• Developer: Stolken
  • Publisher: Stolken
  • Platform: PC
  • Release Date: October 11, 2019
  • Price: $9.99
  • Review Code Provided: Yes

A short sweet action adventure game that’s great to pick up and speed your way through in an evening.

Necrolepsy, besides being the games name, is a curse that makes the victim constantly fall asleep, have nightmares and have those nightmares come to life. Our main protagonist, Lira a bounty hunter who suffers from said curse, is on a mission to rid herself of it. She must traverse 4 different areas and defeat the Necromancers who placed the curse on her in order to free herself. Armed with just her ax and crossbow she sets out to find the cure and cash in some bounties on the way.

The game play is very similar to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. You traverse a multiple corridors fighting tough enemies and finding items to help you advance through the areas. There are a good number of items you can find that expand Lira’s move set. Items such as a clay-more for high attacks, Double Jump Stockings that allow her to jump twice, and even a spear she can throw and ride to reach far out of reach areas. Hidden is these different areas are secret upgrades for health, attack and the sleep timer. The main mechanic that sets the game apart from others like it is the games namesake Necrolepsy. A timer is counting down at all times during your adventure and once it hits zero the world changes to a darker version of itself with a more evil look and tougher enemies. This nightmare state can only be removed by praying at an angel statue where you can save and refill your HP. The timer can also be reset by sleeping in beds hidden in the game’s areas. The game has 4 areas each with a few bosses to overcome. Most of the games challenge comes from the bosses. They each have their own way of attacking as well as a way to intercept that attack to leave them open longer and deal more damage. A main goal in the boss fights if to complete them before your timer runs out, making them stronger and harder to deal with. The overall controls of the game feel fine but can be tightened up as the feel a bit too floaty and slippery. The hit boxes on some of the enemies can be very off at times making them more annoying to deal with. A small but annoying bug that I encountered was having enemy projectiles carry over from one area to another and hitting you once you think you escaped. The game also has instances of bad enemy placements, though not fatal on normal difficulty I can see it being a bigger problem on the more unforgiving ones. Some of the later games areas require more precise movements which I think the game lacks in. The parry mechanic as fun as it is to use, can be taken advantage of allowing to negate a lot of incoming enemy damage making boss fights way easier as all you have to do is cheese them with your parry.

The game’s art style looks like something you’d see out of a flash game but it lends to the game’s charm. It really takes me back to the early newgrounds days of flash animation. The game also has some great midi tracks right out of the newgrounds era with a few of the giving me Castlevania and Donkey Kong Country vibes. Lira’s limited and stiff animations fit this whole flash game aesthetic well. The cut scenes that play between areas and before boss fights are done with this style too. Though the dialogue is a bit on the bad side, the expressive character portraits are great to look at and yet again remind me of the flash animated styles of the past. Backgrounds from each of the areas are very well done and give you a good feeling of the land. All of theses areas have an evil variant when you enter nightmare mode, like turing the painting of people in a mansion to demons or rivers of water into rivers of blood. 

The game is not over once your main journey is finished. The game has a few modes and extras available for you once you finish the main quest. If you felt the game was too easy your first go, try hard mode or if you want a more unforgiving time you can try Can’t Wake Up mode where you are constantly in a nightmare state with harder enemies and increased damage. To further your suffering you can play in Arcade mode where you are given lives and no chance to save and heal at angel statues. If you had a fun time with the bosses, you can face them all again in a boss rush mode.Tired of all that struggle, try to go for a high score in the beach ball mini game and go for the highest hit combos.

Having most of the game made by one person is a very impressive feat. Though the game might look rough around the edges just know it’s a passion project that is still very entertaining and fun to play. Nercrolepsy is out now on steam. Check it out Here

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