Review: Salt and Sanctuary (Nintendo Switch)

A doomed sailor is shipwrecked on an uncharted island. In fog-shrouded valleys, where grinning, mossy corpses cling to rusted arms, shambling figures begin to stir. Beneath crumbling, salt-worn structures, labyrinthine passageways lead to unspeakable evil, long forgotten by man.

Pros:

  • Fantastic looking graphics.
  • 999MB Download size.
  • Tutorial support throughout.
  • Character creator- Name, Hairstyle, Sex, Eye/hair colors, origin, class, and effects.
  • Class- Knight, Mage, Paladin, Thief, Chief, Pauper and hunter. Each class determines your starting stats, weapons, and any traits.
  • Effects- Starting bonus item.
  • Cannot pause the game.
  • Stamina system for blocking/attacking and rolling.
  • Dark Souls inspired 2D action RPG gameplay.
  • Salt- Drops from enemies and is used to level up.
  • Tree of skill- Massive skill tree, Use points and put them in to open up new buffs and abilities.
  • Unlock shortcuts in the world.
  • Many secrets to find.
  • Tense yet satisfying combat, You must learn to block and time attacks.
  • Chillingly beautiful soundtrack.
  • Amazing huge boss battles.
  • Full inventory system.
  • Can have your stats show on every menu which is dab handy when selecting weapons and armor.
  • Align yourself with a convent and you earn favor with them.
  • Clear yet minimal UI.
  • Can grab and climb ledges.
  • Upon death, you have your next life to get back to your death spot to reclaim all your salt that you drop when you die.
  • Pro controller support.
  • Altars- Acts as checkpoints and hitting it resets all monsters.
  • Very moody color palette, Lots of dark colors and sections that are just black and white. Has been known to have explosions of bright colors.
  • Rewarding gameplay.
  • Difficult.
  • Beautiful backdrops.
  • Its got one of those worlds you want to get lost in and discover.
  • Many NPC to find/interact with.
  • Clear stats screen, Green for up and red for down.
  • Simple control layout.

Cons:

  • No description for class types and effects.
  • Cannot pause the game.
  • Initially, you have no idea about controls and must rely on the signs.
  • No brightness control which is a bigger problem when in handheld mode.
  • No online interactions.
  • Difficult.
  • No key mapping.
  • Has a high reliance on you having played the genre before.
  • Can be hard to make enemies out on some backdrops.
  • No touchscreen support.
  • Some small text sections.

The Numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Accessability - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
9/10

Summary

Never would I have thought that a “2D Dark Souls” could be so good. Sounds a bit dismissive but the amount of 3D movement and exploration in Dark Souls, You wonder how that could be implemented into 2D but still keep the feel and relevance. Well, I am happy to report Salt and Sanctuary absolutely nails it. They have managed to keep everything that made Dark Souls and even adds to it and makes a solid package. Being on the Nintendo Switch means its always available and actually came out before the game it is based on Trufax. Anyway, what you get here is a proper hard as nails yet rewarding game with combat being every bit as methodical as it was in other games in the genre, The game world is vast and varied, Full of mystery and wonder. Just mentioning the name of the game is enough to envoke happy and stressful thoughts. In short, this is a must own game that does the impossible, Makes a 2D Dark Souls inspired game full of charm and difficulty.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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