Roguelite games have become a staple of gaming in recent years. Dead Cells introduced many to the genre and has become a Marmite style of game for many, with most seeming to enjoy the randomness of the game while others would rather just eat a whole jar of marmite! The genre has exploded in recent times, and Bravery & Greed is one of the latest entries on the list of roguelites.

A group of characters—an agile Rouge, a valiant Warrior, an eccentric Wizard, and a mighty Amazon—discover this tale of a hidden gate behind a waterfall that contains untold riches, but the only way to open this door is to hold four different runes that are scattered across the lands. Of course everyone is up for the challenge, as they are all greedy and indeed brave, so they set forth to find all four runes and open the door to their dreams. Obviously, this is no simple feat with an army of enemies and traps to try and stop them, but luckily all our foursome come with unique sets of skills and weapons to dispense them with.

Bravery & Greed is jam-packed with content; as soon as I thought I had seen it all, something else popped up that I hadn’t experienced before. I won’t be able to fit everything into this review; otherwise, we will be here all day! But let’s get into some of the more important ones and see if this can separate itself from previous games of similar ilk.

First up is the lobby, where you can choose which character you would like to use, change their appearance, and choose which mode you would like to play. You have adventure, which is the main story or survival mode, where you get pitted against waves of enemies and see how far you can get. There is also an online and local co-op mode for up to four players. The lobby is also where the Arcanium lives.

At the end of a run, depending on how much gold you have collected, you unlock chests with new items and features for you to find in later runs. Arcanium are basically cards that can be found in these chests and grant you different benefits depending on which cards you use. For example, the Strength card means gauntlets may gain an extra ability, but monster damage is increased by 35%, and the Justice card means elite monsters may appear in fights with enhanced abilities, but slaying them permanently grants 3% health. You can mix and match these cards to give your runs a different mix every time. I had four or five cards in use at one time, so there seems to be no limit to how many you can use.

When you’re in the dungeon, Bravery & Greed take the usual roughlite paths. You start off with basic skills and powers, and as you progress, you become much stronger through power-ups and equipment. You can gain these in two ways: through altars and statues, which are scattered throughout the four stages. When you come across your first altar, you have a choice to make, and all the future power-ups will be based on what you choose. There are four different power houses: chaos, which is all attack-based; life, which is all health-based; order, which is skill-based; and darkness, which is unsurprisingly all dark-based. Statues, on the other hand, temporarily give you extra health or stamina and sometimes an extra perk. All the perks are standard fare for this kind of game, like 20% more health but 5% less stamina, or a health buff when entering a room for 5 seconds, or 10% more attack but defence is 5% less effective—you get the idea.

As you clear rooms, chests will appear, gifting you coins, fruit to heal yourself with, gems, and equipment. These items fall into four sections: gauntlets, boots, pendants, and wands. You will find many of these throughout your run, all with different perks and abilities, and it’s up to you to mix and match to your preference. My favourite one was the darkness gauntlets, which possessed a dead enemy to temporarily fight for you, which really got me out of trouble sometimes. This is not the only help you will gain in the game, as scattered throughout the stages are caged people or dogs, which if you uncage will become a follower and help you on your quest (though I’m not sure what their cut of the gold would be!). At times, I had two to three at once, which was a nice bonus, though your followers seem impervious to traps, as they could walk on spikes or through swinging axes without getting hurt.

Combat in the game is ok; I felt like I was button-mashing most of the time, just to try and deal with the enemies that were constantly advancing towards me. The enemies attack in waves, usually two or three per room, and you can’t leave until all of them are defeated. You have a few different options for defence, including your main weapon, dodge roll, dash, wand, and a secondary weapon. You can also charge up your dash to do increased damage, but with the enemies on you constantly, it can be a touch tricky to vary your attacks, hence me button-mashing the main weapon most times. It would have been nice to have some different weapons to use, as the default ones did get slightly predictable after a few runs. I also found the jumping to be a bit off. I can’t quite describe what it was like, but it meant judging distances was tricky, and sometimes I fell into traps below because I was not in the right place. You do get used to it, but as a newbie to the game, it was a tad jarring.

Just like the character models, the four main areas you explore have been created in lovely detail. They all have been themed, from an ice cave to a jungle, a desert, and a fire cave. Each has been created in great detail in fashionable but gorgeous 16-bit pixel art graphics. At the end of a stage, you must complete a boss to be able to get your grubby mitts on a rune, and these are also themed on which particular stage you are on. All the bosses have certain moves that become predictable, so as long as you are patient and learn their movesets, these shouldn’t become too much of a nuisance. What I liked was that you could choose which stage to tackle next, as long as you had unlocked it in a previous run. When you combine this with the different characters and the Arcanium cards, you can really mix up your runs to keep them feeling fresh and interesting, giving you endless combinations to try out.

Other peculiarities you will find in the game includes gold goblins (whack them so they drop gold as they try to run away from you), random people who will enhance your weapons, a tradesman to buy fruit, equipment, or potions from, randomly hidden chests for you to find, fast travel doors, and a quick start option if you die and you want to use the same combinations you used in the previous run.

So, from my first question in this review, has this done enough to separate it from this crowded genre? And there is a lot that you will say to yourself that you’ve seen many times before, but with the options you have to mix up your runs, I think that it has done enough, and with there being just four stages, you don’t feel too overwhelmed, unlike in Dead Cells with its multitude of routes and stages. 

Bravery & Greed will seem familiar to seasoned roughlite gamers, but the two developers who took seven years to create this game have created something that will grip you just like other good examples of this genre. With the mix-and-match capabilities, survival, the local and online co-op modes, plus the many features I haven’t mentioned in this review, it has the potential to keep you busy for a long time to come. However, if you are still on the fence on rougelites, this will most likely not persuade you to change your mind. For everyone else, though, it’s time to see how greedy or indeed brave we really are.



Bravery & Greed is out now on Nintendo Switch, Xbox S/X, PlayStation and Steam.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.