Game Reviews

Rookie Reaper review - "Death in Training"

Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
Rookie Reaper review - "Death in Training"
  • An adventure in the afterlife about becoming a reaper
  • Build your reaper and approach each area as you want
  • Adjust to the visuals as you explore a large world

There are lots of stories surrounding death with numerous personifications, the most popular one being the Grim Reaper. That guy has got such an iconic look, with his dark robe and huge scythe and basically just being a skeleton - and Euron Cross wants you to aspire to be like this entity in the game Rookie Reaper. This is a 2D-pixel action-adventure game where you're slashing your way through the afterlife to contribute a service to the balance of the universe. There are some RPG and roguelite elements to give you other things to consider along as you try to master the gameplay.

What is Rookie Reaper?

Character talking to a ghost about becoming a reaper

There's a universal cycle, and death is a natural part of it - of course, there are many ideas as to how it could be interpreted. In terms of Rookie Reaper, it's more about managing the deceased than the not-yet-deceased. You are a lost wayward soul that ends up in a mansion where Lady Death resides, and she bestows upon you the title of a rookie reaper. She tasks you with going out into the various realms of her domain to reap corrupted souls that have escaped judgment. You're just starting out, so hunting down all those souls with limited powers will be quite the challenge.

The Rookie Reaper benefits

Reaper moving over the blue pixellated floor

When you sign up for an introductory job program, you need to be prepared for the tasks that lay ahead so you can appreciate all the rewards. Rookie Reaper is rewarding in providing an enjoyable and tough experience. The game itself is clear-cut in creating a simple afterlife world that you can quickly and freely move around. Although there are places that you can enter early, most of the major areas can be entered right from the start. The only thing that's holding you back is what areas you can find and what you're in the mood to take on.

Speaking of taking on, you have a decent amount of options to face the obstacles ahead of you. As a rookie, you only have a limited number of items and gear to worry about, which makes management much easier. You've got a main weapon, spells, and support items with a huge inventory to give you a lot of options. With all the souls you collect, you can level up at any of the checkpoints and every level-up carries a lot of power. Stuff is good, but it feels even better to strengthen your base Reaper so that you can have power no matter what you're wielding.

The Rookie Reaper drawbacks

Reaper coming to pick up old lady

Even with the jobs that sound like the most fun or exciting, there are still hardships and downsides that you'll need to accept. In Rookie Reaper, there's harder stuff than the job at hand. The biggest is that the combat is very slow and clunky.

Even when you have spells and abilities that give you more options to move around and protect yourself, you're still at the whim of many enemies. Even the first enemies you encounter require you to lure them in for them to strike and then hit them as quickly as possible before they retire. It's fine for duels, but if you're facing entire squadrons, it becomes incredibly sluggish.

There's also the visuals, which, despite being nice in some places, are lacking in others. There are times when the assets, characters, and environments don't even look like they're from the same game. It's very distracting when all the different resolutions come together to hang out and mess with your vision.

Yet, even with all that, many of the areas are empty and crying out for more things to look at and find. You'll be wandering around an area hoping to run into enemies just so you'll have something to do. This may be the world of the dead, but it doesn't have to be a dead world.

Becoming a Rookie Reaper

Rookie Reaper is a 2D action-adventure game about training to be a reaper by reaping rogue souls that have taken on various hostile forms. It's a solid adventure where you can jump into and satisfy your curiosities as you approach each challenge as you want to, all while playing around with your reaper in simple and easy-to-manage ways. The visuals could use some re-touching and the combat needs some more fluidity to improve the pacing, while also just adding more to the game's world in general. No one said being a reaper would be easy, which is why you're starting as a rookie.

Rookie Reaper review - "Death in Training"

Rookie Reaper has you in the shoes of a reaper-in-training who swings a scythe, casts magic, improves their strength, and explores an empty world with varying pixel details.
Will Quick
Will Quick
Will Quick is a travelling writer currently dedicating his time to writing about the games he spends his free time playing. He's always on the lookout for the smaller and stranger of the bunch so he can shine a light on them.