Percentile Rank

Salt and Sanctuary is ranked in the 90th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 64 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

83

Top Critic Average

84%

Critics Recommend

Based on 64 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Eurogamer
Recommended
Recommended
Mar 22, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a derivative Dark Souls clone - but it's a shockingly good one.

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VGChartz
Unscored
Unscored
Mar 29, 2016

An ode to the Souls series as well as an excellent Metroidvania game in its own right.

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Unboxholics
Worth your time
Worth your time
Apr 15, 2019

A 2D RPG platformer that Souls veterans will absolutely love!

Review in Greek | Read full review

Scored Reviews

The Game Fanatics
9.6 / 10.0
9.6 / 10.0
Mar 24, 2016

Not only is Salt and Sanctuary a fantastic distillation of the Dark Souls formula to 2D, it is also one of the best Metroidvania games I've ever played. Either one of those would make the game an easy recommendation but both turns it into a must play.

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TechRaptor
9.5 / 10.0
9.5 / 10.0
May 12, 2017

Salt and Sanctuary is an amazing game that is well paced and has layers of gameplay that slowly unfold the more you play. This game is recommended even if you are shy of the difficulty of the Souls series and is throughly rewarding.

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Polygon
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 22, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary lovingly adapts the Souls games into 2D

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GBAtemp
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 23, 2016

With over 20 hours spent in game and the prospect of taking on New Game+ in the future, I think Salt and Sanctuary is one of the greater indie titles available on the PS4. An amazing achievement for a development team of just 2 people.

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We Got This Covered
Mar 23, 2016

Ska Studios have done a fabulous job with Salt and Sanctuary, as the transition to 2D has created a more accessible game while also retaining all of the depth.

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COGconnected
90 / 100
90 / 100
Apr 15, 2016

If you're looking for a really short review, here it is: Salt & Sanctuary is Dark Souls in 2D.

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Fextralife
9 / 10
Fextralife
Fexelea

Top Critic

9 / 10
Mar 14, 2016

An intimate, exciting and discovery-fueled experience, rich in content and secrets, will have players exploring and lorecrafting for months to come. The pricepoint sweetens the deal for any souls, rpg or castlevania fan looking for a new and satisfying experience.

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God is a Geek
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 15, 2016

A fantastic, original take on the Souls-formula that maintains the addictive risk/reward loop we've come to expect from the genre.

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ThisGenGaming
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 31, 2016

In conclusion, does Salt and Sanctuary borrow a lot from the From Software games? Yes it does but it doesn't try to hide that fact and Ska Studios has put their own stamp on these kind of games in my opinion. Salt and Sanctuary nails the atmosphere and the combat and I highly recommend it if you enjoy 2D RPG's or if you are a fan of any of the From Software games. The game doesn't hold your hand and will deliver that same brutally hard experience that you loved about those other games. I can already say that Salt and Sanctuary is going to be in the running for my personal pick for game of the year in 2016.

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Game Rant
Mar 22, 2016

Ska Studios' Salt and Sanctuary is obvious about trying to emulate Dark Souls, but offers enough deep gameplay and beautiful aesthetic to stand tall on its own.

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USgamer
Mar 15, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a quality platformer with well-implemented Metroidvania elements. It's brutal at times, but deeply satisfying to play. Is it thematically derivative of the Souls games? Yes, but not disgustingly so. Just get out there and give a few demons what for.

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We Got This Covered
Aug 3, 2018

This little platformer wears its influences loudly and proudly. Salt and Sanctuary is a tribute act of the finest kind, distilling the essential Dark Souls experience in 2D.

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Goomba Stomp
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Aug 29, 2018

In size and scale, Salt and Sanctuary has a lot to offer for a 2D platformer -- but it is the attention to the small things that really gives the game its awesome stature. An amazing feat of imagination.

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COGconnected
90 / 100
90 / 100
Aug 7, 2018

The folks at Ska Studios have crafted something stellar here, though. Despite how much the Souls series has inspired this title, it still stands on its own two feet without feeling derivative.

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Areajugones
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Aug 10, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is the result of a perfect combination of the metroidvania and "souls" elements in order to create a unique, hard and satisfying 2D adventure that knows how to reward players' skill. The Nintendo Switch version is indeed a great one.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Forbes
9 / 10.0
Erik Kain

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Mar 24, 2016

There's a lot in Salt and Sanctuary to love, and I would argue that applies to non-Souls fans also. While it's certainly challenging, the 2D nature makes that challenge quite a lot different from Dark Souls. It can be extremely difficult at times, but fans of platformers may find something here they didn't in the Souls games.

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IGN Italy
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Mar 22, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a delightful, long-lasting and addictive mix between a soulslike and a metroidvania. A very appreciated starter, for all those who are waiting for the main course (Dark Souls III).

