Soulstone Survivors – Preview
Follow Genre: Roguelite
Developer: Game Smithing Limited
Publisher: Game Smithing Limited
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Soulstone Survivors – Preview

Good: Flexibility, Effect of spells
Bad: Current sound design
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

The beauty of simplicity never ceases to amaze when it’s done right and Soulstone Survivors is no exception. Even prior to its release into Early Access the game had a thriving Discord community and devs who remained active post-launch, listening to players, taking suggestions, organizing small time-limited events, and helping out with any issues reported (which yours truly had an opportunity to experience as well). You can tell the game’s made with love and passion.

The game has no story at all, no lore, and even the playable characters have generic names such as Barbarian or Paladin. There are no speech bubbles, no hints, no nothing. Does that take away from the game? Not. At. All.

There are soulstones that bosses drop, there are several types of enemies, some names appear here and there but it’s not enough to call lore. As stated above though, we did not miss it at all. If you come from a story-heavy, unskippable-cutscene-shoving-down-your-throat game *cough*genshin*cough*, you will most definitely appreciate the change of pace. If you want action, *click* you get action.

While the character graphics are simple to utilitarian to say the least, the SFX of spells are really pretty. All models, including maps, are 3D and look really good for an Early Access title. It could be nice to have higher resolution textures in the character select screen, if nowhere else, but then again they already look good enough for the type of gameplay offered. There are five maps, for now, all with distinctly different looks, though, and this has been adressed by the devs, they all play the same due to only a handful of types of enemies being available. They promised to amend that situation in upcoming patches, along with a number of other additions, such as weapons.

While the music is straight-up pleasant, the audio effects of spells very quickly blend into an unintelligible mess. Subject to change, one can imagine, though it is hard to say what could be done to voice hundreds of simultaneously cast spells. As harsh as it may sound, as it is right now, the game is best enjoyed with either SFX or the sound altogether turned completely off.

The key element of Soulstone Survivors is the gameplay, which starts off as basic as it could possibly get. This is you, these are enemies. You come out swinging or you don’t come out at all: now have at it. Each of the currently available characters starts with a basic skill that is otherwise unavailable in the pool or randomized upgrade cards. Each character has access to several types of spells, which makes for a wide variety of builds. During the Alpha, the devs swapped back and forth between a percentage and additive-based upgrades system, eventually settling on the latter. Percentages would mean yet another Diablo3-type situation, where it would only be worth upgrading the hell out of a single spell.

As you kill monsters, you gather experience and level up, upon which you get to select one of three random cards, which include active skills, passive skills, and passive upgrades. Upon completing one of five currently available maps in a set time you get additional options of endless runs. One is a boss rush, where with each level one more boss spawns, and yes, they will fill out the entire screen eventually. The other option pits you against the same amount of bosses but all the monsters are faster, stronger, and have more health.

Outside a match, you can spend experience points and soulstones gathered to purchase skill tree upgrades which grant you permanent stats. Another progress mechanic is achievements. For those, you’re offered runes, which offer different boons, often with a drawback to them. This is the point where builds are made and really come together.

Another way to spice up your match is by adding curses, each point of which strengthens enemies in various ways. Curses stack up to 48 and at that level, the game becomes a real challenge. Examples include but are not limited to: more enemy HP/damage, more elite enemies, more bosses, or an immortal being that follows you around at a slow pace and if it catches up to you it’s game over. With each curse level, you gain additional rewards as well, so it’s well worth trying.


Soulstone Survivors is a LOT of fun. It can easily serve to play a short match in between rounds of something else or you could try to challenge the endless mode and stay a while longer. On a lower difficulty level, one might play it as a relaxing mow-em-down with a movie running in the background, or you can crank up the curses and see if you manage to trigger an endless mode. The game has a lot of potential, including as of yet unused prestige levels, weapons, crafting materials, boss drops, a crafting system, and an expanded skill tree. We’re really excited to see this one evolve over time.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Soulstone Survivors - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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