Fellowship has perhaps the best-looking visuals of any title in the action rogue-like genre, predominantly comprised of Vampire Survivors clones, which, despite being one of my favourite indie games ever, is not exactly much to look at.
With a modern and colourful cartoony aesthetic, Fellowship is a refreshing change of pace in a genre in a genre that is mostly comprised of dark and gloomy maps, hideous creatures, and, as a general rule, 16bit pixel art, a fine aesthetic in and of itself, but after playing many Vampire Survivors clones, seeing the same art style time and time again does get a little tedious.
Fellowship’s combat system is a refreshing twist on genre norms, and the ability to play as a party is not found in many other games in the genre.
Moment-to-moment combat is fun, but I honestly could not say that Fellowship’s combat system is very smooth. Whether playing on a keyboard or controller, I felt like I was driving a tank more than controlling a group of heroes.
While there is still time for developers to make combat feel more fluid, for right now, it is the low point of what is otherwise an excellent, albeit occasionally too safe entry into a very overcrowded genre.
Unlike most action rogue-like titles, which offer simply a list of unlockable maps, Fellowship attempts to offer players a more attractive UI, utilising a campaign map with clearly defined locations and objectives.
While it doesn’t make the game any more or less fun, it does look nice, and honestly, there is no reason why every action rogue-like needs to take Vampire Survivor’s bare-bones approach to UI design and a developer going out of its way to create an attractive and yet ultimately equally functional UI is great to see.
Fellowship avoids the traditional action rogue-like upgrade and progression system for something entirely different, with players collecting items in traditional RPG fashion and equipping them between missions as a form of lasting progression.
In addition, with weapons being removed from the in-game powerful pool, players will instead use their level-ups to recruit and upgrade party members, ranging from powerful spell casters to sword sling barbarians and holy paladins, each with their own unique passive and active abilities.
In addition, each hero has certain upgrades which have synergies with the abilities of other heroes, meaning that recruiting the right companions, investing in the right upgrades, and making sure to use the right party formation is critical to a successful run, adding a layer of strategic depth and player agency that does not exist anywhere else in the genre, with one notable exception.
Fellowship allows players to combine weapons/items of a similar type to create and receive an upgraded version of that weapon; this system works incredibly well in Brotato and is one of my favourite ways to upgrade items.
While there is a time and place for complex crafting mechanics, in a game like Fellowship, I want to upgrade my weapons and items quickly and not spend time looking up advanced builds or farming various resources to ensure my attempts at bettering my arsenal succeed.
While Fellowship introduces many new mechanics, at its core, it plays pretty much exactly how you would expect an action rogue-like to play, and while that is to be expected to some degree, I feel the developers have pushed the boundary so much in some areas that a complete breakthrough into a new genre or sub-genre would have made Fellowship even more enjoyable for me, as while I love the game and will be playing it, I doubt it will keep me from returning to Vampire Survivors, the undisputed market leader.
While still in the early stages of its early access journey, Fellowship has a fair bit of content, something which many actual rogue-like titles frankly do not, with some launching with as few as three playable characters and a handful of generic items and weapons being said, it is not all sunshine and roses for Fellowship; it has sold poorly, and long-term support will be difficult (impossible?) without porting to consoles (Nintendo Switch in particular) or a massive uptick in sales on Steam.
Fellowship is a action rogue-like video game developed and published by Elraim Studio , it was released on 7 November 2023 and retails for $6.99.
Fellowship is available exclusively on PC.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Fellowship is unrated and contains the following:
Fellowship’s gorgeous aesthetic and surprisingly deep character management and crafting mechanics make up for its clunky but ultimately still enjoyable combat system. As a result, Fellowship is one of the most promising and honestly exciting action rogue-likes currently in early access.