99 Levels to Hell – Indie Game First Impressions [Early Alpha 0.1.0]
I recently had the chance to talk to developer Bo Blond about his upcoming indie title – 99 Levels to Hell. Perhaps even more fortunately I was given a copy of the latest alpha build to try out!
99 Levels to Hell is a side-scrolling 2D rogue-like shooter. In addition to a really cool art style it also features some of the best lighting effects I have seen in a game like this yet. Your small bubble of light as you explore the stone tower and it’s dungeons is only occasionally bolstered by a torch or window. As you near a ledge your light slowly descends into the darkness to reveal the horrors on the next level. It’s a surprisingly creepy game for such a cute art style.
Check out the video of my first impressions below:
The game has massive potential for re-playability, and I say this having played a build that has only a fraction of what the finished product will have. In my first couple of playthroughs I didn’t even make it past the tenth level in what is a 99+ level dungeon. It’s a challenging game, just as a good rogue-like should be. However, it is equally rewarding to boot with you receiving power ups and new weapons at a nice pace.
The controls felt a bit floaty at first and jumping can be frustrating at times. I got used to the control style pretty quickly though and it ended up adding to the challenge in a meaningful way rather than in a frustrating way. However, the game still has a lot of development to go through so it is hard to guess at how the final game will play.
I am already pretty excited to see what will be added to the game in the lead up to release. If you want to follow the development yourself then head over to the official 99 Levels to Hell blog where you can also download a copy of a recent build.