Review in Italian | Read full review

IGN
8.6 / 10.0
Leif Johnson

Top Critic

8.6 / 10.0
May 23, 2016

You could call Salt and Sanctuary a 2D mashup of Dark Souls and Castlevania, and you'd be right. But such a simple pronouncement would be a disservice to the tremendous amount of thought that's gone into Salt and Sanctuary, whether it's in the graphic style that evokes horror through the style of comic strips or in the intricate web of dungeons and castles serves as it map.

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Video Chums
8.6 / 10.0
8.6 / 10.0
Mar 18, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a fantastic Souls / Metroidvania hybrid that'll keep you hooked for hours at a time.

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CGMagazine
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Apr 2, 2016

Despite being a 2D rip-off of Dark Souls, Salt and Sanctuary is an excellent game that brings From's famous gameplay to a side-scrolling plane.

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Destructoid
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 14, 2016

It's difficult to be disappointed by a great studio taking solid mechanics and narrative beats from one of the best studios around, especially when the result is something as well-crafted as Salt and Sanctuary. While I do wish Ska Studio's latest had more of its own identity, I can't deny that I enjoyed every minute of it. I already spent about 25 hours with it, and I'm salivating, eager to go through New Game +. Now be proud that I didn't make a "salty" joke like every other outlet will in their review.

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Softpedia
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 18, 2016

Ska Studios clearly loves Dark Souls and Salt and Sanctuary is a very effective love letter that can appeal both to long-term fans of that series and to players who simply want to feel challenge in a world that's filled with mystery and clever opponents.

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Game Informer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 30, 2016

Mashing together the challenge of Dark Souls with the platforming and combat styling of Castlevania makes for a challenging but highly rewarding formula

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RPG Fan
85%
85%
Mar 31, 2016

Imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but Salt and Sanctuary is truly inspired.

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GamingTrend
85 / 100
85 / 100
Feb 14, 2019

Salt and Sanctuary isn't the most original game in the world, but Ska Studio's take on a 2D Souls game has enough going for it to stand on its own two legs. It's held back somewhat by occasionally cheap difficulty spikes, but that shouldn't deter you from picking the game up if you're looking for a game that will kick your ass.

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SA Gamer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Sep 12, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary wears its obvious inspiration on its sleeve. It takes the magic ingredients from the Souls franchise and makes something of its own on a 2D plane. All of its individual aspects gel well to create an ultra-hard side-scrolling adventure through the dark and dreary. The Switch port is well done and makes it the perfect way to die horribly wherever it is convenient.

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Geeks Under Grace
8.5 / 10.0
Geeks Under Grace
Lucas Miller
8.5 / 10.0
Aug 15, 2018

If you enjoy Souls-like games you need to play Salt and Sanctuary. The art style, music, and level design are unique and a joy to experience.

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8.5 / 10.0
Mar 14, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is not without its flaws, and it could probably stand to lean a little less on its influences, but it's still a very fascinating and fun time.

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Handsome Phantom
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Feb 5, 2019

If you’re looking for a challenging 2D RPG and love everything that From Software has created over the past ten to fifteen years, you’ll love Salt and Sanctuary.

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Switching Worlds
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Aug 18, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is purely a Dark Souls clone for the 2D style of gaming. It's not a carbon copy, but it offers rewarding combat and exploration. With an open-ended world and varied enemies & bosses, a decent character progression system, secrets to find, numerous weapon types and a grim atmosphere, it's easy to be sucked in and master being a better fight than you were since your last death. This isn't a game about impossibility, but rather adapting and honing your skills. For that alone, Salt and Sanctuary is one of the best 2D action-RPG's available.

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Bit Cultures
81%
81%
Apr 6, 2016

This game went a lot quicker than I would have expected and did feel easier than the Souls and Bloodborne games. But that is not necessarily a bad thing. For people who are maybe less interested or more wary of the Souls series, this game might be an option to try out. For those who love those series already this game is a fun time spent that could be less grueling than running through the Souls game for another New Game+.

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Gadgets 360
8 / 10
8 / 10
Aug 7, 2018

As derivative as it may sound, Salt and Sanctuary is an enjoyable romp on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its entertaining combat. It's good enough to warrant checking it out despite some concerns. With Dark Souls for the Nintendo Switch missing in action, Salt and Sanctuary is an enjoyable way to get your Souls fix.

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TheSixthAxis
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 24, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is about as far from original as you could possibly imagine. It apes the Souls series almost beat-for-beat, from its core design down to very minor things like the health and stamina bars in the HUD.

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GameSpot
8 / 10
8 / 10
Apr 13, 2016

This combat-intensive adventure manages to be more than the sum of its Dark Souls-influenced parts.

