rooMaze (PC) Review

By Athanasios 19.07.2019

Review for rooMaze on PC

With each passing year, more and more games get released in Steam, with 2018 providing almost 10,000(!) new titles to enjoy... well, not exactly enjoy, more like avoid, as most are either crappy, adult-themed "RPGs," subpar clones of more popular games, and (this critic's most hated category) thousands of plain unfinished projects. Sadly, the voxel, first-person rogue-like known as rooMaze is one of the latter.

You "awake" inside a ramshackle room, seemingly after being thrown from a well-like entrance on the ceiling. You pick a not-that-durable shiv that lies in the ground, as well as a candle, and off you go. What follows is a series of randomly generated corridors, full of monsters and traps, as well as a few items that will help you survive the ordeal… at least for a few more minutes. Yes, rooMaze won't win any awards for originality, yet many a dungeon crawler have managed to be fun despite their simple nature. Is rooMaze fun, though?

In theory, it's like a first-person Diablo: you run around, fight with all kind of baddies, and upgrade your gear and abilities. In practice, however, things are somewhat disappointing. Combat, for instance, is a clunky, unreliable mess, where the player is constantly circling around an enemy, or constantly backing away from it, delivering some painfully slow blows while at it; hits which may or may not hit anything - not because of a behind-the-scenes dice-roll or anything, but because of how bad the hitboxes are.

Screenshot for rooMaze on PC

The second problem is the usual bane of most rogue-likes: a badly implemented RNG. The handling of this little thingy is what separates the good from the bad rogue-like game developers. In here, besides creating some of the most boring, unimaginative level layouts, as well as offering some unfair trap and enemy placements, it often "forgets" to provide you with the things that an adventurer needs to survive such an ordeal, as one can spent what feels like an eternity, and never find anything to replace the starting shiv... or your fists, since that will soon break.

rooMaze is one of those titles who use the term 'hardcore' as an excuse for how aggravating they can be. Sure, a game can be as hard as it wants to, but it must give you something to work with, effectively putting the blame on your hands, instead of an unfair randomiser. The player can choose between three separate difficulties, with the first one giving you the chance to start with the equipment of your choice, but even that fails to avoid the issues created by the RNG - and don't ever forget that the actual fighting business remains dull no matter the mode chosen.

Without any doubt, all these flaws derive from the fact that rooMaze is simply not a complete product... and won't ever be, as its creator has stopped working on it. In conclusion, rooMaze not only is a badly made rogue-like dungeon crawler, but also one that's unfinished. As for the charming, Unreal engine-fuelled, voxel visuals, they are nice and all, but like with the rest of this experience, they strongly smell of... Early Access, since assets are incredibly unvaried, and tend to repeat over and over again... and the pitch-black darkness can often be the biggest foe.

Screenshot for rooMaze on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

rooMaze is good... for something still in the beta phase of development. The simple first-person dungeon crawling gameplay it has, which is served along some appealing, Minecraft-y voxel visuals, could definitely provide some great, rogue-like hacking and slashing fun with a little more care, but since its developer has given up on it, this care won't ever arrive.

Developer

ChairKilling

Publisher

Sometimes You

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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