Patch Quest is a charming 2D roguelike game that incorporates monster taming mechanics. As the player, you assume the role of an adventurer who has stumbled upon the patchlands. Your primary objective is to explore and map out the area while collecting as many valuable treasures as possible. Despite its adorable appearance, Patch Quest is a game that requires strategy and skill to succeed.
Accompanying you on your journey is a robot assistant with a comical voice who often provides helpful advice. The patchlands are home to dangerous beasts, but the adventurer has a secret weapon. Is Patch Quest a worthy roguelike? Discover the answer in our review.
Developer: Lychee Game Labs
Publisher: Curve Games
Platforms: PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows (Reviewed)
Release Date: March 2nd, 2023
Patch Quest doesn’t waste time with lengthy introductions or excessive tutorials. Instead, it immediately immerses players in the gameplay, providing occasional hints along the way.
The majority of the game’s mechanics are easy to understand, allowing players to move around and use a variety of calming substances to pacify aggressive monsters. However, the standout feature that truly sets the game apart is its primary mechanic.
The game Patch Quest offers the unique feature of allowing players to tame and ride any enemy they encounter, while also utilizing their unique abilities. As someone who enjoys minion mechanics in video games, this aspect of the game immediately captured my attention.
In gameplay, every adversary utilizes four skills, comprising of an evasive move, two offensive maneuvers, and an ultimate ability, which they employ consistently, even when facing you.
Players have the ability to increase the level of their mounted companion, which remains consistent across all members of the species. To ensure access to a variety of animals throughout the map, players are encouraged to continue leveling up different creatures, as their preferred companion may not be available in all areas.
The process of domesticating wild animals is a challenging task that involves using a lasso to capture them and running around them in circles. This can become even more difficult when there are numerous adversaries present on the screen.
You can watch some of my gameplay below:
To avoid losing their mount during combat, players must keep an eye on the stamina meter of each tamed animal. This is crucial as there are no evasive maneuvers available to the player when they are not mounted.
The gameplay of Patch Quest bears a striking resemblance to the conventional room-to-room mechanics found in games such as The Binding of Isaac and Cult of the Lamb’s exploration segments. However, Patch Quest executes these mechanics with great proficiency.
Although the tiles in the game are randomized, the main map remains constant. This implies that the player will always have a clear idea of how to reach their objective, but the obstacles they encounter on their journey will be unpredictable.
Games like Sundered have demonstrated that a metroidvania with a completely randomized map can be a terrible experience, particularly when it comes to navigation. However, Patch Quest avoids this issue by only randomizing the contents of each room, rather than their placement, which is a much more intelligent approach.
Patch Quest delights in using its adorable art style as a cover, catching players off guard with its intense bullet hell gameplay.
The level of difficulty in the game is not as challenging as Touhou, making it easily accessible to players. This is due to the game’s carefully designed difficulty curve, which gradually increases in complexity. The game never reaches a point where it becomes excessively difficult, but rather maintains a sense of chaos throughout.
Although the underground dungeons are considered to be some of the most challenging content in the game, it appears that there is only one dungeon per biome.
Each biome has unique status effects that can impact the player, such as reduced accuracy, slower shots, or sticking to objects. These effects can also be inflicted on enemies, while certain mounts provide immunity to specific statuses.
The resulting status effects can create extremely tumultuous environments, where you find yourself constantly adhering to surfaces, foes are becoming frenzied, your ride has deserted you, and you struggle to maintain your balance while attempting to ensnare an adversary and evade incoming attacks.
Additionally, the player has the option to gather fruits that alter the behavior of their weapon’s shots, much like the power-ups found in Contra games. Taking a daring approach, the player can also attempt a point-blank shot on an enemy to inflict additional damage and receive a reward for their boldness.
Attempting to summarize all of Patch Quest’s features in a single post seems like a daunting task. Even the most fundamental aspect of gameplay, firing your weapon, involves numerous mechanics. Despite its straightforward control scheme, the game accomplishes a great deal without inundating the player.
The name Patch Quest is fitting for the game’s maps, which are designed as patches adorned with stickers. This unique approach results in a visually appealing and straightforward art style that perfectly complements the game’s collecting theme.
Collecting stickers for your encyclopedia by taming a monster, discovering a new plant, or obtaining a new artifact can be highly addictive as you strive to acquire them all.
Players have the option to construct their own base using the stickers they discover, enabling them to personalize their weapon selection at the start of each playthrough. Additionally, there are vacant areas on the game’s map that can be filled with collected stickers to unlock various bonuses.
Patch Quest stands out as an exceptional game due to the fact that it was created by a sole developer over a span of 7 years. Despite my usual level of scrutiny towards games, I am astounded by the impressive level of quality and enjoyment that a single individual was able to achieve with Patch Quest.
Although I enjoyed playing Patch Quest as a roguelike, I found it somewhat lacking in diversity. One of the key features of roguelikes is itemization, which is unfortunately absent in Patch Quest. The game lacks the excitement of discovering a plethora of powerful or useless items through random chance, which can make or break a run.
The metroidvania style of the game is the reason why achieving a successful run requires clearing the entire map in one go. Therefore, it is logical that itemization is not a feature. However, this also results in most runs feeling repetitive.
Curve Games provided a game code for Patch Quest, which was reviewed on Microsoft Windows. For more information on Niche Gamer’s review and ethics policy, please refer to their website. Patch Quest is available on various platforms, including PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows via Steam.