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Game Info:

Virtual Rogue
Developed By: Snowy Productions
Released: April 8, 2016
Available On: Windows
Genre: Shooter, Rogue-like
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1
Price: $2.99

*Advertising disclosure* - After this review was posted, Black Shell Media became an advertising partner.  This review is not influenced by this relationship.

Thank you Black Shell Media for the review key!

Virtual Rogue is a top-down rogue-like shooter about a homicidal piece of paper. When New Text Document.txt is thrown in the trash, he'll go on a murderous killing spree against paint brushes, calculators, monitors and more to exact his revenge.

Virtual Rogue puts you into a flat world that's designed to look like the old green PCB of motherboards and PCIe cards. It's a randomly generated game, which determines things like the position of walls, which enemies are spawned and how many, what kind of items are in the level, and so on. At the start of each level, there are three things you can purchase, such as RAM, chests full of stuff, items, buffs and more. Each enemy has multiple colors, with each color being harder, whether they're faster, have more health, or do more damage, meaning that each run is different from the last. You have a set amount of health; going along with the computer theme your health is RAM. You only have 10 RAM and getting killed is quite easy as most enemies take 1 RAM per hit, but some can do 2 or 3. The only way to recover health is to pick up the RAM that enemies drop, which is somewhat rare and usually only restores 1 RAM.

Virtual Rogue
Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun and creative computer theme
Weak Points: Frustrating controls; simplistic and generic graphics; loud and annoying music; repetitive and difficult gameplay
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence

There are several items in the game that seem to really do nothing. They go with the theme of being digital by acting as "hacks" such as speedhacks, aimhacks, push... hacks? That's the problem with the majority of these items, they don't have a clear use. I have no clue what most of these items do, they all have descriptions but they're vague flavor text that tries to make them sound cool but don't describe the item at all. The effects are usually so unnoticeable it's hard to tell you even used an item. You can only hold one item at a time, and even when you use items most don't last several seconds.

Virtual Rogue has two currencies, those being bits and bytes. Bits seem to be largely useless, as bytes are only used to unlock things. Bits can be used occasionally on some luck-based objects, but they've never worked for me. The only thing bits are good for is being converted to bytes. Sometimes you can find an item shop in levels, in which you can purchase RAM, items and more. They typically have a bit-byte converter, which works pretty well. You can get a lot of bits from enemies, but you don't get many bytes. But you can get a lot of bytes from converting bits. There are also randomly generated objects like slot machines, where you test your luck and see if you get a positive or negative buff, upgrade your RAM capacity, receive an item, and more.

Virtual Rogue
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 40%
Gameplay - 8/20
Graphics - 4/10
Sound - 3/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 1/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Virtual Rogue plays like your average top-down shooter, except a lot worse. Most top-down shooters allow you to aim your shots with your mouse or controller. In Virtual Rogue, however, you walk with WASD and fire with the arrow keys; and this wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that you can't aim diagonally. But enemies can aim in any direction, which leaves you at a horrible disadvantage and makes the game incredibly difficult to play as a result.

And that's my main issue with Virtual Rogue: it's not fun to play. Nothing else makes the game redeemable either; the artwork is just bland and generic, it's not polished and seems like something you'd put in the concept stage of a game. On the other hand, the music is unique due to how loud, screeching and annoying it is. I don't know if there are other songs in higher levels, but in my playtime I've only heard one song. Every sound here just feels off; the whole experience makes me feel as if I'm playing some kind of web browser game that asks me if I want to run Java.

Everything feels empty, it looks bland and generic visually, the enemies are just copy-pastes, the music is grinding and the game is stupidly difficult because of the controls. Because of that, I can't recommend this game for its $3 price tag, or even if it was free; it's just not worth your time.

- Remington