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Sanctum is a competitive strategy game inspired by RPG hack-and-slash video games. Every player controls one of four unique characters as they journey into the heart of the fallen city of Sanctum, building up their skills and arsenals along the way to prepare for the final fight against the Demon Lord.
Multiple players may survive the fight, but only one can claim the glory of purifying Sanctum.
Gameplay is brisk, with the opportunity for overlapping turns. The four characters all have unique skill sets, and you’ll level up fast, giving you frequent opportunities to pick new skills. Every choice matter.
Though the game is competitive, the goal is to slay the Demon Lord, not each other. So player interaction is a race instead of a fight: Who’s the furthest along the board? Who gets to choose first when an equipment draft gets triggered? Who gains the benefit of reaching the Demon Lord first? Who gets to that group of blue demons everyone wants? Who will unlock that achievement and take the bonus?
On your turn, you pick one action:
1) Move: Advance along the path toward the Demon Lord, and engage demon minions to fight later.
2) Fight: Battle all the demon minions you’ve engaged. If you eliminate any demons, upgrade Skills and acquire Items.
3) Rest: Equip some of the loot you’ve won, recharge the resources you used to fight, and buy potions with extra Items you don't need.
The decisions you’ll be balancing and weighing against each other as you go include:
- What demons do you fight? Demons come in three colors: Blue, red, and green. The color of the demon decides which of your character’s Skills you’ll be able to choose to upgrade if you win the fight. Plus, each Demon drops a certain piece of gear when you beat it. What type of gear do you need — a chest plate? Footgear? A weapon? Finally, since killing demons needs you to roll dice to match the die face showing on the demon’s card, which demons can you kill based on your current gear and skill setup?
- Which Skills should you unlock next? Every character has 9 skills. Which ones you pick to gain in a given game drastically changes how the character functions.
- What gear should you wear? Some gear will help you block damage. Some will help you modify dice rolls. The better the gear, the more difficult it is to equip.
- When do you Move, Fight, and Rest? You’ll want to Move and Fight as many times as you can between Rests, but wait too long to Rest and you may take more damage than you can afford. However, rest too often and you’ll fall behind the other players and miss out on some kills.
- Should you do what is most optimal for your character at any given moment, or should you occasionally put that aside in order to claim competitive achievements before other players can?
The final battle with the Demon Lord is difficult. Even surviving can be rewarding. But only the person with the most health at the end of the boss fight can truly claim the glory of his defeat!