A plague-doctor looking character awakens in darkness, before shortly fleeing a growing army of miasma-filled bulbs. This corruption continues unfettered, engulfing the entirety of a giant mountain in the distance. Armed with some tea leaves, a few worms, and an affinity for shoving things together to make potions, you set off in search of a way \u2014 any way \u2014 to cleanse the corruption. The Serpent Rogue knows how to make an opening statement, and it follows through with a uniquely fun approach to the roguelite genre. Screenshot by DoubleXP Once you\u2019ve completed the tutorial explorations, you are essentially given free reign to do as you please in your goal to cleanse the corruption. This really does mean anything, by the way \u2014 while you are restricted in which materials you can find early on in the game, you can find rare items on non-hostile NPCs that occasionally wander into your camp. By find, I mean steal, and by steal, I mean you can kill them to take their items. This is morally pretty bad, of course, but it\u2019s all in the service of cleansing a great evil from the land, so it\u2019s fine, right? If you\u2019re wondering where the \u201croguelite\u201d part of this game comes into play, it\u2019s baked into the exploration. Every once in a while, the non-camp zones of the game undergo a \u201cCorruption Storm\u201d, which not only resets the area, but modifies what objects, items, and enemies show up in that area. The topography of the zone stays the same \u2014 for example, the river in the Wastelands will always be right there at the beginning \u2014 but everything else changes. One reset you may discover some Sulfur, while another there will be a locked chest instead. This allows the game to feel different each excursion, not unlike dying and respawning in other roguelites. Screenshot by DoubleXP The combat system leaves a little to be desired, but it feels like it's intentionally bad. You can equip axes, shovels, and other weaponry, but you don\u2019t do much damage with them and your attack speed is beyond awful. Instead, the game really tries to push you towards engaging with its potion crafting system. You can gather materials and research them to discover their effects, which are essentially modifiers. For example, Tea Leaves provide the \u201cRemove\u201d modifier, which when combined with Aloe (Vitality modifier) and Shells (The number 5 modifier), allows you to craft a \u201cRemove 5 Vitality\u201d potion, otherwise known as a Damage Potion. The crafting system isn\u2019t explained particularly well, however \u2014 I personally didn\u2019t truly figure it out until about an hour into my play. While it did feel good to discover it, kind of like solving a puzzle that\u2019s been staring you in the face forever, a stronger tutorial involving potion-making would probably not go amiss. The Serpent Rogue is a wonderfully detailed game that emphasizes exploration and thinking outside of the box. The tutorials need a little work in my opinion, and the combat could use a little polish as well, but the mood, music, and overall atmosphere of the game is top-notch. It\u2019s a game that challenges the players to take chances, explore new areas, and come to grips with its oppressive themes and atmosphere.