Developer: Mad Mimic
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 28/09/2021
Price: £15.05/$19.99
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.

Have you ever wanted to be a magician? I know I have I love magic tricks and all the performance aspects. Well, if like me you might find this fabulous rougelike maybe appealing.

You play as Dandy Ace, the new and hottest magician on the block. With his fabulous and dashing image, he becomes an overnight success. Not everyone is happy with this; the pervious magician Lele. Knocked from his top stop, he makes a deal with a shadowy entity to trap Ace in a magic mirror maze with no hope of escape.

It is not every day a rougelike has a well thought out and interesting story. That is both witty and entertaining. There are some outstanding one-liners that Lele with come out with, not to mention Ace’s assistances. Dandy Ace has taken a leaf out of Hades’ book and put its own spin on things. And it works.


Ta-da A Fun Game

When I first booted up Dandy Ace, it had the feel of Hades about it. Not a carbon copy, but with the combat system felt so familiar with its fast-paced no holding back gameplay.

When you begin a run, Ace has three cards to start. A blue card, a pink card and a yellow card. The blue card is Ace’s mobility/dodge card, the pink card is the basic attack with a short cool down and the yellow card is a heavier attack with a longer cool down. We can equip up to four cards at anyone time.

However, these cards have their own trick up their sleeves. Each card can also work as an augmentation to an equipped card. One each card there can be an attack buff, for example, increase pink card attack power. Also, a modifier that changes how a card acts. For example, increase the number of projectiles per attack.

The game it’s self will have the player controlling Ace and moving him room to room, while taking out all the magical monsters trying to stop him moving. The combat is nothing to take for granted. It is fast-paced and unforgiving. Where the enemies don’t want Ace to be eased in to his surrounding. 

Even with this chaos around Ace, it is still a genuine joy to play, zipping around the room, throwing magical cards and casting spells to smite the enemy. And there are no cheap deaths. Dandy Ace can be punishing, but it is fair. If you played Hades, you will know what it is like.

Now For My Lovely Assistances

Between stages, Ace gets a bit of rest bite, in the Banquet Hall where he can interact with his two assistances. Jolly Jolly and Jenny Jenny, each have words of encouragement or they are not too happy with what is happening. They will let you know.

Jolly Jolly will allow Ace to purchase permanent upgrades. We use the mirror shards for this, that enemies drop after being defeated. These upgrades include new cards, extra tea (healing flask) with more upgrades being unlocked with blueprints that enemies drop. If you cannot buy an upgrade, you can always put them in a Gringotts… well, Jolly Jolly with hold on to them for you as we lose all currency when Ace dies.

Jenny Jenny will allow Ace to buy Trinkets that are locked in for the run. Jenny Jenny will take money like a normal person. This is also earned from defeating the enemy. Trinkets will add a buff to Ace for the duration of the run. It is possible to change trinkets but it will cost is pretty hefty. We can also spend money at shops that can be found in a level.

Jolly Jolly’s purchase will make a massive difference to how good a run goes. More so when blueprints handed in. You will notice the increase in abilities, but I never felt overpowered. There was always a challenge with each run.

It’s TOO Fabulous

Dandy Ace does several things right, but after the fighting there are two major aspects that it just nails. This is the art style and the soundtrack.

The bright pink and over the top colours look fantastic on screen. The stylised HUD is just wonderful. All the assets places around a room just pop off the screen. These are just the start of the magic show. We are now in to the final and it is just WOW. The attacks look stunning, with their own animation and over the top art style. It just works. All the while running a smooth as a well rehearse trick.
The audio seal the deal. The music is a delight to listen to for each level. Adding a Vegas magical feel to the game. The voice over of Lele that narrates Ace’s runs is great and adds a level of comedy and references galore.

The only one real drawback to the entire experience is that it is a fairly long game with 8 stages to battle your way through. Making starting over if you are over halfway through feels like that one kid that tries to be magical but fails. (that’s me)

Overall, Dandy Ace is a great Rougelike. That takes a lot from Hades, but adds its own flair to make it stand out. It will more than likely be flying under the radar, but it should be in the spotlight.

If you are after a challenge and like a good rougelike, Dandy Aces should be on your radar. 


For more reviews, check out Dreamscaper and Dying Light Platinum Edition

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