Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review Deadbolt

Wow, this is a change of pace from Hopoo. We've gone from zipping about in wide open alien tundra to the cramped quarters of undead zombies who need to get punted firmly into the afterlife. That makes this a very different game for anyone hoping for something similar to Risk of Rain.

But that's a good thing, just because it borrows from the same minimalist pixel style, doesn't mean we need the same game. Also fairly minimal is your life, even as a reaper of souls. Just the one hit and you are done for.  That's why some planning, luck and quick reactions are required, or, at a push, there's lots of furniture to take cover behind.

Each house, disco or den of zombies, vampires, skeletons and other assorted undead is broken down into rooms, some dark, some lit, others with deadhead security cameras. Some have vents you can smoke through to move around, while you can turn lights on or off. Adding to the spooky atmosphere is a great soundtrack that varies between lounge lizard and gothic gloom.

Aiming with the left trigger held down and firing with the right means you can shoot out lights, aim upstairs at targets and so on. In some places, there are extra objectives such as burning drugs, collecting items, while some trophies require using certain tactics. Distractions include microwaves that go "ping," knocking at doors and a few more to help set traps.

The trick is to sneak around as much as you can, throwing knives is a stealthy kill option, and take the creatures out room by room, without alerting the others. If you do make too much noise-of-death-happening, then others will come running and you either need to have enough ammo to cope, or somewhere good to hide.

Luck comes in at that point, sometimes the enemies will trap you leaving you to go out in a blaze of glory, stabbing futilely with a blade, or you restart and try again. Sometimes you'll find a cassette that helps explain the tale, with a light yet effective backdrop to your nocturnal activities.

For each level you complete, there's a reward in souls, which you can trade with a dodgy geezer down at the docks for better weapons. Handily, you can change your load-out from your collection in the boot of your car at the start of each mission, giving you some leeway in tactics. If you're crap at a level, then bad luck - all you can do is try different weapons and tactics until something works.

Packed with cunning puzzles and new threats or traps for each chapter of the story, this is a tight and focused puzzle/blaster that continues Hopoo's run of fine form. Sure, its frustrating when you have to shoot, close door, pick up other gun, open door, shoot, vanish into vent in about one second, but these are the kind of hoops soul reapers have to jump through.

Score: 8/10
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Price £7.99
Developer: Hopoo
File Size 187MB
Progress: Disco

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