LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue

The Serpent Rogue Review

Game: The Serpent Rogue
Genre: Adventure, Action,
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows & macOS) Xbox and PS4)
Developer|Publisher:  Sengi Games | Team 17
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: US $19.99 | UK £15.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: April 26th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Press Engine.

The Doctor Will See You Now

The Serpent Rogue is an action-adventure game featuring resource gathering and crafting mechanics. You play as a mysterious plague doctor who has been sent to a curious land to help rid it of something called ‘The Corruption’. An angry red entity that covers the land like a raging thunderstorm causing destruction to the environment and exploiting the living creatures turning them into raging beasts.

It’s an unforgiving world but maybe you are the light in this darkness. This is a game that doesn’t hold you by the hand and comes with a pretty steep barrier to entry. But if you are patient and have the time to spare you will discover something pretty special. 

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
I can’t hear you from down here

Gather Resources and Craft

When you begin the game you start in a small village which acts as the main hub world. Here you learn the game mechanics before heading out into more dangerous open plains. There are various crafting stations to interact with and you can gather resources scattered around the world which can be researched to find out their properties. Once you research these materials enough you can then use them in alchemy to craft potions. Early in the game, you obtain a portable alchemy station which lets you research and craft on the go but you need to be careful not to lose it.

Additionally, you can engage in some cooking, which is very important to keep your stamina meter up and you can craft and enhance weapons provided you have the right ingredients. Another interesting mechanic is the ability to befriend animals and bring them with you into the wastelands to fight by your side. You can even morph into animals via potions or statues. If you have some coins to spare you can hire the assistance of more human characters from a local dock. But you need to take care of them making sure they are well fed because they too can fall in battle. 

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
Good boy

Into the Wasteland

Once you have become accustomed to the mechanics It’s time to head into the fog and deal with ‘The Corruption’. When you enter the wasteland area the items and resources are randomly generated. There are various animals and humans scattered around the world, some of them are hostile glowing red from the corruption. Some of them though can actually be friendly. The main goal in this area is to deal with ‘The Corruption’ guarded by a big boss. If you explore the map you can find various resources, chests to open and even blueprints which will help you craft new items back at the base.

These blueprints appear to be fixed and unaffected by the random generation or resource placement. You need to be careful out in the wild, however, as you can only carry so much and if you dilly dally too long ‘The Corruption’ will swarm the area drawing your health. Fortunately, you can fast travel out of the area using the map. You can only carry a certain amount of items or you become slow and exhausted.

You can store items in handy chests which remind me a lot of the chests in the old Resident Evil games which transport the items to any same chest around the world. If you die in the wasteland you lose any of the items you are holding, giving you just one chance to head back to where you fell to reclaim them. When you revive back at a town you also begin again with zero stamina making the game feel pretty unforgiving. 

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
That diet seems to be working a little too well


Combat is pretty clunky. You can hit light or charge an attack and swing towards an enemy. Weapons also break after a short use which becomes quite frustrating mid-battle. Holding the shoulder button will block which is essential to avoid some of the enemies’ harsher area attackers. It all feels a bit slow and unnatural and enemies feel overpowered and can often keep up with you when you’re trying to run away to take a potion or just escape.

It’s much easier to throw items from a distance, particularly crafted potions but these come in limited supply so you need to make them count. I guess the idea here is for your character to seem a bit more vulnerable. It’s certainly not welcoming to casual players. 

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
I just need to give you some medicine

Moody and Mysterious

The graphics for this game are moody and mysterious which accompanies this intriguing dark fantasy setting. There is a pleasing cell-shaded look to the character designs and the NPCs. My favourite effect in this game was seeing the cloud of smoke which covers the route to the next area. When all is well this smog just looks haunting and unknown but if ‘The Corruption’ has invaded the area a thunderstorm of red will invade this fog warning you to stay clear.

It certainly delivered the sense of fear and urgency to escape the area from this entity that you could not fight. Your main hub area starts out quite empty and very lonely but as time goes on NPCs do start to walk around in the area making the place feel much more alive, even if some of them are a little boney. You can learn more about the world by finding books dotted about the map which you can read in your journal. The soundtrack is also quite pleasing with some calming flute numbers to accompany your trips in the wasteland.

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
Sitting down regains health but drains stamina

Second Chances 

I found The Serpent Rogue a tough game to get into with a steep barrier to entry. On my first playthrough, I struggled to understand the various mechanics like alchemy, crafting and taming animals. The game’s tutorials just felt too brief and came all at once at the beginning which made it difficult to remember when needed. It’s also not helped with the game’s text being tiny in handheld mode and hard to read. I eventually quit my first playthrough as I simply just ran out of resources, food and the ability to craft a new weapon. I felt stuck and this may have been a point where I would put the game down forever. But I decided to try again… and I am glad I did.

On my second attempt, things really started to click as I just experimented with the controls the old retro way and figured things out for myself. It actually reminded me a lot of buying a Mega Drive cart without the manual and how I learned to play games back then. From there I really started to get into this title and things just fell into place. I still wasn’t fond of the combat but I started to really enjoy researching and crafting items. I don’t have a problem with the game’s difficulty but next time around some form of a digital manual or quick reference guide would help with the barrier to entry. This is probably not a game suited to the busy or casual gamer. 

LadiesGamers Serpent Rogue
Like my new hat?

Conclusion – Take With Plenty of Water

What started as a game that didn’t click turned into something quite special. Discovery is this game’s greatest strength, heading into the unknown to researching everything you find and coping with the tough challenges that come. It feels very much like a first entry in a promising gaming series. The crafting and exploration are fun but the combat feels awkward and unforgiving. The Serpent Rogue is a unique crafting adventure which will most likely appeal to players that have the time and the patience to overcome the high barrier to entry. If this all sounds good to you, The Serpent Rogue may be the gaming tonic you’re looking for.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot

I like it a lot

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