Developer: Vewoo Games
Publisher: Team 17
Genre: Roguelite, Platform Adventure
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, XB1, PC
Age Rating: 16
Release Date: 14/07/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Binding of Isacc meets Enter the Gungeon when Neon Abyss struts into town. This spectacular Roguelite has you literally falling into the abyss whilst hurling an endless stream of bullets, lasers and bubbles at a never ending supply of squishy monsters.
Arcade style roguelites seem to be going through a mini renaissance at the moment, with quite a few of these pixelated platformers currently available on various marketplaces. Whilst most end up being generic copy cat clones of the more successful titles, Neon Abyss has just enough going for it to move away from being just another clone.
Guns, Glitz and Glamour!
Neon Abyss is a neon-soaked journey into the titular abyss. It has sharp, tight-knit controls, an abundance of replay value and a tonne of very imaginative and somewhat quirky weaponry. Once the tutorial is out of the way you are thrust into the world of Neon Abyss – a nightclub.
The nightclub acts as your hub area and is filled with a difficulty slider, a bar to purchase upgrades, a dancefloor and a character selector. Once your chosen character is geared up you then jump down a hole into a randomly generated dungeon filled with various levels. At the end of each level is a boss that awards us with passive items to help progress further in the current run. Each dungeon is also filled with enemies who explode in bright neon flashes of gore, as well as items and various shops.
The game’s challenge comes from dodging the various projectiles that get hurled your way, as is the case with most Metroidvania inspired titles. Neon Abyss does well to stand out from its inspirations with its own style and gameplay. The crux of the difficulty is learning enemy patterns whilst keeping an eye on everything in the room. Whilst not particularly taxing, it can get a little hectic at times and especially with the boss fights. Whilst not as unforgiving as something like Dark Souls, Neon Abyss does have its moments where a particularly tough boss can find its way into your current run multiple times. However like Dark Souls the reward is in the victory itself.
The narrative is a bit thin on the ground in Neon Abyss, however this works within the game’s favour. With the gameplay being in the forefront we get a strong development of replay value and personality. There are a few quirky bosses such as a Pop Star gone mad and a giant-laser-shooting-computer. We have no idea why these creatures are under a nightclub, they just are. But with playing Neon Abyss you never really ask why. It’s strange but it works and in doing so the game really taps into its roguelite genre.
Pixels, Pixels Everywhere
Pixel graphics seem to be the new normal, with more and more games using the style. When done right the environments can be absolutely captivating. Thankfully Neon Abyss captures this essence fully with its gothic architecture that has its Angelic statues covered in neon accessories such as writ bands and crowns. It looks like an illegal rave set within a Church, which it probably is. The environment is also brought to life by stunning lighting effects and your opponents’ blood adorning the walls as you blast your way through them. The medieval walls are also adorned with various posters and graffiti which plays ever more into that nightclub feel.
The Nintendo Switch also handles the game pretty well. The graphics stay crisp and clean throughout the game, and not a great deal of fidelity is lost when playing in either handheld or docked mode. The only downside to this is that at certain points the frame rate does dip but thankfully this only happened on the odd occasion and doesn’t effect the gameplay too much.
Everything in Neon Abyss is memorable and the hours soon rack up as you plough through run after run. The soundtrack is not very memorable and is a typical neon techno affair. Whilst it might not be catchy it is on par with the graphics in a way that it’s there to serve the bullet hell that we find ourselves in.
Neon Abyss is a very memorable game. Its design is really well executed and whilst light on story, its gameplay more than makes up for this shortfall. The procedurally generated dungeons are filled with memorable bosses and weapons that make blasting through them even more fun. If it’s your first time or hundredth time encountering the same boss, it never feels tiring and that’s due to the journey to get there. If you like action packed games, rouge lites or even want a chill-out game then definitely give Neon Abyss your time and money.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Neon Abyss for the Nintendo Switch at the following link: Nintendo eShop