Vambrace: Cold Soul – Review
Follow Genre: roguelike fantasy-adventure
Developer: Devespresso Games
Publisher: Headup Games, WhisperGames
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One
Tested on: PC

Vambrace: Cold Soul – Review

Site Score
Good: Soundtrack, graphics, tutorial, combat
Bad: No voice acting
User Score
(4 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.8/10 (4 votes cast)

The developers from the horror game series The Coma are back with a new kick-ass game! Inspired by games like Darkest Dungeon, the Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy VI, they’re proud to bring you their new roguelike fantasy-adventure game Vambrace: Cold Soul. As the lead game and narrative designer himself said, the game is a love letter to the games that left their indelible marks on the developers. By now, the game has already had some patches, making sure the game stays up to date according to the fans’ tastes. We are very excited to dive into this adventure! 


The King of Shades has cast a curse on the great city of Icenaire.  The city is caught under a permanent blight of frost and former residents have returned from the dead as mad Wraiths. The people who did survive took refuge deep underground where they lead a desperate campaign against the unearthly power, hoping to return to their homes soon. Unfortunately, they are woefully outmatched making it impossible for them to fight. Meanwhile, an army of the undead is growing every day.

This is where your character comes in, Evelia Lyric. She’s the bearer of the Aetherbrace, an enchanted vambrace. She also seems to be the only human capable of entering Icenaire. It’s up to Evelia to fight the King of Shades and his army.

The story is interesting but won’t give you a real ‘wow’ moment since it’s not that special. It gets told through cutscenes where dialogues take place. These 2D cutscenes are very enjoyable, but a little boring, since it is a lot to read.


This game takes place in a frozen wasteland, as the story already revealed, and switches between 2D and 3D art. The setting is absolutely beautiful, no doubt about that. You’ll definitely enjoy the various places you get to visit. On top of that, you also get some strong characters, starting with our hero Evelia. She resembles a strong and confident woman and this shows partly in the way she is designed. This game is quite the eye catcher.


The soundtrack used in Vambrace fits in perfectly with the icy atmosphere of the game, making the experience even more complete. Where the music scores high, the voice acting scores rather poorly. Why? Simple, there is so much text because of the important narrative-driven aspect in this game, and these dialogues are not voiced. This makes the long conversations and huge amounts of text feel quite a bit more like a task rather than a pleasure you get to enjoy. Where you usually love finding out about the story, the lack of voice acting puts a damper on this.

Seeing as the game is heavily focusing on the story, narrative, and dialogues, you’d expect some kick ass voice acting, right? Wrong! There’s no voice acting, which makes the conversations seem very, very long. It’s great learning more about the world you’re exploring, it really is, since it’s so interesting and elaborate but hey, also wanting to engage in combat a lot, you’ll find yourself skipping through some conversations.


Vambrace: Cold Soul is a roguelike fantasy-adventure. The game takes form in a linear way, accompanied by some side quests along the way. This comes in handy as a way to expand the story. There’s one side quest in particular, namely collecting pages from the Codex Illuminus all over the place. This codex is a book from Evelia’s father. It contains side information about gods, myths, the realm, and so many other things, completing the story part of the game. The extended tutorial makes sure you get a thorough explanation every time something new comes up, which is great!

As for the main quest, you recruit up to three characters and travel to other places. These characters are divided in 10 different classes and 5 different races and thus have various skills. Not all races will be available at all times, so you’ll have to make strategic choices. It’s also important to focus on the positions your teammates will take since there are short, medium and long attack positions. The short ones can only hit the first two enemies and you have to place them first or second. Medium ranged classes can only attack the first two enemies as well but can be placed anywhere. Then there are the long ones that can attack any enemy from any position. It’s up to you to find a balance here.

Every team member has five stats: combat, awareness, sleight, merchantry, and overwatch. Of course, combat relates to the damage the character does. Awareness helps someone detect traps, while sleight will bring better items when opening chests. Merchantry creates being able to buy more goods at better prices. Overwatch determines recovery of your teammates during camping.

Besides these stats, there’s also the health and vigor of team members. While health is the obvious factor here, vigor shows the state of your mind and body. Because of the cold and various traps you may encounter, your vigor will decrease, requiring you to rest. Resting can be done when setting up camp, which cannot always be done, depending on the room you’re in. You can’t stay in a place too long either or enemies will start showing up. It’s important to keep track of both of these stats because if either of these two reaches 0, you’ll die. And death is permanent here. Only if Evelia dies will you be taken back to the city though and all progress you’ve made in a certain place will be lost.

So, when you’re traveling to new places, you’ll be able to enter new buildings. These buildings then offer a bunch of rooms, which you have to complete. Some rooms will hold treasures, while others will present you with enemies, small events or traders. These small events are quite easy. You get faced with a decision, take a guess, and the outcome can be either good or bad, easy peasy. You can get hurt or receive interesting items. The treasure chests can also contain various items, or have a less pretty outcome and even harm you. Make sure you don’t carry too many items though, because this will reflect on your character’s stats. Better turn those newly retrieved items into some more reliable gear! If you want to keep focusing on the main story, that’s also possible and you can skip these.

You’ll notice the game doesn’t offer a leveling system, which seemed quite odd in the beginning. Luckily, you’ll soon find out that the main focuses are the narrative and harsh battles, not making you miss the leveling system at all. Now, about that harsh combat, we just mentioned, one round of combat may not take that long, but it can definitely decrease the health of your characters really fast. One cannot stress enough how important it is to constantly keep track of your health and vigor, and how important it is to rest and heal on time.


Altogether, Cold Soul: Vambrace is a pretty cool roguelike fantasy-adventure game that can definitely be recommended. Besides the elaborate story, perfectly fitting soundtrack, and beautifully interesting world, there’s some difficult but fair, and mostly strategical, combat to enjoy. You’re not obligated to take part in side quests, and the lack of a leveling system isn’t even a flaw here. What we’re really missing here, is some cool voice acting and this really is a shame since this is making the elaborate story that this game offers, rather boring.

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Rating: 8.8/10 (4 votes cast)
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Vambrace: Cold Soul - Review, 8.8 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Maui Vindevogel

23 year old based in Belgium with a passion for writing

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