Spellbound Survivors


Your ultimate goal is to reach the last battle and face the almighty king of the Spellbound realm, The Overlord Wizard! Did I hear you laughing, young . . . what are you exactly? You, wearing a conical hat made of straw, some sort of two-piece bathrobe, walking with hard wooden sandals. Oh, yes - a Samurai! But let me tell you, young rai, The Overlord Wizard hasn’t been beaten yet. Good luck to you, and please take your wooden shoes off when you enter Spellbound Survivors. 

Spelbound Survivors is a pixelated action roguelike game developed and self-published by ToastedSquadStudios on the 30th of December, 2023, on the Steam platform.

What a fun little game with plenty of content to unlock. On your first run, you can only select one of the 18 characters, as 17 will be locked. And no, you will not be a Samurai as such but a Ronin, a Samurai without a Master (according to Japanese Feudal descriptions). Each character, when unlocked, will have a specific weapon. But on your first run, the Ronin will be equipped with a Katana. Then you’ll have to select which map you want to play in. Again, you can only choose one of the five maps available, the Rainfall Haven. Each map has a different environment, level layout and different types of enemy.

To reach the ultimate showdown with the Overlord Wizard, not only do you have to combat wave after wave of minions, but you’ll also have to defeat one of four mini-bosses every five minutes.

At the start of each run, the enemy will come towards your character fairly slowly, but as time passes, enemies will not only be faster but will come in bigger groups. So, to be able to fend them off, you’ll need to acquire an additional three weapons and powers-up. You’ll have two main gauges at the top of your screen. One is the level-up gauge, and the other is the parchment (as I like to call it) gauge. Each time you kill an enemy, the parchment gauge will increase slightly; when you collect an enemy’s soul, the level-up gauge increases. The level-up gauge will always grow faster than the parchment. A pop-up with three to four options will appear on your screen when the level-up gauge is full. This is where you select your next three weapons and power-ups. Each time you reach a new level, you can choose a new weapon and a new power-up, until all of your slots are occupied. Then you can upgrade each weapon up to nine more times and the power-ups five more times. As mentioned, a mini-boss will appear every five minutes, and they will drop a gift package when you kill them. The gift icon will constantly change colour and determine how many free upgrades are available for the taking, and you will also receive some coins. As there are 18 characters, 18 different weapons, and 20 power-ups in the game, there are many combinations to try within each run, which is very good.

When full, the parchment gauge will give you access to four different options: activate the slow-down motion for several seconds, attract all the souls you haven’t collected, receive a lump of coins, or summon a monster to kill all the enemies on the screen. When you have used all the parchments, the game will reset them, and the next time you fill up the gauge, you can select one of the four options again, and so on and so forth. On top of this, each character has a special power-up, but it takes quite a while for it to regenerate after using it. Each run takes around 30 minutes, assuming you have reached the showdown with the Overload Wizard. In my case, I reached it several times, but I haven’t found the right combination to beat him yet. Then the game froze on me, more than once, which was really frustrating. When it works, I find that the Overload Wizard needs some balancing, as his movements and attacks are astonishingly fast, even with my character movements unlocked to the maximum.  

After being defeated by the Overload Wizard or his minions, you can unlock a few things with the collected coins, such as upgrading your power-ups and unlocking new characters. To unlock a new character you must reach level seven on a weapon that you used on your previous run. If you use a dagger for the first time as part of your four weapon combinations, and reach level 7 during your run, you can unlock the Assassin character. The arrow will unlock the Hunter, the fist will unlock the Monk, the shield will unlock the Paladin, and I’ll let you discover the others. To give you an idea, I still haven’t unlocked five characters after 10 hours of gameplay. So, yes, there is a fair bit of replayability with this game.

The pixel graphics are decent and the music is adequate for this genre of game, although it is the same tune over and over, which gets annoying. You do have the ability to turn the music off, though. I like the fact that you have a good number of things to unlock and upgrade. It’s a fun game to revisit when you have 30 minutes to spare. However, they need to address the issue with the unbalanced final boss and hanging screen when you reach him.

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for Zeepond.com

Spellbound Survivors Steam Store Page


+ Decent pixel graphics
+ Fun, easy to play and very addictive
+ 18 characters, 20 power-ups and 5 maps to unlock
+ Good replayability
+ Achievements


- Several screens hang when reaching the final boss
- Unbalanced final boss
- No trading cards as yet

Review Summary

Although some important adjustments are needed, Spellbound Survivors is fun, very addictive, has plenty of things to unlock and offers great replayability.

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Zeepond Rating: 6/10