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.
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.
Salt and Sanctuary is a derivative Dark Souls clone - but it's a shockingly good one.
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.
Mashing together the challenge of Dark Souls with the platforming and combat styling of Castlevania makes for a challenging but highly rewarding formula
This combat-intensive adventure manages to be more than the sum of its Dark Souls-influenced parts.
Salt and Sanctuary lovingly adapts the Souls games into 2D
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
A fantastic, original take on the Souls-formula that maintains the addictive risk/reward loop we've come to expect from the genre.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're looking for a really short review, here it is: Salt & Sanctuary is Dark Souls in 2D.