Lovecraft’s Untold Stories
Reviewed by: Senpavo
Developed by: LLC Blini Games
Published by: BLG Publishing
Category: Adventure, Roguelike, Action
Release Date: May 10, 2019
How many times have we heard someone talk about Cthulhu? Well, with Lovecraft’s Untold Stories, we may actually get to meet him. And shoot his head off.
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories is an action roguelike with some RPG elements. As the name suggests, it’s based on H.P. Lovecraft’s novels, mystery and plenty of horror elements. The player, after picking one out of 5 characters, is set to explore randomly generated maps and fight against monsters, like Cultists, or even the various deities, like the Great Old Ones.
The developers chose a strange but interesting genre for what one might expect from a game about/inspired by Lovecraft, the twin stick shooter.
Once the player has entered the map, their objective is to explore it and find various key objects in order to defeat the boss and venture into the next map. The maps are connected by a central hub, where one can store objects and keep track of their progress. Those maps are randomly generated, and each of them contains various zones in which the player may find objects, such as treasures or medic kits, enemies or even characters. Sometimes, the player can interact with the objects. This can lead to an increase or decrease of one’s sanity, and the possibility to find rare items. Just keep in mind that those areas are immense and danger is everywhere.
The enemies can get difficult at times, and I’m not talking about the boss battles. In certain areas, enemies will swarm you and give you a very hard time. All you have got to defend yourself is your might, weapons and explosives.
Since the game is a twin-stick shooter, you use the left stick to move and the right stick to select the direction in which you want to shoot. Luckily, you have infinite ammo, just watch out for when you have to reload!
But it’s not all daisies and roses: the game, despite being fun, has a ton of design flaws, that make the experience quite bland.
First of all, the story is weak. You go into a manor to solve a mystery and…things happen. Slowly. You don’t know why, or when, or maybe you won’t even notice. Collecting clues is not necessary since they add so little to the game, and it’s not even worth losing your sanity over them. Also, the game just spams healing items at you, making it just way easier than it should be, considering the setting.
Exploration gets quite boring: once you have explored a few levels, you’ll just want to get right to the point. Surely, seeing the new enemies and what they do is fun at first, but it gets boring quickly. Some of the enemies don’t feel “Lovecraftian” at all. In the graveyard there are generic zombies, skeletons, cultists and werewolves, they don’t add any special flavor to the game. Boss battles may take one try at best as they are easy to beat since the bosses have very simple movements.
Despite those flaws, the game does have good things going for it: the music is good and it reminded me of older mystery games. The pixel art is very well done. The monster and character designs look good (even if some are generic), and even the environments are well realised. The characters also play differently enough to have a pleasant experience in each play through.
In conclusion, the game has its fair share of good and bad things going for it. Roguelike fans and splatter fans alike will enjoy it, but those who love H.P.Lovecrafts works may find the overall experience somewhat lacking.
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Check out BLG Publishing too!