Thu. May 23rd, 2024

[Review] Going Under – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Nov1,2020
Developed By: Aggro Crab Games
Published By: Team17
Categories: Roguelike, Employment
Release Date: 09.24.20

Going Under might hit a bit close to home for people who’ve ever had been in a “Toxic Positivity” kind of job. Higher ups push for impossible ideas, naysayers are mocked for disagreeing with even the slightest idea. In Going Under you’re a new employee, an unpaid intern to a Soda Company named Fizzle, owned by a Subscription Box company named Cubicle. Instead of actually doing your job, you’re pushed by your boss to go down to the failed startups below your building to kill the goblins making too much noise. Needless to say, this isn’t what you signed up for.

The down bellow is a rogulike, but I never really ever got the vibe, despite having all of the landmarks of the genre. Randomly Generated dungeons, stacking powerups, failing sends you back to the top only to have to start again. When playing, it just felt like playing a dungeon from The Legend of Zelda. When you’re down killing goblins, you’ll pick up a lot of weapons and various random junk items to use as weapons, giving off a nice Dead Rising vibe. Using your fists is fine, but getting a sword off of a goblin is even better. It breaks? Just grab the neighboring laptop or meat on a stick and beat the goblins over the head. Normal weapons more often than not are just strong and don’t have neat perks, but using the random things you find can like computer monitors, lamps, tablet pens, they can all shock or burn, or even freeze those hit with it. I’d be remissed to not mention the apps you can find. Usually just temporary boosts, AoE attacks, or even an app that gives you an invincible car to wreck havoc with. Also found in the dungeons are shops to buy abilities, weapons, healing items (one of which can even raise your health for the run). So the first dungeon, Joblin; covers a joke on failed startups, Styxcoin; the whole crypto currency fad, with literal block chains inside of as mine, with drill robots and minecarts, Winkydink; a joke on dating apps, with it’s own weapon in the form of bodypillows. Each dungeon has their own challenges ranging from just defeating everyone in a room as a fast as possible, collecting all of the crypto (which can be later exchanged for regular cash), and of course going on a date, which is more or less a strong boss like enemy well before the actual boss.

Peculiar rooms can have abilities, like any roguelike. Use them enough and you can permanently have them set. The further you advance, you can even buy abilities in the office to find in dungeons, and repeat the process. You can do favors for your coworkers, which in turn make them your guardians for dungeons, which has it’s own set of abilities and perks. So what kind of powerups can you even use? Making two armed weapons one handed, making critical hits electrocute enemies, immediately knocking everything down the moment you walk in a room, having an enemy join your side, to even simple ones like more money, revives, and holding more than one app.

I’m not sure if I like how the game looks or not. While I love the art in the game, especially for characters, the character models themselves are maybe a bit too simple. Most everything in the game has this no edged, very round look to it all. For stationary objects, it look fine, but your character looks awkward, especially when not holding weapons moving. All that said, I do think the almost saccharine artstyle fits with how badly companies push to be a shining light of positivity, even to a fault. Music is mostly low key, lounge type, relaxing music, I quite like it, and when it needs to, it does hype up and get more active, which I also quite like. I’ve never heard of the composer King Felix before, but he left a good impression on me with this game’s soundtrack.

So the game is fun, it has good music, but my favorite part of the Going Under is it’s writing. It’s witty, sarcastic, and very self aware. It’s again a thing you’ll probably get more if you’ve ever been in the same environment. Each character you’ll talk to is probably someone you recognize in the workplace, my favorite being the dachshund, who you can pet. Who’s owner chastises you for calling it hip dog lingo like pupper. Seeing as the game focuses very much around modern tech and internet business, you’ll have talk on apps, bitcoins, AI. It’s usually tongue in cheek, but isn’t uninformed.

The game is quite difficult, which is a genre mainstay, but it has a really in depth assistance mode to cater the game’s workings to how you’re most comfortable. I chose not to use it, but the fact it’s there is a fantastic addition. Even with the game’s difficulty though, the game never did feel cheap.

Most of my issues with the game are incredibly minor, and probably opinion centered. However, on multiple occasions, I would be trapped and forced to exit a run, no matter how far I’m into a dungeon. This would happen most often in minecarts, so I just avoided using them. This kind of soils what is otherwise a pleasant game, even if slightly.

4/5

Buy Now: $19.99

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*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes

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