Salt and Sanctuary Review
Release date: August 02, 2018
Developer: Ska Studios
Platforms: Switch (Reviewed), PC, XBL, PSN
Salt and Sanctuary was released in 2016 for a few systems, but recently Ska Studios released the 2D platforming RPG to the Nintendo Switch. While this game is challenging, it has an interesting premise, story, artwork and charm about it which continues to make it stand out amongst other Indie games.
They say flattery is the best sort of praise, if something is successful why not imitate it? While I was first playing Dark Souls for Switch, I mean Salt and Sanctuary, I kept thinking I had played other games like it. The plot isn't too complicated, players are a doomed sailor who is shipwrecked an uncharted island full of evil. The game’s story picks up along the way and players can happily look for the small details or ignore it favor of of dealing out death.
Salt and Sanctuary plays like a platforming version of Dark Souls. Players have a stamina bar which affects everything, moving, jumping, attacking, dodging all these things drain the bar. This means combat has to be approached carefully with some planning.
If players die they will lose the salt they have collected. Players will respawn back at a shrine and there is a chance they can recover the lost salt. This means wading through the respawned enemies to get back to the salt. This doesn't always work out like it should and I died a lot trying to get back to my salt. The salt serves an important purpose it is used to level up in the game. The good news is there are shrines scattered around that are safe zones for the players to save and re-group. The boss fights are challenging and players are free to roam about wherever. My 2nd boss fight was actually the 5th boss according to something I read.
The art of Salt and Sanctuary is hand drawn black and white. The characters and enemies and backgrounds have a nice touch to them. This is pleasing on the eyes.
I felt the controls were nice and tight. I preferred to play this with my Switch docked. There are classes in the game, Knight, Mage, Chef, Hunter, Thief, Pauper, Paladin, and the Cleric. I tried the Hunter and didn't fare well. I did better with the Paladin since they have a shield. Most guides for starting out recommend, the Knight, Paladin or the Mage for beginners. Players can craft over 600 items and upgrade their weapons and armor to their heart's content. There is plenty of interesting loot to get and there is an option for co-op but enemies get tougher.
My only gripe with the game is the map, while its present it doesn't do much for players. I was hoping gamers could throw down markers or tag the map where stuff is. But players can leave messages like in Dark Souls letting players know of traps, good loot, and when to get ready for a big fight. If you want a challenging game with an interesting art style this is a good place to start and as someone who is terrible at Dark Souls, I found myself intrigued by Salt and Sanctuary. This game can be found for under $20 digitally and the physical version can be found at Amazon for $20.
Great art style
Map could be better
Thanks to the publisher for letting us review this game.