essence of ancient mythology. They feel like the kind of thing that would come in the manual of the game if it were made in the 90s.
- There is very few musical tracks so the music gets repeative fast.
- The controls can take some getting used to, a little clunky.
- The game is $3 on mobile, the Switch version has a few extras but not a lot
Snappy Game Reviews - Yōkai are everywhere
The Nintendo Switch has been the new home for a lot of rogue-likes, there are literally dozens of these games available right now and each one of them manage to bring something new to this niche genre, be it by approaching it in a distinctive style or by introducing some new element to the old and proven formula. One of the most recent releases is Yōdanji, a port of a mobile title that was released by KEMCO back in April that took the very core of rogue-likes and applied a fresh coat of paint in the form of a Japanese folklore theme.
Gameplay wise Yōdanji is as basic as it gets for a rogue-like. There’s no story mode to speak of, instead, the game goes for a more straightforward approach by having you delve into traditional procedurally generated dungeons filled with deadly yōkai for you to take down through turn-based combat, treacherous traps and many collectables to help you along your way. Even though killing enemies yields no experience points there’s a levelling up system in place. You can improve your magical creature by finding and taking down Hitodama, by doing so you’ll be rewarded with HP and SP upgrades on top of being able to either upgrade one of your basic abilities or learn a brand new one.
Making your way to the 10th and final floor of this dungeon is no easy feat and failing means starting from the very beginning so you should carefully approach every single encounter and explore thoroughly to stock on food and health items. Beating a dungeon while finding three magic scrolls will reward you with the possibility to summon a brand new yōkai.
While the visuals might’ve been apt for a mobile game it’s hard to ignore how disappointing the game looks when compared to other offers on the same system. The yōkai artwork and chibi sprites can be quite adorable but the dungeon backdrops are uninteresting and the menus and UI are extremely basic. You’re better off sticking with the handheld mode for this one as the game only looks worse on a bigger screen. There’s also the matter of the soundtrack, or better the lack of it. There aren’t a whole lot of music tracks which means that things get extremely repetitive in no time. I found that the best way to enjoy Yōdanji was to simply mute the game and listen to something else like a podcast while exploring.
The game makes its debut on consoles with all the updates that were released so far for mobile devices as well as having native traditional controls on top of the original touch controls. This means that you can access either Yōkai Picnic, an easier version of the main mode, or the endless Challenge Dungeon right from the get-go, all of which with online leaderboards which is a nice bonus. The game has a fair amount of content but despite the large amount of playable yōkai, 21 in total with varying status and abilities, the gameplay can get rather stale during longer play sessions.
Despite its overly traditional approach to the genre, Yōdanji is a competent and inexpensive rogue-like dungeon crawler with an interesting Japanese folklore flair that will surely keep you entertained in short spurts if you manage to withstand its harsh difficulty.
SummaryGet the ability to summon and trap ykai - numerous spirits that have been living hidden among us until now! Admire them, give them witty nicknames, and then put them in the brutal ever-changing dungeon to summon even more ykai! Spooky cute graphics and powders made from various body parts included.
*Traditional rogue-like with...