Quadropus Rampage is a mix of roguelike and hack-and-slash systems with some deep customization options, upgrade paths, random loot and good replay value that ultimately is held down by some unwieldy controls and a few spots of confusion here and there.
In Quadropus Rampage, you play some underwater critter with a tennis racket and a little starfish named Bingo. The goal of the game is to defeat Pete, an evil underwater god, and to do so you need to go deep into the ocean. Each stage is populated with a few enemies that you need to kill before a path to the next one opens. You also can just fall down any ledge to progress, but then you'll lose HP. This game controls with a virtual joystick on the left side and a few buttons on the right side. You can attack enemies, spin attack if you hold the button and let go, dodge around, raise a bubbly shield and perform a smash attack. If this were playable with an actual joystick, it would be so much better, the virtual movement takes some time to get used to.
You find a bunch of weapons, either by killing enemies or by opening chests or by buying them from a merchant that randomly appears. All weapons attack the same way, which is a little disappointing. They have random names with prefixes and affixes that don't mean anything, so you need to look at the stats.Why not have a bit of consistency? Certain stats could be associated to certain silly words, so you'd know what a weapon did just by its name. I usually went for the highest damage values, because some other stats are a bit obscure, what is toughness for? I suppose it reduces damage I take but I didn't see that explained anywhere.
For defeating enemies, you get experience and orbs, experience contributes to your level that gets reset to 1 every time you start a new game, but orbs allow you to buy upgrades, items and artifacts for your character. The upgrades are permanent and the items also last for the current dive. You also rarely find Doubloons, they can be used to buy an orb doubler. I love how you could theoretically buy the doubler with in-game currency, but it would take so much time that it's not realistic. You also can revive yourself with the doubloons, but this costs a bunch of them and you can only do it once per run. I don't think the doubloons are too useful as the premium currency of this game, maybe the merchant sometimes should offer really good items for doubloons instead of orbs?
You randomly find artifacts and their effects are well explained, as opposed to some other things in this game. Some enemies are just weird, jellyfishes that emit some green aura, frog-like creatures that chant, what are they doing? Should I know anything before fighting them? I'm not yet at the end of the game but some mechanics and systems confuse me, there should be an in-game encyclopedia of enemies (and maybe explaining the stats while we're at it)
My favorite system in this game is the mastery system. It's basically achievements but with passive bonuses related to them. I collected 10 000 orbs so now I have to choose between special enemies dropping triple instead of double orbs or 10% of all orbs being worth double. I used the spin attack a whole bunch just to get the passive bonus, I'm trying to unlock them so I can customize my character the way I play the game, and I love being able to do that. Some of these masteries are quite difficult to get (Such as defeating the last boss) but some can be obtained just by playing, so I'm going to get them.
Quadropus Rampage is a bunch of fun and you do feel like you're getting further along the more you play, thanks to the upgrades and masteries. You'll need a bit of luck to find the artifacts and weapons you'd need to have a good run but you're still progressing towards mastery completion so you're always getting something out of a game. Add a real controller and this would be even better.