June 25, 2021

Phantom Abyss already feels like a proper classic

I guess for a certain kind of game, the only currency that matters is rooms. This feels like it might be the case for Phantom Abyss, a new roguelite that I suspect has the makings of a proper classic. I cannot stop playing it. And as I play - it's out now in Early Access - what I'm thinking about is rooms. I'm recognising rooms. I'm being surprised by rooms. I'm wondering how many rooms the team has in its room coffers.

3D Spelunky is the easy pitch, and for once the easy pitch is sort of right. Sort of. You're an adventurer exploring a tomb in first-person, aided by a whip that can basically teleport you short distances and a nice dash and a nice duck and slide. Movement here is pure sweetness. I already dream of the way I ghost about, whipping over chasms and past bits of ancient machinery that want to do me in.

The gimmick is that each procedural temple can be played just once. You have one shot at getting to the idol that lies at its heart. If you get it, nobody else will ever play this temple. If you die, then you are a ghost in the temple, haunting the place, and haunting other players who come by to try and get the idol themselves.

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