Nicalis is best known for a number of indie gems, such as Cave Story and The Binding of Isaac. Much like those titles, Remilore feels like an instant classic right out of the gate. Developers Pixellore and Remimory were able to create a game reminiscent of early dungeon crawlers and similar top-down brawlers. Unfortunately, Remilore doesn’t do much to learn from those earlier titles, hampering what would otherwise be an amazing game.
RemiLore is described as a “rogue-lite” anime-style adventure. The game follows Remi, an ordinary high school student who is transported to the world of Ragnoah after accidently awakening a magical talking book called Lore. Remi is charged with protecting Lore from the violent mecha-monsters as the book guides her to the portal that will take Remi home. RemiLore’s plot serves a simple purpose, giving players a reason to explore dungeons while beating down hordes of monsters. While the story is very simple, RemiLore’s world is made out to be a fascinating one. Throughout each stage, Remi and Lore will comment on their surrounding, constantly expanding on the world Remi’s been transported to. We never get to explore Remi’s character however, making her occasionally come across as whiny as she cries for desserts and a way home.
Visually, RemiLore isn’t winning any awards. Character models aren’t all that detailed and outside of some rather nice lighting effects, stages appear bland and repetitive in most cases. There’s also an extreme lack of enemy variation with most of the game’s mecha-monsters looking almost exactly the same outside of a few mid-bosses. RemiLore doesn’t have much text but all of it is fully voice acted. RemiLore does not feature an English dub.
RemiLore has the benefit of being extremely easy to pick up and play. Controlling Remi, players can perform light and heavy attacks to create combos. Using energy from the magic meter, players can have Lore cast powerful magic attacks. Players are also able to dash a number of times, draining a rechargeable stamina bar. Defeating enemies and breaking objects will drop desserts, RemiLore’s form of currency and experience points. Players can use these points to upgrade Remi and Lore’s abilities or to buy new weapons, magic spells and healing items. It would be easy to call RemiLore’s combat mindless. Enemy movement is often slow, and their attacks are easy to read. Remi’s own attack and movement speed makes RemiLore’s combat even easier, making it sometimes difficult to die without actively trying to get hurt. RemiLore does have extra difficulty modes for thosing looking for a challenge, but these modes don’t do much to change or add to RemiLore’s gameplay, they only prolong them.
Despite the variety of game modes available, RemiLore doesn’t encourage trying them all. For whatever reason, RemiLore only allows players to create one save file, shared between every mode. This means that unless you’re prepared to erase your save file, changing difficulty or playing a coop game with a friend is impossible. On the topic of RemiLore’s multiplayer, it also feels unnecessarily limited. Players hoping to go through the game’s story mode with a friend will be disappointed to learn that its impossible to do. Cooperative play boils down to both players controlling their own Remi, progressing through the same single player campaign stages. Adding a second player makes RemiLore even more easy as there’s no difficulty scaling, making the entire game a cakewalk.
RemiLore lays the groundwork for an enjoyable dungeon crawler but does nothing to build on that foundation. Between its average gameplay and simplistic storyline, there’s really nothing to drive players to complete its already short campaign beyond needing a mindless time waster. It’s unfortunate, but RemiLore does just about everything it can to shy away from being one of Nicalis’ many indie gems.