Welcome to our regular gameplay impressions and video post where we record our first 10-30 minutes with a new game, and provide some general impressions on that early playthrough. Today’s game is: 99 Levels to Hell from developer Zaxis Games and B-Evil.
We’ve covered several different types of rogue-likes over the course of our video series, and ultimately found something to enjoy in each of them. Some offer a familiar spin on the basic rogue-like concept, while others try to take a completely different approach.
99 Levels to Hell falls somewhere in the middle; it explores a lot of familiar ideas, but repurposes them in a way that feels fresh and new. More importantly, it’s one of the better rogue-like games to have crossed our path in a while.
The concept is fairly straightforward, players advance through a total of 99 levels while avoiding all manner of nasty, hellish beasts. Every 10th level is a boss fight, and defeating that boss unlocks a door to the next level. So, like Spelunky, while it’s possible to start completely from scratch on each run, players don’t have to if they don’t want to. It’s a smart addition and makes the whole experience feel less like a grind overall.
Like many entries in the rogue-like genre, 99 Levels to Hell rewards patience and punishes those who try to rush their way through levels. Rather, it takes a well thought out plan to get through even the simplest of levels without losing one piece of health.
Something that 99 Levels to Hell adds that also helps it standout are the new adventurers players can unlock just by playing. These different adventurer types all have their own inherent advantages and disadvantages, so unlocking them feels like an accomplishment in and of itself. In a game where it might not feel like the player is actually making progress, unlocking new/better characters encourages replayability.
A playfully violent and gothic art style, tight mechanics, and a unique spin on the rogue-like genre are enough to make 99 Levels to Hell worth a recommendation. And, at only $5 on Steam, there’s really no excuse not to at least give the game a try. Rogue-likes are a dime a dozen these days, but you’d be remiss to overlook 99 Levels to Hell.
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What do you think of 99 Levels to Hell? Does it look like a game for you? Let us know in the comments below.
99 Levels to Hell is available now for $4.99 on Steam
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