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GameSkinny
Jan 22, 2017

Salt And Sanctuary is a great, 2D Side-scrolling RPG with Dark Souls-level difficulty. Here are my first impressions upon getting the game.

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Push Square
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 16, 2016

Do not underestimate Salt and Sanctuary: it'll chew you up and spit you back out, drawing from From Software's modern action RPG blueprints and translating the hard-as-nails gameplay to two dimensions. It demands your attention, never holds your hand, and rewards your patience and skill. Some players will find the lack of information too obtuse and difficulty too harsh, and a few cheap enemies and well-hidden traps will certainly frustrate. For those willing to go the distance, however, this is an intricate and fulfilling game just waiting to be conquered. As far as Souls wannabes go, this is one that's certainly worth its salt.

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GamePro
80 / 100
80 / 100
Aug 10, 2018

An excellent soul-like with slight design flaws that fits on the switch like the salt to the pepper shaker.

Review in German | Read full review

NintendoWorldReport
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 1, 2018

Ska Studios smartly transformed the core concepts of a Souls game and turned it into a side-scrolling action game with an ample amount of Metroidvania influence. The result is tough as nails, but doable with perseverance and gumption. Salt and Sanctuary is not for the faint of heart, but it's a journey worth suffering through for those who think they are worthy.

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Hobby Consolas
80 / 100
80 / 100
Aug 23, 2018

If Dark Souls and Castlevania had a 2D child, it would probably be called Salt and Sanctuary. It may not be the most innovative game out there, but Ska Studios has managed to merge elements from both series to give birth to a truly great experience that we won't put down easily.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

The Escapist
Mar 16, 2016

This is a brutal hybrid of Metroidvania and action RPG that will beat players down and have them coming back for more. Though it doesn't stray far from its inspiration, Salt and Sanctuary is a finely-crafted tribute to From Software's work and is absolutely dripping with the signature cartoon aesthetic and punk rock style fans of Ska Studios have come to know and love.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 17, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary for the Switch is a great port. Everything is smooth and it works just as I had expected it to be. There are no slowdowns, the graphics look just as good, the audio is just as chilling as ever, and the adventure is still an awesome one to be had. If you haven't already had the chance to dive into this comber, and woeful tale, you should. It's worth it.

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PlayStation LifeStyle
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Mar 17, 2016

If you're going to pilfer game concepts and ideas, the Souls series is up there as one of the best franchises to take from. Salt and Sanctuary is fairly shameless in the way it replicates elements from games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, but that's not really a bad thing when you see how it all comes together as a polished and thoroughly enjoyable final product. Sure, it would have been nice to see Ska Studios put a bit more of their own flavor and identity into the project, but let's be honest — effectively bringing the gorgeous aesthetic and brutal challenge of From Software's work together with classic 2D side-scrolling is quite an accomplishment of its own, and players will relish the way that marriage instills a sense of retro nostalgia like never before.

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Saving Content
Sep 26, 2018

When the game first released, it came out around the time of Dark Souls 3 so it shared some of that same space with a game that already has an established base. With the Switch port of Salt and Sanctuary, I feel like this is as good a time as any to pick this one up and give it a shot. If you enjoy these styles of games you can’t do much better in 2D than Salt and Sanctuary.

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ZTGD
8 / 10.0
ZTGD

Top Critic

8 / 10.0
Mar 31, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a great game- built on a solid combat engine and a world that begs to be explored. If it weren't for the numerous bugs and the pedestrian difficulty, it could have been something truly exceptional.

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PowerUp!
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 15, 2018

It stands on its own as an excellent addition to the genre while also bringing flavours of its own.

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GameSpew
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 3, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is dark. It's just how it is. And being honest, it's all the better for it. On the Switch's small screen though, the darkness of most of the environments coupled with the zoomed out camera makes it hard to see certain enemies and their attacks.

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GearNuke
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 5, 2018

It is not easy to mix and mash different genres and end up with a solid result. Salt and Sanctuary looks like a weird fusion of different games from the outside, but it actually manages to work perfectly fine and ends up creating its own sub-genre. It has a beautiful dose of side-scrolling combat mixed with metroidvania exploration and a robust character class system on top of it, offering an endless amount of fun.

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Digitally Downloaded
Aug 7, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is a solid homage to its blatant source of inspiration. It doesn't supplant its predecessors, but it does an admirable job nonetheless, and offers players a moody, intricate, and fundamentally enjoyable dark fantasy experience. [OpenCritic note: Matt Sainsbury separately reviewed the PS4 (4.5 stars) and Switch (3.5 stars) versions. The scores have been averaged.]

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Metro GameCentral
8 / 10
8 / 10
Mar 16, 2016

If you want a 2D Dark Souls it's hard to imagine From Software doing much better than this, even if it has too few original ideas of its own.

