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Mana Spark is a middle-of-the-road roguelike that gestures toward a lot of interesting ideas, but doesn’t fully develop any of them. It’s a fun game at first, with a good combat system and a nice variety of unique enemies, but it doesn’t offer nearly enough to stay fresh on repeated runs through its samey dungeons.
A game that can be as satisfying as it is difficult, Mana Spark will find a place immediately with enthusiasts of tough, demanding challenges, while finding itself a bit too much for less experienced players, but that should not be an obstacle as this is one fine specimen of an indie game that punches above its weight.
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Mana Spark is a game that shines brightly in certain areas, enough to perhaps hide the shortcomings it has as well.
Mana Spark's premise pays off and will turn into a time sink for anyone even remotely into the dungeon-crawling genre. Despite the addictive nature of this simply presented game, the loading screens will make you shout expletives out loud: especially when progressing, or worse, dying.
Despite my complaints I was surprised at how much the loop of Mana Spark got me hooked. There's some smart tactical combat here that's challenging in a different sort of way, the need to make use of the environment and your secondary item to lure enemies around as a method to kill them is fun and a bit different. While it is lacking in polish and won't appeal to people looking for more twitchy shooter-style fun Mana Spark does manage to carve out a place for itself as a solid alternative for people looking for a roguelike with a slower pace and some smart gameplay.
If you are looking for a definitive rogue-lite experience on the Switch, there are other options out there that will give you a bit more bang for your buck, but BEHEMUTT’s title is an admirable take on a genre that can often be a bit too exhaustive for its own good.