What do you get when you mix a roguelike with a pixel art style and add in some Mad Max inspiration? Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike from developer Convoy Games. Nowadays roguelikes are all over the place on digital store fronts so does Convoy do anything to stand out from all those others or should you skip it?
As the game begins you are in space on your spaceship but it ends up getting messed up pretty bad causing you to have to land on a nearby planet known as Omek Prime to repair it. The only problem is you don’t have the parts needed for the job and so you’re going to have to set out and find them on this mysterious planet. Luckily for you this world is full of them, but the problem is there are three warring factions here that will make that much more difficult for you.
Over the course of the game you have to complete four main objectives and how you go about getting there is up to you. An on screen map lets you plan out your travel plans and you’ll have to make some tough decisions on how you go about going to different points. Direct roads there might seem like the best choice but taking them can lead you into fights with those enemy factions. If you decide to take some off road paths it can take longer and it will use up more fuel which is always something you need to keep an eye on. As you travel you’ll encounter different radio signal events some of which will have you making choices to determine what will happen. You can be rewarded but also punished and sometimes it all comes down to pure luck much like other roguelikes.
No matter what you will end up in fights with the other factions during your play session. During these encounters your main convoy or MCV will be in the center of the screen and you’ll have some other vehicles surrounding it to guard it. Your mission is to make sure your MCV doesn’t get destroyed by the enemy units on screen. To do that you’ll switch to the other vehicles using the shoulder buttons and perform actions with them. You can move them around and select which enemy vehicles to attack using the analog stick. Your vehicles can be equipped with various guns during the game and they can also perform ramming attacks if need be. The enemy vehicles aren’t the only thing you need to be aware of though as there are also environmental obstacles that can destroy your vehicles if you run into them. An on screen indicator will flash before one comes up so you’ll have some time to react and move out of the way before you crash into them. Overall controlling these parts feels OK but the controls were a bit sluggish on the controller.
As you advance through the game you can upgrade your vehicles at various camps. You’ll be able to use the currency you earn to spend it on new weapons, vehicles, upgrades, fuel and more at these locations. Beefing up the armor, hit points, and more of your vehicles will be necessary in order to make it though. The game does have a few different difficulty options though in case you are struggling on a higher one.
The pixel art graphics in Convoy are fine but there isn’t a lot of variety in what you’ll be seeing. You’ll travel down a lot of the same looking roads battling a decent amount of different vehicles. It’s fine for what it is but nothing about the visuals really stood out. The music in the game was kind of repetitive as well and not very memorable. The trophy list is made up of 30 trophies including at Platinum. The list is made up of a nice mix with some requiring you to take out so many enemies in one run or beat the boss on hard.
I presented the question at the beginning of this review on whether Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike does anything special to stand out in a crowded genre. The answer is not necessarily but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun here. Every run will present you with new events and encounters and battles can be quite fun once you get the hang of the controls. I wouldn’t say it’s a must play but if you’re in the mood for a roguelike with some tactics behind it then Convoy is worth a look.
*Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike is available now on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Convoy: A Tactical Roguelike$14.99
- Puts you on a planet and gives you some fun tactical options
- Lots of room to upgrade your vehicles
- Random nature of it means you'll be encounting new things every time
- Console controls are a bit sluggish
- Luck can play a big factor on whether your run is successful
- Visuals and music are a bit samey