PC exclusive. This is a game that has such an amazingly innovative aspect to it that it could only have been birthed on the PC. However, some may say that this game focuses too much on this one aspect, causing the rest of the game to suffer. I bought this on Steam while it was on sale for only two dollars, and I have to say that I got more enjoyment from this than I did from the last soda pop I bought for 2 bucks.
Just over an hour and a half. Even now I am only starting to understand the complexity of this game. The game play is confusing; the only way to go forward may be to go backwards. This game is like a labyrinth, nothing makes sense and you have the most fun when youíre lost.
The controls are as simple as can be. For movement you use the arrow or WASD keys, while you use the mouse to aim your bullets, but unfortunately due to the mechanics of this game your bullets donít always go where you tell them to due to the zonky game play. The only other key that serves a function is the shift button, and it is used to descend into insanity as you spiral out of control.
There are many different ways to look at this game. You can look at it as a top down shooter, an RPG, or a randomly created puzzle/maze game, and on each of these views youíd be correct. It's very hard to explain this game. The easiest way that I can think of to describe it is to over simplify what the game is about; it is a simple upgrade shooter. You can collect up to three upgrades, each with varying levels of power. They can make your bullets curve, home in on your victims, or stop in mid air. All this can make hitting a target almost impossible in a straight show down but in a narrow corridor these upgrades can be a god send. These three upgrades can be mixed and matched to cause varying effects on your creature. For example you could have increased speed, enlarged health reserves, and a curving bullet. Two upgrades of the same kind can stack, thusly increasing their power. Your enemies in this game are simple creatures. They have three upgrades of varying power inside them and they mix and match the same way yours do. Each upgrade in this game can be obtained with a different power level (the highest I was able to find was 5). Every time you collect an upgrade, which will be scattered around the environment, it replaces the oldest one. This little twist can make a heated fire fight even more deadly, if in your panic you pick up an upgrade that turns out to be more of a downgrade. If you are ever lost in one of these worlds a highlighted path will light up to guide you to the exit. This is good because other than this feature there is no map system to help you navigate throughout the game. This highlighted path will often stop you from having to back tack a million times in the randomly generated dungeons. Being a randomly generated dungeon, the upgrades are also randomly dispersed. It happens every so often that a shit upgrade blocks your path! What are you to do?
The answer is the new innovation of this game; you can jump into that upgrade and turn it into something more useful. You can jump inside of yourself, an upgrade, or an enemy. Using the shift key you will be able to dive into almost anything you come in contact with in the world and mess around with its genetic makeup turning it into something stronger, weaker, or more useful. Creatures work off of the same basic principal as you do. However, upgrades have one difference; upgrades have three upgrade slots within themselves but can only manifest one of them at a time. All of these aforementioned rules allow you to mess around with the buildings blocks of the creatures you meet in order to change your opponents outward self. Now to run you through a scenario(This may take youíre sanity how ever look at the pic. afterwards and you will see);
0. You have an upgrade in front of you. You want it to be a higher level.
1. You jump into said upgrade and see that there are no upgrades inside of it that would benefit you.
2. You jump into one of the upgrades inside of the first upgrade in order to change this new upgrade into something more useful. While inside, you encounter an enemy you cannot kill. This leaves you with two options, you can either jump inside and make ur self more powerful or, or jump into the enemy and make it weaker
3. Say you jump inside the enemy and change what his makeup is, but all his internal upgrades are more powerful than your own, what do you do?
4. Jump into an upgrade to make it weaker. You collect a weaker power up for that upgrade kicking out the strong one. Changing it to it weaker form in the world above. then you backing out (what)
5. Collect the upgrade to weaken your enemy then back out of them.
6. Now you can easily kill it and back out finding the exit portal with its upgrade. (clarify backing out)
7. Collect the upgrade. Now collect two more upgrades making yours more powerful and back out once more.
8. Now go into your original self, collect the upgrade, and make yourself more powerful.
9. Now you simply ascend to the next level and reap your rewards.
The above is a very watered down version of what you will find in this game. I have made dozens of deeper and deeper leaps in order to find just one upgrade that will finally make me powerful enough to complete my ultimate mission. However, keep in mind that as you dive deeper into this labyrinth the enemies become much more formidable. The method Iíve found successful in overcoming this barrier is to start out with a higher level upgrade. In the original over world you will only find enemies with a single first level upgrade. Once you delve deeper you will see upgrades of varying levels and enemies with multiple upgrades of varying levels as well. Often I would see an enemy shooting and say, ďMan that looks cool.Ē I would then dive into it just so that I could ultimately copy its new power.
Art direction: 8 bit. I like to imagine that this game takes place on the home world of the aliens from Space Invaders. Every creature you run across, including yourself, looks like a little unique space invading monster. Flags mark the surface of each level/creature you travel on.
Replay: I could not find an end to this game. I believe it just goes on and on and on. This game is playable as long as you can find a way to amuse yourself.
After thoughts: This game is very interesting, however so are year old leftovers you find in the back of the fridge. To fully understand why this game has some character to it you just have to look at the creator, Jason Rohrer. His games are made for the individual and the unique. Could he personally reinvent the industry, bringing it into a new golden age? No. But maybe his ideas will be picked up. Imagine a more fleshed out RPG where you could dive into an enemies mind and change how he feels and acts. This idea could breathe some new life into the gun oriented game industry of today. Or it could just be a cheap way point while youíre waiting to gather enough green backs to buy up a AAA title. read