An action-adventure roguelike, Below is yet another addition to the roguelike genre that has come from an independent game studio. It was supposed to be published by Microsoft Studios, but Capybara Games took over and spent its time developing and polishing the game, releasing it 5 years after it was announced. The art design and enemies are beautifully implemented, with the exploration of the spooky atmosphere matching it. Even though you have to annoyingly start over because of permanent death, everything falls into place perfectly for what the developers were going for.
Story: The story follows a warrior exploring the depth of a remote island. He must explore and discover the secrets of the land while ensuring that he survives throughout, or else he permanently dies.
Play Style: The game is viewed from a top-down perspective and is a mix of a moody crawler game and a punishing survival game. You control a tiny warrior exploring the gloomy land. It is a creative take on the roguelike genre and is set in a very mysterious world. There are rooms that are hard to find and shadow monsters that must be defeated. The hunger meter is frustrating at times because you risk losing everything if you ignore it. Because of this, you may not be able to pause and enjoy the environment. Moreover, there is some repetitive busy work if you do die that is not engaging as the rest of the game. Nevertheless, the gameplay is fun and the environment makes it even better.
Audience: Fans of roguelikes that have come from indie developers will enjoy Below. It has its unique characteristics that sets it apart and if there is a collection you have that needs another installment, we suggest adding this game to it as soon as possible. Moreover, the gloomy mood and art design is on point, so if you enjoy that Below will be perfect.
Platforms: Below is only available on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One.
Verdict: Below conveys an interesting progressive story without using dialog. It has eye-catching animation and transitioning from scenario to scenario is always cool to observe. Even though the urgent pace conflicts with the beautiful atmosphere that is begging to be absorbed, the game is quite an escape and a good investment of your time.