As you start playing you'll notice you have several stats.
- Lives, indicated by a heart <3 icon. You start with 5 / 5 lives, and you can survive 4 damage. (Note that some monsters, especially later in a quest, do more than 1 damage in a hit!) Click on heart icons revealed in a stage to restore life if you're wounded.
- Souls - gaining souls increases your max life. If you have 5 / 5 lives and gain a soul, now you have 6 / 6 lives.
- Defense - indicated by a shield icon. Reduces the damage you take from a monster...but you will still take a minimum of 1 damage. For instance, if you have 2 defense, then instead of taking 1, 2, or 3, or 4 damage from an attack you'll take 1, 1, 1, or 2 damage.
- Mana - Magic items have a mana requirement for use. They start fully charged, so you can immediately use them. You get mana for revealing cells(?) Each magic item has its own mana battery; you might have one at 100/100 (ready to use), one at 230/400 (recharging).
- Revives - Indicated by a doubled heart icon. If you have a revive then when you lose all your life, instead of losing the game, you "come back to life" at full health, and the revive is used up. You can accumulate two or more revives if you are lucky.
- Gold, indicated by a gold coin icon. This is useful for buying items at shops, or spending at strangers. Click on revealed coins to get +1 gold, or revealed diamonds to get +5 gold.
- Tokens. You can use this in between quests to unlock permanent upgrades, like unlocking the next quest in the series. You can find tokens randomly in stages, or get them as a reward for leveling up.
- Experience. You're rewarded with tokens (and cosmetic upgrades) for going up levels. You get some experience for clearing a puzzle. There are some bonus sources of experience: Clearing a puzzle with no mistakes, getting an in-game achievement, leaving loot behind in a stage)
If you click the bag icon at the bottom right, you'll show your inventory. There are several types of item, depending on how (and if) you use them.
- Consumable items have a highlighted background. Left-click on them to use them and consume them.
- Equipment - head, body, or boots - grant a defense bonus and sometimes other specials. Click to up them on. Equipment can take damage over time and be broken, or be fortified.
- Held items grant some effect just for carrying them around.
- Magic items can be clicked to use them, then they'll recharge mana over time (as cells get revealed), and can be used again.
- Minions will protect you from one hit. (You can also left-click them to solve a square, but I think the guaranteed defense is almost always better than a random reveal?)
Omens are held items that have a bad effect. Legendary items, colored in gold, are especially good and powerful items.
As you play through the stages of a quest, later stages will be larger, and more densely packed with monsters, and the monsters do more damage. Balancing that out, you'll have the chance to accumulate more and better items. The most important thing for completing quests is consistently solving the puzzles with as few guesses as possible. Items can be the key to escaping from guesses or surviving the inevitable mistakes that come from guessing. Here are some tips on how to survive quests.
- If you've unlocked masteries by fulfilling the requirements and then spending tokens, you can choose one (and only one!) at the start of a quest to boost your power. The knight mastery, unlocked by completing a quest with a high defense, seems to be a very good option - you get free defense (and if the mastery is upgraded, you also get increases to defense as you spend gold).
- You can skip the shop stage and come back to it later, when you have more gold to spend and maybe a better idea of what to spend it on. This is recommended for the first shop in a quest.
- Items that save you from guesses are precious. Whether they reveal a square (so you don't need to guess at all) or tank damage (so you can survive a mistake) they are lifesavers.
Prioritize getting these items, especially if they're reusable. Avoiding one guess is good, avoiding 10 guesses over the course of a quest is great.
- If you must guess, try to make the most useful / informative guess you can - one where no matter what happens, you can start clearing more cells.
- As in any roguelike, some runs will go better than others! You may have a run where you make optimal plays but the guesses and the omen drops don't go your way. You might follow it up with a run where you get a great combination of items that leaves you plenty of margin of error.