If there’s a genre that I like to dabble in, it has to be Dungeon Crawlers. It feels so satisfactory running through dark corridors, not knowing what’s going to be around the corner. Will it be sweet loot? Or inescapable death? Well, Fatbot Games surely knows! As they bring us their vision as to how a dungeon crawler should be. Let’s introduce their heavy hitter, Vaporum. You play as an amnesia-stricken random person, washed ashore near a metal tower that beckons you to enter upon it’s dark and dreary halls. Throughout your journey you’ll have to uncover the mystery of the tower, combating robots, beasts,… All the while leveling your character to make him more sustainable or letting him deal more damage. Is this new spin at the Dungeon Crawling formula a welcome change, or was it better to stick to the old tried and tested system? Let’s find out in this review of, Vaporum!
- Graphically Beautiful: One of the places that Vaporum really stands out in, has to be its visual appeal. The eyes will really be getting a treat in this one. Not only that, they managed to get everything to run buttery smooth, and that’s a thing that Alexis really likes. The lighting is something you’ll have to adjust to though. For some reason, Fatbot Games decided to give the world a really dark filter. I turned up my gamma just to be able to see something. When I did, I really started to see the world as it was designed, and I really enjoyed it. Your enemies look clean and well-crafted, something you’d come to expect in a steampunk world!
- Sound Design: Okay, ya’ll know that I love me some good sound design. And this game really hooked me in and gave me some massive goosebumps with its opening sequence. You can notice that they did put some time into creating the most suitable music and sound environment, and you won’t be let down, that’s for sure!
- Voiced Narration: I got to give props where props are due and the way your character is voiced? You’ll start to feel his mystified mind, experience what he is experiencing in how he is narrating everything. This guy gave it his all, and that was more then enough in my book!
- Turn once! ONCE!: Turn… Around… ONCE GODDAMNIT! I don’t know if it was on my end, but I had this annoying little glitch that, when turning to the left or the right, my guy would just keep turning, making me do a 180. This was not game breaking, but annoying as sh… Especially when trying to maneuver during the fights, giving them a quick cheap shot. The times that I was screaming at my controller “Just… STOP…”? Made me feel like I was going to pop an artery…
- Item Throwing…: One of the more questionable decisions in this game? Were by far the “weight” puzzles. Sometimes It’ll want you to throw a brick, so it lands on a weight-triggered platform. Unfortunately, the throwing mechanic is slow and tedious. If you want to towards something in the distance? You’ll have to hope you’re close enough and aim for the right throw marker. Because either it’ll go too far or not as far as you would’ve wanted. I really hated these things! I have no idea why they opted for this kind of system as it brings no joy, what so ever!
- Weird controls…: Something that I really needed to get used to, is the Quick save and Quick load key binding. LB + the start button or the map button. It seems that they put a lot of emphasis on the bumper buttons on your controller. But why though? It doesn’t feel quick at all, let alone intuitive! This was the first game that I saw these kind of key bindings, and if I am honest? I hope that its the last as well…
- NO replay value: But what is by far the worst case with Vaporum, is that there is no replay value, at all. Sure your exo-suits bring a little bit of variation in the fighting style. But that’s it. There’s no random generation of rooms or items. Everything has a set position. And that is in my book a big nono. If you’re going for such a “set in stone” kind of game, at least make sure that it’s worth playing the entire game for, and not make it boring or tedious, which Vaporum sadly does at certain moments. Sure you can go exploring and find some nice items, but eventually that will become a drag as well.
★ Score: 65%
I feel like this could have been more. The dungeon crawler genre isn’t a very popular one, so we are in need of some really good ones. Though Vaporum really looks like a quality game, there are better ones out there. It’s good for one playthrough, and one playthrough only as there is little to no reason as to give it several playthroughs.
Developer: Fatbot Games Publisher: Fatbot Games
Played on: Xbox One X Also available on: PS4 – Switch and PC
Alexis kept turning involuntarily for around 4 hours. Threw up a lot. Clean-up is mandatory.
Achievement difficulty for 1000 Gamerscore: 15 hours.
Perfect for: Dungeon Crawler Enthusiasts that are experiencing a dry spell.
Xbox Game Store link: Click here