Creature in the Well
- Price: $14.99 (Free till April 1, 2021 on EPIC Games Store)
- Developer: Flight School Studio
- Publisher: MWM Interactive
- Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
This week EPIC Games buys our love with Creature in the Well, a top-down, pinball-inspired, hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, by Flight School Studio. In this game you take the role of the last of the BOT-C engineering units tasked with restoring power to a mysterious ancient facility. Efforts are opposed by a Creature who threatens the town of Mirage, in this sandstorm inundated world. You go from room to room of the ancient facility, gathering energy by using balls to hit pinball elements. The energy is used to open doors to the next rooms and unlock different levels. The level boss is the creature in each of the attempts to thwart your progress. Each level is themed to a particular set of mechanics and generally requires some mastery to beat the level boss. To aid gamer there are extra rooms and differing paths that allow the player to gain more energy to skip any rooms that can cause the gamer to be stuck. In addition, there is collection of decorative items, different weapons, and unlocking levels for your robot to round out the game play.
The art style of this game is outstanding, as it vacillates between forlorn and desolate to comfortable and inviting. The game is in an animated style with fixed camera angles that with use of layering give a real depth to the world in an otherwise 2-D style. The color pallet and shading aid this vibrancy expressing the decay and promise that the story indicates.
With regards to gameplay this game offers exciting pin-ball action. If you keep that in mind the game makes sense. If you were not familiar with pinball this game maybe a bit obtuse to understand. Even being familiar I was lost at times to understanding what was asked. Through some trial and error, I could get through the puzzle rooms. I found that the places I had trouble on a second of third attempt I would just stumble through the obstacle.
While this game is greatly crafted, and fully fledged it is not my favorite. I played for 2 hours and was 40% through the game, it seems noticeably short and lacks the depth that this price point would require. While I appreciate the fast-paced action, it was not a style I enjoy. Some stages reminded me of bullet hell type games and require that type of dedication to train yourself to play. The art style and innovative gameplay drive the enjoyment, the lack of depth and repeatability really underwhelm.