Ronin is a new platformer from Polish indie dev Tomasz Wacławek, announced today by publisher Devolver Digital with this sleek trailer. The game is set to arrive later in 2015 through Steam on Linux, Mac, and Windows.
You play a ninja, infiltrating corporate facilities on a mission of espionage and revenge. Kill guards, hack computers, and leap from shadow to shadow as you stealthily work your way towards your target, acquiring new tools and toys as you go. Liberal pausing mechanics as you plot every leap and sword-swing give the combat a turn-based pace that’s more about precise planning than twitch reflexes. You can try out a demo on the developer’s website right now.
The immediately obvious comparison is to Tom Francis’ debut game, the puzzle platformer Gunpoint. Waclawek is quick to acknowledge the similarity, announcing the project five months ago as “a Gunpoint ripoff.” Early on in the demo it pokes at the comparison again by giving “this is not Gunpoint” as a hint for one of your first combat encounters when the turn-based mechanics come into play. Francis himself posted a Let’s Play video of Ronin after hearing about it, praising it as a fantastic riff on some of the ideas he was playing with in his own game.
“It’s clearly not a Gunpoint ripoff, because the core mechanics are so different,” Francis said. “A lot of what it does copy is superficial, and that stuff doesn’t matter. But the jump is pretty central, and if that was directly taken from Gunpoint, I’m delighted. I wouldn’t want anyone to reuse Gunpoint’s artwork or music, but the ideas in it are absolutely there for the taking. Every non-standard thing about it, from the jumping controls to the saving system, I did because I wanted more games to be that way. If there’s actually a case where Gunpoint caused more games to work this way, that’s a huge thrill for me.”