Sometimes the simplest of ideas can prove mighty addictive and brilliant. Take a look at Tetris. Now, there’s a similar approach Ojiro “Moppin” Fumoto’s Downwell – a vertical shooter – takes with that puzzle game classic. And for less than £3 you really can’t argue with that.
If you’re not a gamer, the mishash of genres here will be confusing. But Downwell is a roguelike vertical shooting platformer.
Confused? Well, in short, you star as a little dude called Welltaro who jumps down a well with some gunboots. And as he descends down the enormous well, he takes out the enemies he encounters to “level up” etc.
There’s an element of endless runners here, such as Runner2 or Alto’s Odyssey. You don’t have much control over your descent, so you have to be careful and mightily quick with your reactions to make your progress work.
It’s a trial and error type deal. Once you die, you’re sent right back to the start to begin again (that’s the “roguelike” element, if you were wondering).
It’s a deceptively simple gameplay mechanic, but one that works magnificently.
This is because the game is addictive and rewarding – there’s something compelling about using those gunboots, powering up, and hurtling on further into the well.
We launched ourselves into Downwell with no idea what to do. So it took a few goes to get used to it. But it’s just infinitely accessible, really, for any gamer.
With the tips and tricks above, and some of your own ingenuity, you’ll soon have the thing gripping its well good hooks into you.
It’s a surprisingly strategic title, welling up with unexpected depths to keep you coming back for one last play.
And to complement the compelling gameplay we have that bopping NES-era soundtrack and looks that remind us of indie gem Minit.
But Downwell’s stark black and white look is interspersed with flashes of eye-catching red. But, obviously, this one isn’t about the HD graphics – it’s just an addictive little title that’ll make you sink a tonne of time into it.