Even If You Suck at Dodging, This Game Is Still Pretty Fun - Raspberry Mash Review

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Despite obsessively playing intense games like Counter-Strike or Dota 2 in my teenage years, I’ve always had poor reflexes. I can’t ever seem to overcome my lagging hand-eye coordination, and these issues always pop up when I’m trying to tackle roguelike games that require agility and precise movements. Unfortunately, I can confirm that not much has changed; I’ve spent the better part of the last week getting beaten to a pulp by Raspberry Mash, a fast-paced roguelike dungeon crawler.
In Raspberry Mash, you play as a young girl who seeks to unleash her wrath upon god himself. She must journey through hellish dungeons while decimating zombies, pigmen, and other monsters with a wide array of abilities, guns, and high-speed maneuvering.
Image Credited to Raspberry Mash | IGNITION M
However, Raspberry Mash’s gameplay takes a twist on the standard format for most 2D pixel roguelike games. Instead of rolling around and shooting guns manually, your entire survival relies on an automatic aiming and attacking system that functions only when you stay put. Yes, that means you’re supposed to stand still to do damage with your weapons. It’s essentially the extreme opposite of a run-and-gun game—or the run part, at least. Getting through Raspberry Mash is all about positioning rather than just hitting your shots—which may seem extraordinarily uncomfortable and unusual for most roguelike veterans.
It was a little challenging to wrap my head around, but as I played, I slowly understood that this game rewards patience. It was infuriating sometimes to find myself unable to shoot when I desperately wanted to deal damage. But over time I realized that every monster or boss had an opening, whether to reload their guns or just to take a breath. I used these openings to unload flurries of bullets when I could, and then quickly maneuvered around their explosive barrages once the window of opportunity closed.
Image Credited to Raspberry Mash | IGNITION M
I’d even go so far as to say that Raspberry Mash seemed kind of easy at first, as my weaponry instantly killed any enemies I came across. But it’s not just doing damage to enemies that’s the challenge here. Avoiding damage was key to survival, as I soon realized how extremely easy it was to lose sight of my plummeting health when hundreds of bullets and flaming orbs were rushing towards me. And that constant barrage of enemy fire makes picking the right moments to stand still all the more important and all the more difficult.
You begin a run of Raspberry Mash with roughly just over five hundred health points. Some artifacts and items heal your health, boost it, and provide other forms of protection. But you also unlock the ability to dodge and roll out of harm early in the first level. Naturally, that dodge counts as movement, so using it cancels out the auto-shooting functionality.
Because Raspberry Mash is so fast-paced, I found it easy to die and lose my progress when I wasn’t paying close enough attention. As with most roguelikes, when you die, everything resets and you restart your journey into the dungeon, including picking up new starting weaponry and artifacts. But you’ll want to avoid dying too much for reasons beyond the pain of starting over.
See, dungeon runs are treated as a time-limited resource in Raspberry Mash; you start the game with five mana, and every time you enter the dungeon, you use one mana. Not unlike the stamina systems in many other mobile games, mana replenishes over time—at a rate of around one mana every forty minutes or so—but if you have none left, you cannot start a new run until you’ve gained some back. It’s a system that might sound extra frustrating, but I have to admit it never really fazed me. Most of my runs through the game lasted at least half an hour, so I rarely felt like I was burning through mana faster than I could get it back.
I noticed when I got overconfident, I dropped my guard more often. When I stumbled across a laser weapon that disintegrated enemies on contact, or a rattling machine gun that turned zombies into swiss cheese, I would get cocky and stop paying attention to my positioning and movement. This decreased mobility invariably led to immediate death, especially when I faced one of the game’s powerful bosses. It’s imperative to recognize that despite being an almost unstoppable force of mass destruction, you’re not immortal in Raspberry Mash.
Image Credited to Raspberry Mash | IGNITION M
There are so many minor additions to the game that ease the pain of this challenging adventure. You can collect gold for purchases at shops, or try new dungeon difficulty levels. You have close-quarters combat options for when you accidentally deplete your ammunition. And, yes, there are microtransactions that give you a pay-to-win edge like the Special Weapons Box which provides new weapons that drop in-game. The game has ads, but they’re not forced; rather, you can watch a few ads to get more gems or to resurrect yourself once after dying. But with or without the microtransaction element, there’s enough to explore in Raspberry Mash that it could keep you busy for a long time to come.
Although I’ve already admitted to my failing when it comes to playing skillfully at these fast-paced roguelikes, I had an enjoyable time with Raspberry Mash nonetheless. The game features excellent gore-filled visuals, eye-popping animations, and sounds that immerse you in its gameplay. And it features almost infinite combinations of weapons, artifacts, and character builds. Even when it kicked my ass over and over, I kept jumping into the action, so there’s clearly something working here.
SCORE: 4 STARS OUT OF 5
PLAY IF YOU LIKE:
Soul Knight. If you love Soul Knight, you’ll enjoy Raspberry Mash’s similar gameplay style. Watch out though: They both share similarly fast-paced movement and enemies who’ll charge at you relentlessly.
Exit the Gungeon. If you enjoyed Exit the Gungeon on Steam, you’ll be addicted to Raspberry Mash and its long and expansive dungeons.
💬 Have you played Raspberry Mash? Let us know what you think of it in the comments! Do you prefer fighting with guns or hitting enemies up close in roguelike games?
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Kef
Kef
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Kef
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I used to be way more into melee-only in roguelikes (and RPGs in general), but for some reason as I've gotten older I've grown more into ranged builds. I think Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon really pushed me toward finally embracing that style of gameplay. Although the idea of just standing still in those games is pretty terrifying.
07/08/2022
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Jay Hunter
Jay Hunter
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Jay Hunter
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It takes a lot of patience too! You'll love Raspberry Mash if you've tried those games.
07/09/2022
Jason
Jason
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Jason
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I'm huge fan of Soul Knight. I think I'm going to love this game!
07/08/2022
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Jay Hunter
Jay Hunter
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Jay Hunter
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It'll definitely keep you tapping away, that's for sure!
07/09/2022
KIᖇITO
KIᖇITO
https://youtube.com/channel/UCsFL-91xU-RCvfrFOtjgK7g
07/12/2022
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