Hidden Gem of the Week: Imbroglio

By , on May 9, 2018
Last modified 6 years, 1 month ago

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Michael Brough is known for delivering odd abstract roguelikes and puzzle games that seem simple but reveal a hidden depth and complexit, like the block-pushing Corrypt, or the virus-destorying 868-Hack. But Imbroglio is perhaps his most defining release in recent years, blending elements of roguelikes, RPGs card games, and board games.

If you've played 868-Hack, Imbroglio will feel somewhat familiar; similar elements and mechanics link the two: randomly spawning enemies, a level layout that changes upon performing a certain action, enemies that move when you move, and so on. But despite those similarities, Imbroglio is its own game, offering a number of different classes (more if you've bought the game's two expansions), each with unique abilities and deck limitations. Your goal is simple: collect stars, earn a high score, evade or destroy encroaching enemies.

Every star collected is another point to your score, but also alters the level layout and refills part of your health and mana bars; this aspect adds a risk-vs-reward element to increasing your score: how long can you use the level to your advantage, before needing to grab a star to balance out your health and mana. Additionally, the grid of the game's board is compromised of various weapons cards, each resulting in different effects, buffs, types of attacks, and more, from swords that randomly teleport you around the screen and ranged crossbow attacks to attacks that hurt adjacent foes or reward you with health and mana.

The depth that arises from ability synergies, card placement, and class abilities results in a complex game that can take hours to understand and many more to master. Imbroglio is available for $3.99 on the App Store.