Fuzz Force – Bustin’ ghosts one dice at a time

Who you gonna call? Fuzz Force Spook Squad! Yeah that doesn’t have quite the ring but I tell you what, my horrid puns aside, Fuzz Force is a lot of fun.

Fuzz Force Spook Squad is a simple roguelite dice game that has you joining the elite Spook Squad. The Spook Squad hunts and captures ghosts using unique weapons that use dice to modify their power. Can you scale the tower to defeat Polter Prince?

Gameplay

Fuzz Force plays like that of a board game and a dice game combined. After choosing one of the 4 characters, you start on a grid in the forest. You can see in the blank tiles around you what you can expect in that tile. Tiles can have shops, treasure, enemies, random events, or stairs to the next area. It’s simple but this allows you to strategize a little. Do you get the treasure first to get a dice before you take on the enemies, or do you dive headlong into the fight?

Fights play out in a turn-based 1 v 1 rumble. It’s at this point that the beautiful artwork and animations really get to shine. The first thing you do before fighting commences is choose “The Lucky Number.” This is pretty unique. You roll dice for all actions, so The Lucky Number allows you to choose one of the faces of your die to make lucky, thus giving you a second turn if your action dice (the charge dice) lands on that number. If you attack a bunch and three sides of your dice are #4 then picking that as your lucky number can definitely help make some bad rolls salvageable. It defaults to what you have the most of but you can change it to whatever is available.

You have the options for attack, defense, charge, and a special. Each time you choose one of these you will have at least a couple of dice to roll. The amount changes based on the types of dice you’ve equipped and the modules you’ve outfitted your weapon with. Each option has a single die in the middle that is outlined. These dice require charge (the battery on the bottom left of the screen) to be used. If you have no charge, nothing happens from that die, but your others still count.

Modules, Dice, and Modifiers

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Fuzz Force offers a couple of ways to make your runs unique and create builds too. First up is at the start of every run, you can choose modifiers from no shops to random load-outs which get shuffled each floor. Another modifier can be applied before each shop, chest, and enemy encounter. In these, you can choose to spend Ghosts (the currency in the game) or a couple of HP to roll dice that will give modifiers such as reduced shop prices, rare dice, buffs and debuffs, and more.

The two larger mechanics that you will be spending a lot of time with are Modules and Dice.

Modules are used almost like relics are in slay the spire. They give you a passive bonus that remains throughout the run. The difference here though is that you can only have 3 equipped at a time and they are swappable.

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Your dice are the most customizable section of the game. Each move (attack, defend, and charge) can have two dice. One is your main action dice (uses numbers directly from the dice) and the second is your stat dice. These dice can also have additional pictures on them which correlate to extra attacks, extra charge, or Shield to name a few.

Combining your dice with your Modules in mind will allow you to get some potential synergies. Like the module that makes 0’s useful and then stacking your dice gun with dice with 0’s.

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At the end of each level is a boss fight. These are generally larger and stronger animals. If you win you get loot and are able to upgrade your stats which will allow for the stat die modifiers to increase making you have larger stat dice in your future fights. You get these stat points by completing objectives like exploring the whole map or killing all enemies.

Shopping!

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Who doesn’t love shopping? In Fuzz Force you have shops and blacksmiths to visit on each map. Shops will typically provide a couple modules, a HP potion, and a few upgraded dice. Blacksmiths will just provide upgraded dice for you to purchase. You utilize the ghosts you have caught to pay for this all.

The Negative

So Fuzz Force isn’t all fluffy and happy dreams. There are a couple of issues I have with the game. The first is more of a preference than necessarily a fundamental issue and some people may not see this as a negative. The game is short but the brutal rng of a dice game can make runs very difficult. My first win took about 2 hours to finally come. I had died a lot due to RNG (and greed lol) and during my last run, I just kept getting great items and rolls. Once you begin to understand the game it’s much easier to get far and then the game length rears its head. I would love to see more levels and enemy variants in the future if possible.

My other issue is the game’s tutorial. It explains everything in pop-up tutorials as you play the tutorial level, which is fine. The problem lies in the dice explanation. They are shown as random story events because of how much info needs to be explained. This works but the issue is I zoomed right by it not thinking it was applying to my dice load-out because it didn’t pop up when I got my first dice. The other problem with this is that there is so much info about how these work that later on you can forget it. There is no way to open in the options a text-based version of the tutorial to remind you how these systems work.

These aren’t game-breaking issues but they’re pretty glaring and I won’t lie it took me a good 45 minutes before I started to understand how the dice mechanics work. Once I did get this down I enjoyed the game thoroughly.

Conclusion

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Fuzz Force Spook Squad is a solid roguelite that is offering something different from all of the deck builders in the genre right now. It’s beautiful, has great sound and music, is challenging, and has interesting mechanics. It has four characters and their weapons to unlock and run modifiers which should keep multiple runs feeling fresh. Its negatives can be overlooked if you’re willing to put in a touch of time and some trial and error as well. RNG can be a pain but this is something unavoidable when working with dice. The Lucky Number system really seems to be a unique way of countering horrible RNG though.

If you liked Dicey Dungeons, this is a game you should take a look at. It’s adorable and as my time progressed with the game I found myself coming back to it for that “just one more run” kind of mood.

Grab Fuzz Force Spook Squad on Steam and follow the developers over on Twitter.

If you want to see Fuzz Force Spook Squad in action then check out Erik’s Video.

Disclaimer: Fuzz Force Spook Squad was provided to me for free by the developer. This has in no way altered my review for the game.

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