Indie Spotlight: Eldritch

by Franco Abrina | August 22, 2017 |

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Welcome to Indie Spotlight, a series of articles where we take a quick look at indie games both old and new! For this first Indie Spotlight, we’ll be looking at Eldritch, a first-person roguelike inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft!

 

AWAKENING OLD GODS

You start in a library with no entrances and exits. Around the starting area, there are books that explain most of the story. Basically, during the 20th century, a group of so-called guardians performed a binding ritual to seal the Old Ones away in a labyrinth prison. You play the role of “The Librarian” a guardian chosen to eternally watch over the Old Ones’ prison.

The catch? You have absolutely no memory of why you’re here. In each world you enter, you will find journal entries (supposedly written by you, the librarian) that describe the worlds you enter and how there may be a key to your escape at the end.

Unbeknownst to the player, every time you unlock a new level, you’re essentially waking up the Old Ones, putting the Earth at risk. Due to your actions throughout the game, you’re forced to go deeper into the endless library and perform the ancient ritual of binding to, once again, contain the Old Ones.

“Welcome to the library!”

 

 

GAMEPLAY

The game plays like any other stealth-based first-person shooter, except with added roguelike mechanics. If you die at any point in the game, you will lose all of your items and respawn back at the library.

You start off with one world unlocked (not including the optional levels unrelated to the story), each world is represented by a “Strange Book” in the library. Interacting with these books will teleport you to their corresponding worlds. In each world, you have to find the hatch that leads to the next floor. Each world has three procedurally-generated floors, and at the last floor, you’ll find the soul of the Old One that resides there.

Each world has its own set of enemies and aesthetics. From a mere temple of Dagon full of cultists all the way to the ruined depths of R’lyeh where creatures reminiscent of Cthulhu reside. The game features a moderately diverse amount of enemies, each with their own weird gimmicks. For example, in the world of Nyarlathotep, there are statues of lizardmen that only attack you if you turn your back to them. As long as these statues are within your line of sight, you have to keep your eyes on them or else they’ll instantly teleport behind you and deal a significant amount of damage.

There are several types of rooms you can encounter in each world. The most notable room you’ll find is the shop. In the shop, you can buy or steal useful artifacts and resources from the shopkeeper. Stealing will render a shopkeeper hostile, so make sure you have a plan before doing so because the shopkeepers are definitely not pushovers.

“Go ahead, steal it. What’s the worst that could happen?”

 

REPLAYABILITY

Since Eldritch is a roguelike with procedurally-generated levels, the game has virtually endless replayability. There’s a leaderboard for you folks who like to speedrun and beat each other’s times. There’s also the endless Asylum mode where your goal is to collect as many souls as you can before the timer runs out or you die.

Aside from all of that, the main story has multiple endings. Part of the fun is figuring out how to get all of the endings, which means multiple playthroughs.

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“You can take your time, or you can pretend that you’re in SGDQ 2017”

 

CONCLUSION

Eldritch is a fun little roguelike FPS with simple controls that you can play for short bursts or long sessions, depending on your goals.

The art style may not appeal to everyone, but if you can look past that, it’s a great game that features Lovecraftian mythos. The sound design also adds to that creepy Lovecraftian feel and you’ll probably be spooked at least once throughout the game.

If you’re a fan of roguelikes (or anything that has to do with H.P. Lovecraft), I highly recommend picking this game up. With the amount of content and replayability this game has to offer, getting it at its current price is a steal!

Eldritch is available on Steam at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/252630/Eldritch/

Franco Abrina

Franco is an avid gamer who's into all types of games. He's a sucker for open-world RPGs and pretty much any strategy game (XCOM, Starcraft, the works). Legends say he has tens of characters in a heavily modded copy of Skyrim where he can switch between characters in a single save, essentially making his own silly lore. Nerd.
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