Today I’m going to be looking at a new rogue-lite title from a small indie development team. Rightfully, Beary Arms – the debut title from Daylight Basement Studio – is launching into Early Access on July 27th and I’ve been playing it over the past couple of weeks to take a look at what’s on offer so far.
The Right To Beary Arms
At its core, Rightfully, Beary Arms is a twin-stick bullet-hell rogue-lite. This means you’re going to be facing waves of enemies through randomly generated maps until you win or get killed, rinse and repeat. It’s a very marmite genre, but I really enjoy the gameplay loop of learning how to deal with different enemies, figuring out what weapons work for my playstyle and gradually bettering my previous runs. I love that slow drip of dopamine from the small wins that start to stack up over time.
The first thing that I feel sets RBA apart from other similar games is how the map works. In other rogue-type games I’ve played, maps generally have a player move it one direction and offer a slim choice for the next room. In RBA, the map is multi-directional and grows with you as you branch out. Each location also gives an indication of what rewards you may receive, rather than just giving you one set reward. The logo’s for each destination tell you what terrain or environment you’ll encounter if you travel there. All of this means you are able to plan your path ahead with a good deal of freedom.
The second thing I want to point out that sets RBA apart, based on my experience, is the skill tree. Prooves are permanent upgrades to Beary that can be purchased with Inspiration collected from your various runs. This concept is very much a staple in rogue-lites, allowing a player to make progress even when dying consistently. The difference here is that the tree is randomised for each game. This adds some more randomness to your playthroughs and keeps the game fresh and interesting.
Bear with them
So, those 2 aspects apart, all the other hallmarks of the genre are present. Multiple weapons and abilities to suit various playstyles, visually distinct enemies with different attacks for you to learn and master, temporary buffs that expire after a run, shops for upgrades, etc. With this being an Early Access release, the quantity and quality of all this will continue to grow too.
I found the game to be quite challenging during my time with it, a couple of aspects felt particularly punishing and I fed this back. The developers were really receptive and grateful for the feedback and took it on board to make some balancing adjustments. They pushed 2 version changes during my preview time, based on what info I gave them about my playtime. I have no doubt that this will continue to be the case so if you do pick this up, jump into the Discord and help shape the game moving forward.
Graphics & Audio
You’ll have to excuse the pun, but the lighting in Rightfully, Beary Arms is a particular highlight in its presentation. The glow effects on bullets and projectiles really add to the depth of the environment.
The Arcade/Bowling levels have a familiar feel of real-life locations. Those readers in the UK may well be reminded of a Hollywood Bowl gaming area, litter included.
Overall, the art and music are fantastic, though I imagine they will still evolve over time. There’s plenty of variety in the environments and enemies which is always great to see, but especially in a game where playing the same sections over and over is required.
Rightfully, Beary Arms has the potential to be a great rogue lite. Early Access is all about getting the game into the hands of more players and gathering feedback to help shape it into its best possible version. The developers are very open to feedback and have stated that the Early Access players are critical to the future development path for the game, so jump on in, give it a go and help this game become a hit.
I’ve had a good time with the preview build and I’ll certainly be checking-in in the future to see how the game is progressing.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this preview.