Kickstarter’s excellent repute is due to initiatives like Risk of Rain. With barely $30,000 to work with, the two-person Hopoo studio built a game that will keep you captivated to your screen for hours.
The primary character is a survivor of the UES Contact Light transport accident. Hundreds of creatures transported aboard the ship arrived with him on a mystery planet, simply ready to devour blood. If we want to survive, we need to go to the wrecked ship as soon as possible and try to start it. We are continually under time constraint when playing Risk of Rain. The number of adversaries on the board grows by the second, and they only stop emerging when we discover the door to the next level and fight the boss defending it. Furthermore, the difficulty level grows every few minutes, as do the adversaries’ skills and endurance. We can’t afford to stop and remove everyone that comes into our path – the most crucial thing is to discover a teleporter. We gain experience and money along the journey, which we may use to buy upgrades that grant benefits, unlock crates, and repair broken battle drones. When we advance to the following stage, the earned currency is lost, so we frequently have to determine if racing for the upgrade at the other end of the level is worth losing valuable minutes. There are a total of one hundred enhancements, however only a few of them are visible from the start. The remaining survivors are unlocked through the accomplishment system, which also grants us access to additional characters, a total of 10 survivors are accessible. Their abilities and playstyles are vastly different, and understanding the strategy of moving a new hero may take several attempts. Each character has four attack types, the most of which are renewed every few to a dozen seconds or so. When we’re hauling a throng of foes, time appears to stand still, but we always have at least one attack ready.
We can memorize certain components of Risk of Rain. In addition to remembering the sequence in which individual survivors’ talents should be employed, we also begin to recall the structure of specific levels over time. During each game, four boards are chosen at random from a pool of boards, and boxes, stores, and a portal are randomly put on them. The final two levels are usually a temple and a ship, albeit most of the features are placed randomly even here. This approach works fairly well, although it’s unfortunate that the designers only provided a few phases. An intriguing answer can be found in the adversary generating mechanism. As time passes, the game’s algorithm accumulates special points, which it subsequently uses to produce the best unit it can now afford. Some of the foes acquired in this manner are conventional privates, but exceptional opponents arrive from time to time, with abilities comparable to those provided by the upgrades. The game is solely controlled by a keyboard or a controller, and the controls are not confusing – aside from the arrows and spacebar, there are just four buttons that correspond to specific attacks. The basic, clean interface occupies a little portion of the screen and is unobtrusive even if you manage to accumulate dozens of improvements.
Duncan Drummond, who was in charge of the graphics, did an outstanding job. The opponent models are highly varied and look fantastic, both during action and on the images featured in the encyclopedia accessible via the menu. Significantly less effort was put into the survivors’ looks, yet we can tell them apart at first glance. The sound design, which precisely reflects what we see on the screen, is one of the game’s best strengths. Each scene has its own distinct mood, and each step seems like we’re travelling through a weird, frightening environment.
Even after dozens of attempts and completions of the game, Risk of Rain never becomes old. After each death, we almost instinctively restart the game, thinking that this time we would reach the finish or, at the very least, unlock a new item or character. Definitely one of the most intriguing indie games an worth putting into your game library!