With the success of games such as Into the Breach or Dead Cells, roguelike games are turning into a trend in indie gaming. Sparklite is an upcoming title of this genre that is coming later this year for PC, PS4, and Switch. It is very similar to The Legend of Zelda games, but brings an interesting twist to the established formula by adding randomly-generated levels and harsh death penalties.

The protagonist of Sparklite is Ada – who, instead of a sword and a shield, wields gadgets such as hammers and wrenches. Still, this looks and feels like a Zelda game, more specifically the older 16-bit ones like The Minish Cap and A Link to the Past. The nostalgia is real.

The 16-bit graphics are reminiscent of the old Zelda games

What makes Sparklite different from Zelda comes when you die, or pass out, rather. You will be retrieved and healed by an airship, and when you are on this ship, you can spend sparklite (the resource that you collect during your journey) to upgrade your character. Upgrades can include getting extra health or new gadgets.

Spend sparklite to upgrade your character

So, even though you lose your progress and a part of the items you have in your inventory, you will have an opportunity to increase your power.

Another difference is that you’ll have a gun, which can be upgraded as well. This gun runs on energy – a resource that can be recharged by damaging enemies with melee attacks.

Death is not just simply a chance to get upgrades, however. Every time you die, the game world changes, and your objective will be moved to another location. You can still see where it is on your map, so this isn’t too punishing, but the altered layout makes each run feel fresh.

The levels change every time you return

In term of graphics, Sparklite uses the pixelated art style often seen in the classic Zelda games. It’s colorful and beautiful in its own way. This combined with the changing layout means you won’t be getting tired of it anytime soon.

It’s true that roguelikes are often seen as outdated with so many modern-graphic titles out there, but Sparklite is beautiful and entertaining, and it’s definitely a game that you’ll want to keep an eye out for if you’re a fan of the Zelda franchise – or just of the roguelike genre in general.