Developer: Fatbot Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Release Date: PS4 – 09/04, Xbox – 10/04, NS – 11/04
Price: £15.99 (Sale Price Then £19.99)
Vaporum is the latest grid based dungeon crawler from Fatbot games inspired by the old school classics of its time, lets find out how it stacks up as it makes its debut on the Xbox read on for my review. Vaporum started life as a PC exclusive and was Fatbot Games first foray back in 2017. Now in the next week or two it will find itself gracing the modern consoles not just Xbox One.
Straight away you are greeted at the menu with that eerie music you usually get in games when you know something is about to go down!
So let’s begin! This probably has the most options I’ve come across during the start-up of a game; giving you selection of the good old ‘old school’ i.e. no map so grab your pen and paper ladies and gents cos let’s face it, you are gonna need it to prevent yourself backtracking through the same 100 tunnels and ending up exactly where you started!
Then we have your elite mode, so here we have the option to remove 99% of autosave functionality with the exception of the beginning of each level (for those who really think they are the dungeon masters.) 5 different difficulty settings offering you large amounts of replayability for that ‘brutal’ challenge. Next up we have a dual selection for movement, either classical old school step based, or a more fluid continuous style with head bopping! And finally we have the stop time ability offering you the chance to enable or disable the stop time mode in the game for those of you that love to push yourselves and break your own record.
The artwork alone from the first cut scene is very impressive, comic/anime style with minor animations to water and lights, looks fantastic! The storytelling aspect of the game is another beautiful feature, the use of language and way in which the story is told really captivates you. So after meandering around a little in this nostalgic step by step crawler I have found my exo suit!!! Well my choice of 4, each offering unique traits and stats, ranging from heavy assault rigs to tech rigs some offering combat or deflection bonuses others offering repair bonuses and looting bonuses so choose wisely because this is an irreversible choice that could cost you everything! The movement can be a little difficult from time to time whilst using the old school version but after a little practice you get the hang of it. This game reminded me in so many ways of Bioshock in terms of looks and that’s a good thing.
Well, after encountering my first combat scenario against some angry form of flying robot that thinks his only purpose is to headbutt me to death, I feel initially the combat is a little lacklustre, it’s just a case of stand and swing and hope for the best until you find other weapons allowing you to fuel work, now here it gets a little more interesting, offering you range and close combat meaning you can now be a little more methodical and tactical when it comes to approaching combat.
The whole concept and design of this game is just sincerely fantastic, the whole looting structure, although loot is reasonably difficult to come by unless you are searching your heart out in the right places, multiple load outs allowing you to seamlessly switch between 2 with the press of 2 buttons, the combat develops more so throughout the game making things more and more difficult when you aren’t fighting 1 on 1. Your rig interface is fantastic, it probably covers 1/3 of your screen when you open it up, it offers 4 tabs (inventory, stars, circuits and notes) it has a load out display offering slots for armour pieces, weapons and gadgets, followed up further below by your level, experience and basic stats
On top of all of this the collectibles in this game are pretty fun and oddly unique, you have your bog standard notes lying around, which the majority of time have no relevance, and you also have voice recorders some of which seemed rather amusing . Along side this there are plenty of secret rooms (as you might well expect to find in a dungeon) containing plenty of loot and rarer items.
All in all this it’s a beautiful piece of nostalgia, and quite an easy pick up and play game with the ability to save and continue and any point, it’s a fantastic game especially if you want to relax and not have to focus too much, but also on the other hand you can flip the settings over and put yourself in for a challenging and long haul session.
I have really enjoyed playing this more and more and as I’ve delved deeper into the game I have found myself getting sucked in deeper and deeper. What started as a small little play session I found that a good couple of hours had flown by and it just kept me invested the whole time. The controls feel pretty good and were easy to use on the Xbox pad.
It’s certainly a niche game but fans of similar games like Eye of the Beholder are gonna love this game.
Check out the trailer for Vaporum from its release in 2017 below:
The Review Key For Vaporum was supplied by Terminals on behalf of Fatbot Games for the purposes of this review.