Vambrace: Cold Soul

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a game by Headup Games, and Devespresso Games
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: RPGs, Action Adventure Games, Best Roguelike Games, Best Indie Games, Games Like Divinity Original Sin
Vambrace: Cold Soul
Vambrace: Cold Soul
Vambrace: Cold Soul
Vambrace: Cold Soul

Beautiful is sometimes not always best - that is probably the aptest way to describe Vambrace: Cold Soul. The game was released in 2019 through South Korean based studio Devpresso Games. It aims to deliver its own take on the surprisingly resonating Darkest Dungeon, adding an eastern flair mainly captured in J-RPG form. The game incorporates the intricate story styles and difficulty mechanics of a traditional eastern developed entity. Not to mention the lucrative character placements, all with harrowing stories included. New elements are added to create an impactful environment on an already established style of

A Very Cold Embrace

The game centers around the city of Icenaire - probably a name that could have found a more creative effort, but we'll let that slide for the sake of focus. The whole environment has seen disaster conjured by a dark lord that has plunged the streets into frozen oblivion. In nearly the current pandemic fashion, everyone has perished from the footfall and become a wisp. All have seemingly forming street gangs to make anyone's life difficult trying to sort out the city. You take on the role of Lyric, a magically enhanced soul that can break through the city limits to try and force the wintry embrace of the dark lord back to the realm it came from. There are a few survivors to help you along the way - but many tormented foes that only hinder any progress in the most frustrating fashion they can emanate.

While the game describes itself as a 'rogue-like' much like Darkest Dungeon - turn-based JRPG would be the more appropriate colloquialism for the game. The wonderfully drawn characters and matching combat animations are a shining star in this side-scroller, using color palettes that really resonate with a chilly, dark yet beautiful world. A sense of urgency is created through the fantastic renders throughout that provides an addictive element. The J-RPG mechanics are ever more present, however. The difficulty of the game, the elongated dialogue, the complex story arcs. Mainly the strategic combat styles. Many people adore the grind in a game. Those who love to spend hours making up party-based strategies to best approach their enemies will find Vambrace: Cold Soul part of their celebrated collection. Many just won't share the same opinion, however.

Misses the Mark Everywhere

Having an immersive world just won't cut it for Vambrace. From moment one, you are smacked head-on with the most uninspired parts of what J-RPG generally offers. You'll have to fight through endless tirades of text-based conversation, only to be led to a painstakingly difficult fight without any basis on how to approach it. Slowly you will learn how to use the skills of your main character. Eventually, how to use your party members to approach the combat most effectively as well. The tediousness involved in building up your characters might force you into abandoning the game before it ever becomes interesting.

Progression is stale even with the beautiful world around the game. Characters move at a snail's pace within confusing maps that don't often highlight links between areas. Vambrace had a lot of potential with how good it actually looks and feels.


The mechanics and poorly configured skill lines make the game a letdown. The eastern take on Darkest Dungeon doesn't pay homage enough to it's a kindred spirit. The game plays as if it were the opening 30 hours of Final Fantasy XIII if it were a side-scroller. If you are looking for a game that emphasizes grind and challenge, you may enjoy it. Otherwise, it's probably worth a miss.


  • Beautifully drawn world with great animations
  • The character detail can get quite interesting
  • Story with a lot of potential


  • Frustrating combat that always needs to be approached strategically
  • Progression is glacially slow
  • Far too much dialogue within many parts of the game

Download Vambrace: Cold Soul


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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