PS5 Review: Ruinarch

Just how will you destroy these villagers?

Ruinarch is a simulation sandbox game where you create obstacles and cause conflicts in procedurally generated fantasy worlds. Inspired by story generator games like Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress, weaving tales of both anguish and humor is central to Ruinarch’s gameplay. The game gives you all the infernal tools you’ll need to toy with people’s lives and relationships. There are many ways to be evil. Choose from three overlord Archetypes – each one provides you with a different playstyle. Do you want to focus on sheer destruction or are you into a more subtle puppetmaster approach? The most straightforward way to wipe out villagers is to simply cast powerful spells like Meteors, Earthquakes, Fire Balls, Lightning and more. But what happens when you hurl a meteor at a poisonous puddle? Poisonous meteor explosions, that’s what! And that’s just one of the many nefarious ways that you can combine elemental interactions to create your personalized cocktail of destruction!

Ruinarch launched in Early Access back in 2020 for PC but has now launched on consoles. It essentially lets you play as a God who can smite villagers in any number of ways. You can go the simple route of natural disasters or magic spells, as well as simply toying with their lives in numerous cruel ways. It sounds like a great idea, but is it well executed?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the concept but I do feel like the game is more suited for PC and isn’t optimised fully for consoles. The tutorials are unclear and the controls definitely feel that they are more meant for keyboard and mouse instead of a controller setup. If you can get to grips with it though, there is a pretty enjoyable game here.

I do like being able to mix up different styles of destruction and while the interface isn’t the most user-friendly for console players, it did open up to me more once I got the hang of things. It isn’t going to be for everyone, but those who enjoy simulated sandbox games like these will definitely find something to like here. The visuals are pretty basic but get the job done. I didn’t come across any framerate drops or bugs during my time with the game. The music isn’t too bad either.

The Verdict

While not fully optimised for the console crowd, Ruinarch provides a fun and intriguing simulation sandbox experience in which you can mix up your brutal ways of making the villagers lives miserable, or simply end. Definitely one for fans of the genre.

Score: 6.5