Ascendant: Side-scrolling Roguelike Brawler Hits PS4 August 25th

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Ascendant: Side-scrolling Roguelike Brawler Hits PS4 August 25th

I’m Benjamin Crocker, from Hapa Games, and I am proud to announce that Ascendant will be released on PS4 August 25th! Ascendant is a side-scrolling roguelike beat ‘em up where you’ll take on the role of a demigod in a war against your rivals. As you make your way through this brutal realm, you’ll find an assortment of weapons, armor, spells, and Blessings that will help you battle to supremacy and your divine throne. We loved making Ascendant, we have a blast playing it, and you should try it out.

One of the main features in the game is the Blessings system. Blessings are boons granted to the demigods that dramatically change and improve their abilities as they battle through each realm. They can be slotted into either your weapon, armor, or spell and provide a distinct power-up depending on which Blessing has been placed there. A good example is from an early-game Blessing you can find called The Blessing of Agni. Agni, as the Hindu god of fire, is a fire-based Blessing. If you slot it into your weapon, you will have a chance to apply a fire damage-over-time effect to your enemy with each melee strike. If you slot it into your spell, your spells will now explode on impact. Slotted into armor, Agni will explode every time you take damage.


There are over twenty Blessings just like this one to find, unlock, and improve the demigods. Some examples include a double jump, poison spells, a berserker rage, and a giant shark that eats wounded enemies.

Here is a little insight into the game’s development.


Ascendant started as a kernel of an idea while we were graduate students at FIEA. We were finishing up our large-scale capstone projects and were trying to figure out what to do next. At the time, there was a huge influx of incredible (and sometimes less incredible) roguelikes from the indie scene and we played all of them. Many of us grew up playing old-school brawlers, so blending these two genres into our own vision was natural. We would brainstorm game mechanics over pints in downtown Orlando, and imagine potential art styles in the the school’s hallways between classes. Our last semester gave us the chance to turn all of our ideas and concepts into a real game. We started up Hapa Games, and then it was a non-stop sprint. We went from starting production in August 2013 to graduating in December with a strong prototype, a small following, a successful Kickstarter campaign, and a burgeoning Steam Greenlight page.


After graduation we moved into the Garage. This is where the magic (and a lot of hard work) happened. Some of the original team split off to pursue their own path, but seven of us remained to finish the project. We set up a studio in that hot, muggy Garage, with Ascendant as our flagship. We had secondhand whiteboards, a dirty grey carpet, $40 desks from IKEA, monitors bought from a garage sale, a clattering AC unit, and a dart board. It wasn’t fancy. It wasn’t swanky. But it was perfect; our own private indie mecca. We couldn’t have had a better place to create Ascendant.


Obviously, there were challenges. With the freedom to do anything we optimistically gave ourselves a very short amount of time to release. We added some exciting features while others had to be cut or drastically reduced in scope. There was a sense of personal responsibility for every dev; if I don’t complete this thing, no one else will. Days and weeks started to blend together. Our abhorrent sleep schedules became a running joke. There were disagreements, but emotions were as high as our hopes and our motivation was steadfast. Triumph and hardship were doled out together, driven by adrenaline to get this thing done. However, as rapidly as we iterated and as demanding as our work became, the core of Ascendant – brawler roguelike dungeon crawler – never left focus.


And then suddenly, the game was out. It was glorious.

Now we’re a month away from releasing on PS4. It’s been a weird, incredible journey so far. This is Ascendant. We hope you enjoy playing it as much as we did making it.

Comments are closed.


4 Author Replies

  • Thanks for sharing your story. I too have a certain kinda sentimentality for old-school brawlers. Playing those my favorite mode was by far the local co-op. Does Ascendant have that as an option?

    • Yeah, local co-op is available in Ascendant. The two of you work together to fight through the game. If one of you dies, the game isn’t over; you can revive your partner for 1/2 your health and keep going.

    • Awesome! Thanks for the details.

  • Wow, this looks great! Don’t see Roguelike games like this as often so it’s got me very interested.

  • Looks to be fun and engaging. Couple of usual questions:

    1) will there be a demo?
    2) when is it coming to Vita?


  • Did you guys did all the sound effects inside the garage ?

  • “Roguelike”

    Please stop saying this. In nearly every game that comes out now, if there is ANY random or procedural element in it, no matter how small, the publisher claims it is “Rogue-like”. They say this when it is absolutely nothing like Rogue. I doubt many of these people have even played it, let alone were alive when the game was out.

    You’re capitalising on someone else’s work, making an uninvited association. It’s not Rogue and most any game like it have gone the way of the dodo.

    Take some pride in your own work and stop cashing in on others’ success.

  • Wish this was coming to Vita

  • Game looks excellent, love the art style. I WANT THIS ON VITA!

    I would consider it Rogue-lite. Very excited about Galak – Z which is Rogue-lite as well.

    How much will it cost and how large is the download? 2.1gb?

    • Benjamin Crocker

      Thanks! We tried to make the art style as unique as possible but drew a lot of inspiration from Guacamelee and Journey. All of the assets – characters, enemies, backgrounds, foreground – are 3D models. You’ll see some really awesome parallax when you’re platforming through the game.

      Ascendant will be sold for 9.99 USD and there will be a launch discount upon release. The download size is 1.1gb.

  • We want PlayStation home back and lots of free stuff for being off

  • I would definitely buy a PS Vita version of this game.

  • We’re pushing the release date back to September 8th. The original date has gotten a bit too crowded for us.

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