Most roguelikes can get a bit tedious towards the middle or late-game, thanks to the procedurally generated nature of the beast. There can be some bloat around the middle, some levels that get tricky just for the sake of being tricky.
One dungeon could lead to multiple consecutive rooms, throwing deja vu waves of enemies at you until you perish and start it all again. The very foundation of Black Future ’88’s design offsets that… by giving you 18 minutes to finish the game.
As such, the focus is on playing the game like a rushdown: get through it, be vicious, be quick. Deflect, parry, dodge, slice your way through whatever stands in your way. It makes you clutch your Switch in your hands, eyes glued to the screen with concrete. It makes you forget to breathe as you get through the second ‘level’ with only five minutes left.
Will you make it this time? Will you ascend higher? Or will you have to try again in the next 20 minutes you have free?
It’s ‘just one more go’-ism in its most concentrated form and – to use the hackneyed saying just one more time – is a perfect fit for the Switch.
Black Future ‘88 is a retrofuture nightmare, a synth-soaked dystopia fuelled by punk, panic and pixels.
Coming hot off the back off the new wave of trendy roguelikes (Binding of Isaac, Enter the Gungeon, Nuclear Throne and so on), Retro Future ‘88 takes the genre in a slightly different direction, feeling more like Dead Cells or Celeste than a traditional Rogue imitator.
It’s hard, it’s intense, and it delights in your death. ‘Never Give Up’ prompts the game as you respawn – and that’s very much the indie game’s philosophy.
In an era where triple-A behemoths like Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice dominate the conversation because of their sadistic difficulty, it’s reassuring to see single-man development outfits like SUPERSCARYSNAKES keep pace and stand out so impressively in what is a very crowded space.
Black Future ’88 releases soon on PC and Switch.
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