|Developer||Anolise & Clawdragons|
|Released||Feb 2, 2017 (1.1.1)|
|Updated||May 27, 2021 (2.2.1)|
|Licensing||Free to play, donations accepted|
|Platforms||Windows (Wine-compatible), MacOS (experimental), Source available on request|
|Game Length||2-4 hours|
|Official site of SummonerRL|
A traditional text-based roguelike about conjuring animals and traveling alongside them through a 25-floor dungeon. SummonerRL features many mechanics centered on co-operating with allies in different ways. You can choose to be a frontline fighter, or stay back and cast spells from a distance, supporting your companions with magical projectiles, healing or various buffs. Most spells in the game can be ally-targeted to allow for collaborative playstyles.
SummonerRL was conceived as a game that attempts to address certain common issues with companions in roguelikes: AI-controlled allies are often stupid, hard to control, and lacking in abilities compared to the player character. SummonerRL aims to redeem these allied NPC and allow them to become respectable characters in their own right. Players can use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to interact with one or both of their familiars when performing any command - for example, holding CTRL while using an item will use the item on your familiar. Using both general and contextual commands, players have very detailed control over what their familiars will do in battle. Nonetheless, the familiars are living creatures and express their emotions in various ways. It is advised to pay attention to their state of mind and work with them to achieve the best results.
Character progression mostly takes place around the campfire which can be started after finishing a floor, provided that the requisite fuel is available. Interacting with your familiars at the campsite allows you to upgrade their abilities or teach them new ones, adjust their attribute growth, or do training exercises to improve team communication.
Much like the game itself, the SummonerRL project is a team effort between programmer Anolise and content designer Clawdragons. Anolise writes all code for the game, while Clawdragons creates familiars, monsters, items, dungeon environments and leads the playtesting and balance work.
Development of SummonerRL started in 2015 and continued in private for several years before seeing its first public release in 2017. Since then, a community Discord server has been created and the game now has its own channel on the main Roguelikes Discord server as well, where the developers announce updates and can be contacted to offer feedback.