Sometimes you just need a simple game to occupy your time. There are a ton of them out there, some are even free, but not all of them are worth even filling that minor role. Numgeon gives you only a couple of actions to perform in its roguelite structure and they aren’t particularly involving, but it did enough to eat up the time clicking away at some numbers.
Numgeon doesn’t hide the fact that its primary gameplay mechanic is just clicking numbers sequentially. It doesn’t sound difficult, and it really isn’t that difficult on its own. The challenge for the whole process is doing it quickly while a monster attacks you.
Every number clicked is an attack on your enemy and some of the clicked numbers charge up your magic meter that, when full, allows you to perform a magic attack doing additional damage. All the time it takes you to find the next number is more time that opponent can attack you. Hunting down the proper numbered tile in the grid can either flow so smoothly that you’ll wonder if you’ve developed some sort of special sense or instantly induce panic as you struggle to see a damn “5”.
This actually works pretty well, especially as more challenging enemies later in the game have a larger amount of number tiles to both allow you to do more damage and make it significantly more difficult to find the ones you need. It isn’t without some issues though. The most obvious is that it prevents you from really looking anywhere else, so it’s easy to outright ignore the type of enemy and their attacks as you search for numbers.
Searching for numbers can be a bit of a chore too as at times it feels like the font used for the numbers isn’t as distinct as it should be. The low quality inherent in the pixelart font is also an issue when trying to distinguish HP and MP as the difference is literally a few pixels of height in the horizontal bar between the vertical lines of the H and M.
The Lockpicking Debacle
There’s also a lock picking mechanic that is also used exclusively for opening up chests if you don’t have the required keys. Even after figuring out what is going on, it just seems far too convoluted of a process for a game that is otherwise so simple. My success or failure in it always came down to some mostly random/slightly logical clicking to get it to work and I just sort of wrote it off whether it did or didn’t. The rewards were generally just small heals, mana potions, or a few coins, so it wasn’t much to give up.
The Sensible Roguelite
Throughout each run of Numgeon, you collect coins which are given primarily for the remaining number tiles after defeating an enemy. Coins can be used in shops to buy heals, magic, and armor, prolonging your adventure. However, collecting coins can be a bit odd as there aren’t many things that give you bonus damage, so you for much of the game you’re only getting a handful of coins per battle from your leftover tiles.
You can gain additional coins for completing quests (that I can’t seem to find the list of in game), opening chests and getting items that enhance your gold gain. Items can be gained at the end of each dungeon level as a single choice of three. Not all choices are items though, some are upgrades and things like full heals. I think that the choice of items seems fairly standard, but a few offer some minor twists to spice up the gameplay.
A couple of character classes can be unlocked to make playthroughs a little more diverse as well, which is nice. There are also some palette swaps for the background/foreground/highlight colors that don’t really change the gameplay in any way, but at least give you something to gain as you move along.
All of the items that you’ve gained and enemies you’ve encountered show up in an encyclopedia for you to check out as well. There may not be much actual “progress” to be made (even with levels to gain), but what is in the game does a lot to expand on the relatively simple gameplay loop.
I’m not blown away by Numgeon, but for $3 I didn’t expect to be blown away. It was slightly more interesting than I thought it would be though, which is why I recommend it. I suppose at this point you might find it on sale for at least a little bit less if that makes the $3 base price more appealing.
It’s another good game to jump into to burn some time and try to one up yourself. The game is not particularly hard to beat, and on maybe my third run I did so, but it seems like it depends heavily on getting past the first portions to get the right items and enough gold to just cruise through the later portions. There’s also an “expert mode” to ensure even if you do find it easy, you can give yourself more of a challenge.
I am honestly surprised that this game isn’t also a mobile game. With the simple easy to pick up gameplay (that only requires one hand even on PC), I’m sure Numgeon could find some success on that platform.
Numgeon is as simple as it seems from the trailer and doesn't expand upon the basic formula of clicking numbers to progress through dungeons, but it well for being a cheap time sink with some replayability.
- Simple approachable gameplay
- Quick to pick up or drop at will
- Easy to zone out and just keep playing
- Limited overall mechanics
- Rarely able to look at the 'action'
- Relatively short even at this price range
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