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Worth Playing
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 21, 2019

While Salt and Sanctuary is truly its own game, with themes and elements appealing to fans of the genre, there were moments when it was too similar to its predecessors, and some unnecessary mechanics were added in an attempt to separate itself from the pack. Sometimes, paying homage to something can get caught up in the fine line of copying. However, it is a title that fits well with a "pick up/put down" pace and gives players a lot of choice in how they wish to play. Salt and Sanctuary provides ample replay value in a fun title that is fast-paced and challenging enough for anyone seeking a "Souls-like" game.

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Kill Screen
79 / 100
79 / 100
Apr 5, 2016

Instead of surviving Salt and Sanctuary's horrors by obsessively dissecting them, liberation comes as a result of being able to execute ever more deft acrobatics with a few simple twitches. In this way, the game helps us learn to shed the burden of realism by flattening it, reducing its physical and emotional details into obstacles that can be overcome with the flick of a button.

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GaminGuardian
7.8 / 10.0
7.8 / 10.0
Aug 11, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is the most similar game in the market to a 2D Dark Souls. It's a very enjoyable metroidvania, with a journey with a lot of platforms in which we can found a demanding combat, but not unfair. Probably you die a lot of times, but, if you can win, the victory taste could be really nice.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

AbsoluteXbox
3.8 / 5.0
3.8 / 5.0
Feb 5, 2019

However, for new and returning players alike, Salt and Sanctuary is challenging, rich in lore, lovingly detailed and a very enjoyable experience.

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PSX Brasil
75 / 100
75 / 100
Mar 31, 2017

Salt & Sanctuary comes to the PlayStation Vita. Maybe not quite intact in comparison to the PlayStation 4 version, but it still manages to be fun for those looking for an experience that was still unseen for the portable.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

Rely On Horror
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Aug 16, 2018

I enjoyed my time with Salt and Sanctuary, and if you enjoy challenging 2D games or just games with fantastic horror art design, you probably will too.

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DualShockers
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Aug 1, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary takes the Souls-like formula to 2D and almost perfectly executes upon it. While it may not win points for originality, Ska Studios has done a fantastic job of transitioning the Souls style of combat into 2D while simultaneously mixing in elements of platforming and level design found in Metroidvania games. If you still haven't given one of these kinds of games a shot yet, Salt and Sanctuary is a great starting point for novices of the genre.

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GameCrate
7.3 / 10.0
7.3 / 10.0
Apr 29, 2016

Salt and Sanctuary is a good 2D conversion of the Souls formula, but its experimental nature invites more than a few flaws. If you don't mind difficult-to-see graphics and sometimes cheap combat, then you'll happily come back for more.

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GBAtemp
7.3 / 10.0
7.3 / 10.0
Aug 6, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary is an excellent love-letter to the Dark Souls franchise while still managing to provide a distinctly unique experience. As far as game design goes, this is a splendidly polished example of the Soulsborne mechanics appropriated correctly, and I eagerly anticipate playing all the way through NG+7 and beyond, just not on the Switch. Unfortunately, the dark screen and glaring performance issues in this port detract from the overall experience, docking points. On steam, however, I'd likely give this an 8 or a 9.

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Gamers FTW
7.2 / 10.0
7.2 / 10.0
Apr 18, 2016

Only suffering from minor problems, Salt and Sanctuary proves that not all 2D platform games are for children.

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Wccftech
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Aug 24, 2018

Salt and Sanctuary may be inspired by the Dark Souls series, but that doesn't necessarily mean every Dark Souls fan is going to love this game. The big problem with creating an entire game inspired by a well-loved franchise is that people's expectations are going to be sky high. As someone that loves Dark Souls, I can say I enjoyed aspects of Salt and Sanctuary, but comparing the two games side by side seems incredibly unfair. Similarly to the Souls games, Salt and Sanctuary requires time and patience for players to reap its true rewards. While that may be attractive to some, it doesn't quite have the same level of depth and finesse that would warrant it as a worthy substitute for one of the greatest RPGs ever created.

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Nintendo Life
6 / 10
6 / 10
Aug 2, 2018

All told, Salt and Sanctuary is just about what you'd expect it to be: it's more or less a 2D Dark Souls, but with a little more emphasis on less. Salt and Sanctuary does an admirable job of hitting all the right beats that it needs to provide a challenging and fun action adventure that will no doubt provide a solid bang for your buck, but it doesn't do a whole lot to stand on its own two legs; this is a game that can only thrive on the scraps generated by the overwhelming popularity of a much better game series. We'd give this one a recommendation to any Dark Souls fans - this is a decent way of capturing that game's spirit - but those who've never been interested won't find much new here to entice them.

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