Indie games that rely on arcade mechanics are usually quite simple in presentation and gameplay, and the GOG release of Moppin‘s roguelike platformer Downwell is another proof that the concept still works.
Publisher Devolver Digital offers a wide range of different genres, but pixel art and chiptune music seem to be what the publisher prefers in most of its catalogue titles. So it’s no surprise that this game features both of them as well as some hardcore gameplay for those who can persevere through levels filled with enemies and traps. The main idea behind Downwell can already be found in the title, as it’s about a young man with no apparent backstory who falls down a, well, well. On the way to the bottom he encounters all kinds of nasties, but also treasures in the form of gems he has to pick up. These can be used to buy additional weapons and upgrades, complementing the gun boots he already has at his disposal.
It all sounds wonderfully simple with the 8-bit graphics and music fitting the frantic gameplay perfectly. Having procedurally-generated levels also adds to multiple playthroughs, even after one reaches the bottom and therefore the end of the game if one hasn’t already died and restarted before thanks to permadeath. It might not have a deep story (no pun intended), but games like this one harking back to the good old arcade times of yesteryear have their own place in the indie scene, so it’s great to find them again in their DRM-free form.
The game is now available on GOG with a 50% discount that will last until December 11, 10:59 PM UTC. If you prefer other gaming platforms, make sure to check out the PS4, Vita, iOS, or Android versions.
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