a battle roguelike with a puzzle element. The puzzle is: ‘How the hell am I supposed to survive this!?
It seems pretty stripped-down for an RPG, and that seems to be the general intent:
Bonfire is what happens when you take a battle system out of an RPG, boil it down to what really matters strategically, and make it super-hard.
The basics are simple. You form a party of three out of many possible characters, each with distinct abilities forming interesting combos, then use that to progress through several randomized quests consisting of combat encounters, random events, and finding powerful single-use items. Progression unlocks more characters, allows to develop their stats, initial equipment, etc.
The game is set up so that every encounter and party combination requires improvisation and custom approach. All monsters are designed to break or counter different strategies, and your characters are pretty fragile, so trying to do the same thing over and over results in a quick defeat. Every turn you must consider what’s the best action to take, depending on the encounter’s composition, your characters’ status, and what items are available. Each battle is a puzzle of its own.
So perhaps we’re better off calling it fantasy strategy, even if it does seem to eschew the spatial mechanics we come to expect in such a game.
Bonfire is being developed for Mac OS and Windows, and should be out “pretty soon.”