Developed By : caiysware
Published By : Digerati
Category : Roguelite, Shmup
Release Date : Dec 25, 2019
Straimium Immortaly is one of the weirdest games I’ve played in a long time. It’s part roguelite, part shmup, all wrapped up in an eye-catching artstyle. For all its eccentricity though, the game’s charm starts to wear off after a few hours, and the constant repetition makes multiple runs less enjoyable than its peers.
As is the case with most roguelites, the story is incredibly brief. You play as a soldier invading the nest of a “Queeni Emperess” with the intent of killing it and escaping. You’ll meet various characters as you explore each nest, or Cubicus as the game calls it, but by and large there’s little context given to your rampage. Considering how this is the norm for the genre, a lack of story really isn’t an issue. What is an issue though it how all dialogue and text is delivered in broken English. Straimium Immortaly tries to pass this off as an alien language, but in in reality all this does is cause a bunch of problems that we’ll get into later in the review. As a whole though it’s annoying to read and comes off as a poor attempt at humour.
Each Cubicus you explore is randomly generated, though they’re only made up of one floor unlike many multi-layered roguelites. Each biome has a difficulty level, giving you an easy way of figuring out where to go next. Most rooms are filled with enemies which can be skipped, but defeating them all rewards you with goodies you’ll likely need like currency and items. Fighting your enemies is simple enough, as each character has access to a basic starting weapon with infinite ammo. There are also more powerful weapons that use mana, so managing your usage of these is key to staying alive during exploration.
It’s easy to grasp how to play Straimium Immortaly due to the simplicity of its controls, but this doesn’t mean that this is an easy game. For starters, your character can only fire to the left and right, lacking the full 360 degrees aiming that the majority of enemies have. Getting used to this only takes a couple of runs, with positioning being much more important than in a game like The Binding of Isaac. Combat is satisfying for the most part, especially as you find newer and more powerful weaponry.
To defeat the Queeni Emperess, you must take out four bosses before being able to fight the final boss room. Outside of the smallest cubicus size, you’re also require to find a key to unlock each of these bosses. Finding these keys often requires exploring most of the map, which brings up on the game’s first noticeable flaws. Without the use of items you can collect, the default movement speed is annoyingly slow. While this does make each battle more intense, the constant backtracking is tedious even when you take into account teleport rooms dotted around the map.
Straimium Immortaly bigger problem though is the lack of new things to find most of the time. You’ll be going though similar looking rooms over and over again, and there are only a handful of area themes. Even the unique rooms, one of the few things breaking up the constant fighting, end up being a familiar sight after a few runs. Roguelikes have to run out of content at some point, but it feels like you’ve seen most of what this game has to offer too quickly. This also extents to the combat, as it lacks the interesting weapon and item combinations that usually keep these types of games from becoming stale.
Speaking of items, these are one aspect of the game that suffers greatly from the nonsensical dialogue. Some of them are simple enough to understand, but many have vague descriptions made worse by the messed-up English. Straimium Immortaly’s theme in general harms more than it helps. The vibrant and detailed sprites more than stand out from the crowd, though they also have the added side effect of making some projectiles hard to see. UI elements have also been made more obtuse than necessary, and it’s hard to judge exactly how much health and mana you have.
Even with these glaring issues, it’s hard to deny that the game has a lot of charm. Aside from the terrible dialogue, each environment is filled with detail that really sells the alien setting. For a few runs the combat is also satisfying, as you navigate around attacks and take on new foes. It definitely feels like this game would have been more enjoyable as a metroidvania instead of a roguelike, as this would allow for a more interesting handcrafted map instead of multiple samey ones. If you can grab this on sale, you’ll get a few hours of fun out of exploring strange alien environments. However, those looking for a deep roguelike experience should look elsewhere.
*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*