Review | Going Under
I was never a fan of rogue-lite style games until Going Under came about. I had seen trailers in the weeks leading up to release and didn’t really know what to make of it. Despite this, I was still super excited to try it. What I discovered was vibrant colors coupled with exciting, fast combat, with hilarious and self-aware humor to boot. Aggro Crab Games has taken the randomized generation of rogue-lite and turned it into engaging and fun comedy gold.
In Going Under you take on the role of Jacqueline; a new marketing intern at a start up called Fizzle. Upon arriving at Fizzle, she discovers that her internship is not at all what she signed up for. Her colleagues are obnoxious, the pay is unfair, and she is ultimately tasked with going into various basement dungeons in her building to kill monsters. These monsters come in the form of employee’s from other tech start ups that lived in died in the office building. Jacqueline is generally reluctant to engage with such errands, but is aware that if she doesn’t, she’ll probably lose her internship.
Like most rogue-lite titles, Going Under is not an easy game. As you progress through each room, the various monsters and goblins become increasingly more difficult and unforgiving. The good news is that you’ll never be short on tools to protect yourself. Each dungeon is complete with weapons and random office items to help take care of business. Everything from keyboards, monitors, guitars, and pencil swords will help you on your journey to finally getting to do some marketing work. You can also upgrade Jacqueline’s health, speed and other abilities with different apps found around the dungeon worlds. You’ll also recruit mentors and endorse skills to better your chances of making it through each dungeon.
Going Under‘s combat is nothing short of rewarding. Each swing of a weapon feels important and full of impact. Jacqueline is swift and nimble, with the ability to dodge roll and jump over enemies. Avoidance is key, as most of your enemies are just as fast if not faster than you. I found learning different enemy attack patterns to be pretty useful, and vital. For example, there’s a goblin that drives a small car around the room, dashing at you about every four seconds. He’s pretty accurate and deadly, so it’s up to you and your timing to get out of the way. I died a whole lot playing this, but it never really felt frustrating as it’s so fun, offering a new experience every time due to its rogue-lite capabilities.
There’s no real voice in acting in the game besides the intro. But the text bubbles offer dialogue that gives the characters a considerable deal of personality, each with their own brand of off-color humor. This is easily one of the most visually striking and inviting games I’ve played in a while. Hot pinks and baby blues contrasted against bright yellows and sea greens, making everything truly pop out at you. It’s almost to the point where the game’s dungeons don’t even feel threatening. I walked in not expecting the huge challenge that I eventually met.
I was excited to play this game before launch due to it’s aesthetics and general presentation. Then I played it, and realized that with style also comes substance. For $20, there’s a lot of content and fun to be had. Considering how many times you’ll die trying to get through the first few dungeons, it’s well worth it. Aggro Crab has really outdone themselves here. This is a fun, seamless, quick-paced dungeon crawler with beautiful aesthetics and great writing. I say, no matter who you are and what you play; please do yourself a favor and pick up Going Under.
Final Score: 9 out of 10