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Going Under is a Hilarious Satirical Dungeon Crawler

Going Under is a Hilarious Satirical Dungeon Crawler

Going Under is a unique take on a genre that I have never been too fond of. Despite having watched my roommate sink a ton of hours into The Binding of Isaac in college and having spent a little bit of time playing games like Enter the Gungeon myself, I rarely found myself eager to boot up a roguelike dungeon crawler after a long day of work. That is until Going Under. Over the last few weeks, I have seen myself return to Going Under over and over again. While on my lunch break at work. In between games that I am reviewing. Or just while I relax on the couch. I have not rolled credits on the game, but here are my thoughts on the game after the first few hours.

Going Under is a satirical dungeon crawler about an intern at a start-up business who is tasked with going into the dungeons below the company building to clear its various rooms of monsters. Yes, pretty simple stuff. The story setup for the game is understandably ridiculous and the game uses it to its advantage. The matter-of-fact way in which tasks are handed out adds to the game's humor. And speaking of humor, Going Under is a very hilarious game and as someone who has worked at a startup tech company like the one the main character joins at the start of the game, I could not help but laugh out loud as the game nails the characteristics and mannerisms of so many people I have worked with within that space.

But a setup is nothing if the gameplay does not stick the landing and luckily Going Under manages to roll into a nice balance of claustrophobic action and fast-paced combat. You go through rooms and floors of the dungeon one after another as you take out enemies, pick up weapons, and purchase powerups. There are a nice few curveballs in the game, but none that really shake up the minute-to-minute gameplay. For the majority of the game, you will be using whatever weapons you have at your disposal to attack enemies and roll out of the way of their attacks. To me, that was fine because I played the game for small bursts at a time. It always remained engaging and when I finished a run I would switch to a different game, go back to work, or start eating the food that sat cold in front of me. However, if you are someone who likes to sit and run through a chunk of a game at a time, your mileage may vary. I also want to mention that I played Going Under on the Nintendo Switch, and having just recently picked up a Nintendo Switch Lite, I played this game exclusively in handheld mode and other than some very minor hiccups where I felt some frame drops, the game ran smoothly.

Unlike most other games I have come across in this genre, some of which I have already name-dropped, Going Under does not have a dark color pallet. Its vibrant mix of pastel-like pinks, blues, greens, and more are easy on the eyes. And while on visuals, I want to bring special mention to the art style, not just in the gameplay, which does have a unique look, but also the user interface in the game right from the opening menu. Everything is branded like the user interface of an app and at no point does the game ever step away from that. When it comes to sound, Going Under is simple, with nothing too memorable. The characters sound like they're from Animal Crossing when they speak and gameplay sounds do just what they aim to. I'd more often than not turn off the game audio in place of my own song playlist or TV show and never felt like I was missing out on anything.

Going Under is a hilarious satirical dungeon crawler and having been out for almost a year now, I am surprised at how little conversation there is about this game, which is part of the reason why I started slamming at my keyboard to write this. If you are a fan of the genre, or if anything I described in this article sounds interesting to you, go pick up Going Under. The game is out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. Thank you to the publisher for giving us a copy of the game to play on the Nintendo Switch.

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