Cinco Paus is an Interesting and Experimental Roguelike

Visually, Cinco Paus is bit on the stranger side, as the cartoonish style is what I would imagine an acid trip being like. In fact, it reminds me of the art style of some adult swim cartoons, but honestly, it just makes Brough’s game even more unique and special. The colors in Cinco Paus are bright and colorful, which are sure to bring a smile to your face, even if you don’t understand what the game is saying. Despite this fact, Cinco Paus has icons (some straightforward while others are more obscure) that appear after you’ve used one of the staffs, so there’s a little guidance as to what’s happening. Animations in Cinco Paus are smooth and fluid, so there’s no issues with lag or choppy frame rates on my iPhone 8 Plus. The game’s soundtrack is also a bit weird, but delightful to listen to.

Since Cinco Paus is a roguelike, that means that each round is randomly generated, so it’s never going to be the same game twice. The goal in Cinco Paus is to help your wizard character get from the starting point to the exit, which takes you to the next area. There’s enemies that are in the way that resemble various animals, like frogs, prawns, and lizards. On top of that, there’s items like keys to unlock chests, and even tomes that can modify the properties of your wands and staffs.

The controls in Cinco Paus are simple and straightforward, especially if you’ve played turn-based roguelikes before. Just swipe on the screen in the direction that you want to move to, and the wizard will do so, assuming that there’s nothing in the way like a wall or enemy. You can swipe into an enemy to do a basic attack, but keep in mind that some take multiple hits to kill (life points indicated by the dots), and can hit you back as long as it’s alive.

Fortunately, that’s where the wands come in. At the top of the screen will be five sticks, which are the wizards wands and staffs. To use them, just drag the one you want to the wizard, and make sure that it’s pointing outward in the direction you want it to face. Once you release your finger, it will activate, sending out a shot that can dish out some nice damage to enemies, so you want it to hit something.

But be careful when using these wands though, because you only have five of them, and they won’t get replenished until you reach the next area. Also, icons show up next to each wand after it’s used, revealing their properties. The properties get randomized with each game, so it may not be the same on your next run. The attributes can mean that a wand does double damage to frogs, or teleport you past an enemy. You won’t know what a wand does until you use it, so it forces you to make use of your resources and also observe what they do.

Unless you know Portuguese, Cinco Paus will be one of those games that you may enjoy but have to figure out everything scientifically, as none of the text helps you out. It’s different, refreshing, and a welcome challenge. And with a different loadout for each game you play, it’s always going to be a surprise, and who doesn’t like surprises?

CInco Paus is a quirky and lighthearted roguelike that’s all about experimentation.

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