Latest
First Teaser for Transformers 5 (December 6, 2016 7:50 am)
Results: WWE Raw 05/12/2016 (December 6, 2016 7:27 am)
Luke Cage Renewed for Season 2 (December 4, 2016 10:18 pm)
New Guardians Vol. 2 Teaser Released (December 3, 2016 11:10 pm)
New NXT Champion Crowned in Japan (December 3, 2016 10:57 pm)
Netflix Announces Offline Viewing (November 30, 2016 10:30 pm)
Review: Gears of War 4 (November 30, 2016 10:12 am)
Results: WWE Smackdown Live 29/11/2016 (November 30, 2016 7:25 am)
LEGO Worlds Coming to Consoles Next Year (November 29, 2016 11:15 pm)
Results: WWE Raw 28/11/2016 (November 29, 2016 7:24 am)
Downwell

Review: Downwell

For many people, mobile games have been their very first steppingstone into gaming – this market covers a lot of folks who wouldn’t necessarily invest in a dedicated system for gaming like a PC or console in order to play games. On the flip side to that point, there are many gamers that have dismissed mobile gaming as inferior due to business practices or the fact these games are played on an unconventional device. However, sometimes something really solid shines through from the mobile market and eventually makes its way over to more traditional gaming platforms… and one of those very games is Downwell.

Downwell first saw the light of day over on iOS platforms in 2015 and has now not only been ported to Android, but also the PS Vita & PlayStation 4 this year. Initially I had my doubts in eh early beginnings of the game as it reminded me of an endless runner, which (in my opinion) tend to have very little depth to them. But over time, the game grew on me and proved itself as a great example of mobile game potential.

Developer: Moppin
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Reviewed on: PS Vita
Also Available On: iOS, Android, PlayStation 4
Release Date: Out Now

Downwell begins with a man walking through a park to discover a large, gaping hole in the ground. Curious about what is in the hole he dives straight in – but not before strapping on a pair of Gunboots (a bit like Bayonetta), ready to take on whatever lurks in this massive well. Out from the start it’s easy to see that Downwell is lacking in the story department but this isn’t a surprise, as just what makes the game stand out is its solid and addictive gameplay.

Downwell 1

While going traversing through well’s deep, the player will encounter a variety of old school arcade looking creatures – like leaping frogs and floating slimes. You can take down these enemies by simply jumping on them but some enemies are protected by spikes, fire or electricity. For these more threatening of creatures creatures, you will have to rely on your Gunboots to take them down. Along with dealing with enemies, areas will randomly appear on the side of the wall. When approaching areas such as this, you will be tasked with collecting gems to buy health/energy upgrades in shops and cool new guns to use (like lasers and shotguns).

Each time you finish an area, you get to pick from a number of upgrades for the character. These allow you to suck in nearby gems, cause an explosion when you jump on an enemy and bullets to shoot out of blocks just to name a few. There are loads of combinations to try out between gun selection and upgrades, making each run feel different.

While the roguelike elements are the game’s main focus, it’s also its downfall, with certain aspects of Downwell’s becoming more of a frustration. It’s the old problem of working to collect upgrades/weapons without the ability to carry them over to your next playthrough – a trope that while enjoyably challenging for some, can be incredibly frustrating for other like me. With each time my character reset, I just felt like there was zero progress being made and this became infuriating after a number of bad runs. That said, there is one element that can carry over to different playthroughs and that is styles – which basically affect just how often you can find weapons or make items in shops cost less but it doesn’t take long to unlock all of the game’s five styles.

Downwell 2

Although it was nice to see a wide selection of art palettes to select from when going through Downwell. You can choose the classic colour scheme of the original Gameboy and even the Virtual Boy graphics – I’m not fully sure why you’d  want to play with Nintendo VB’s migraine inducing-style of graphics but hey, the option is there… happy days.

In the end I enjoyed playing Downwell – it’s great when played in quick installments, which isn’t surprising since this was first released as a mobile game. Gameplay is solid, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to upgrades and weapons, and a wide selection of art palettes to switch between. While the character reset between runs can get annoying, it doesn’t take away the satisfaction I got from pulling off a long combo. Downwell is a game you should give a shot.

So while you won’t be playing the game for hours on end, Downwell is a fun quick game that is great to pick up every now and again.

  • Addictive style of gameplay.
  • Good selection of weapons and upgrades.

  • The game’s Roguelike gameplay causes limitations that may not be enjoyed by most. 

For many people, mobile games have been their very first steppingstone into gaming - this market covers a lot of folks who wouldn't necessarily invest in a dedicated system for gaming like a PC or console in order to play games. On the flip side to that point, there are many gamers that have dismissed mobile gaming as inferior due to business practices or the fact these games are played on an unconventional device. However, sometimes something really solid shines through from the mobile market and eventually makes its way over to more traditional gaming platforms… and one of those very games is Downwell. Downwell first saw the light of day over on iOS platforms in 2015 and has now not only been ported to Android, but also the PS Vita & PlayStation 4 this year. Initially I had my doubts in eh early beginnings of the game as it reminded me of an endless runner, which (in my opinion) tend to have very little depth to them. But over time, the game grew on me and proved itself as a great example of mobile game potential. Developer: Moppin Publisher: Devolver Digital Reviewed on: PS Vita Also Available On: iOS, Android, PlayStation 4 Release Date: Out Now Downwell begins with a man walking through a park to discover a large, gaping hole in the ground. Curious about what is in the hole he dives straight in - but not before strapping on a pair of Gunboots (a bit like Bayonetta), ready to take on whatever lurks in this massive well. Out from the start it's easy to see that Downwell is lacking in the story department but this isn't a surprise, as just what makes the game stand out is its solid and addictive gameplay. While going traversing through well's deep, the player will encounter a variety of old school arcade looking creatures - like leaping frogs and floating slimes. You can take down these enemies by simply jumping on them but some enemies are protected by spikes, fire or electricity. For these more threatening of creatures creatures, you will have to rely on your Gunboots to take them down. Along with dealing with enemies, areas will randomly appear on the side of the wall. When approaching areas such as this, you will be tasked with collecting gems to buy health/energy upgrades in shops and cool new guns to use (like lasers and shotguns). Each time you finish an area, you get to pick from a number of upgrades for the character. These allow you to suck in nearby gems, cause an explosion when you jump on an enemy and bullets to shoot out of blocks just to name a few. There are loads of combinations to try out between gun selection and upgrades, making each run feel different. While the roguelike elements are the game's main focus, it's also its downfall, with certain aspects of Downwell's becoming more of a frustration. It's the old problem of working to collect upgrades/weapons without the ability to carry them over to your next playthrough - a trope that while enjoyably challenging for some, can be incredibly frustrating for other like me. With each time my character reset, I just felt like there was zero…

7

Good

A Fun Game in Small Quantities

Downwell was a really fun game to play with addictive gameplay which kept me coming back for more. Its decent selection of weapons and upgrades made sure each run didn't feel too repetitive. The only downside is the lack of transferable weapons and upgrades between runs.

Good

Official Downwell Website

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

Aspiring writer, that is trying to get into video game journalism. Very enthusiastic about gaming and fond of anything that is nerdy.

Comments