• Developer: Flight School Studio
  • Publisher: Flight School Studio
  • Platforms: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Release Date: September 6th, 2019
  • Price: $14.99
  • Review code provided: Yes, by Flight School Studio

Creature in the Well is a top down hack-and-slash crossed with pinball. It is up to you, the last BOT-C unit, to restore power to a facility plagued by a vicious sandstorm. But be careful. There is a mysterious creature that haunts you once you enter.

Gameplay

Hack-and-slash and dungeon crawler games are a dime a dozen nowadays. So when Creature in the Well debuted with its first trailer back in March, I was immediately drawn in by the unique take on a classic genre.

Broken down, the gameplay is simple, yet incredibly satisfying when it goes right. Every room, there is a puzzle with a set amount of bumpers. The goal is to take the pinballs that are either placed throughout the room, or shot at you, and hit every bumper with whatever sword, pipe, broom, etc., you happened to pick up along the way, to unlock the door. Sounds easy right?

Far from it.

It works exactly like pinball. It was always a game that seemed so easy to beat, yet, the ball wouldn’t always go where you want it to go. Creature in the Well plays in the same way. Except, add in projectiles you need to dodge, block, and deflect. The game will constantly keep you on your feet as you progress through each room with your poor little bot.

Nothing could beat the feeling of deflecting the balls over and over again. It’s so smooth and satisfying! Every time the ball would return a bit faster, and I would deflect. The sound of it hitting the bumper was a sound of success. A sound that told me I was one step closer of beating the room.

It relies a hell of a lot on skill, and some on RNG. Sometimes, a bit to much on the latter. It is always frustrating when the ball wouldn’t go where I swear I was aiming at. But hey, that’s pinball for you.

I had the attitude “I am going to wipe the floor with this game. Pinball is so easy”, going into this and I got PUNISHED for it. Because, I found myself losing over and over again. Yet, I kept having the drive to try again.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere of the game is gloomy and dark, yet hopeful and interesting. Every character I talk to adds more lore to an otherwise barren world. Every piece of dialogue only makes me want to continue so I can piece together what happened to their poor little town.

There is always a sense of eyes on me between every puzzle. The Creature is always watching and taunting you. Between the ambient music and visuals, the Creature always has my attention as to what the next room will be expected of me.

Graphics

The graphics are very unique. Everything looks like a living painting. It combines 3D and 2D backgrounds in a beautiful way that makes the character pop and stand out. Every dungeon is coded to have a theme of a different color so every level carries the same art style while at the same time being distinct from one another. The bright lights and flashes from the balls and bumpers make everything clear as to what I am looking at and should be doing. It is an unorthodox yet welcome choice for a games art style.

Audio

The sound effects are all perfect. If I am in an empty room and I hit a ball, the sound echos across the interior before bouncing back to me . The music while ambient, I cant imagine any tracks would stick with me after I am done playing. Nothing memorable. The music does however absolutely compliment the misty environment that surrounds your little robot.

Verdict

Creature in the Well, while not perfect, is a gem in today’s market. It is a short, yet refreshing experience that everyone can find some joy in. It will frustrate you at times as it did me. Yet thankfully, you don’t have to put another quarter in to try again this time around. You can do it! As a fellow Canadian, it brings me so much happiness that such a delightful game came out from here.

8/10

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