Going Under (Nintendo Switch) Review

By James Grech 26.01.2021

Review for Going Under on Nintendo Switch

It's Jackie's first day at her new unpaid internship at carbonated drink conglomerate Fizzle. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Jackie is ready to take on her new role in the marketing department and make a name for herself in Neo-Cascadia's corporate world. Her first task? Killing the goblins in the basement…

Developed by Astro Crabs Games and published by Team17, Going Under is a satirical roguelite that has Jackie go down into the remnants of failed tech start-ups to clear them of the creature that lurk below. A bright colour palette, hilarious side characters and ridiculous fight sequences makes Going Under one of the best indie roguelites on the Nintendo Switch.

Each of the game's unique dungeons are charmingly themed with fun monsters to crush and office supplies to crush them with. The game follows a simple yet rewarding gameplay loop. Choose a dungeon to delve, pick up anything in the room, and defeat the enemies before they defeat Jackie. Each dungeon has a certain number of randomly generated floors filled with enemies that culminate in a challenging boss fight. Enemies will drop currency that disappears when Jackie is knocked out, but can be used to buy health, weapons and other oddities for sale in the dungeon's cafés.

The weapons she can pick up all have different attributes, from giant pencils that pierce foes when thrown to guitars that electrocute enemies around you. These weapons do however have a durability gauge, where after a certain number of uses they blow up on the final hit. Clearing a room of all its monsters will reward Jackie with health, a new skill, or a rare weapon. There is not much strategy in the combat of Going Under but between constant dodge rolling and rapidly swapping between three weapon slots, there is enough here so each room of a dungeon is a chaotically satisfying burst of action.

Screenshot for Going Under on Nintendo Switch

The uniqueness of each run comes in the form of Skills, Mentors, and Curses. During her journey, Jackie will come across a bunch of unique power-ups called Skills that last until the end of that current run. These range from earning extra money with each enemy defeated, dealing damage back every time she is hit, or even summoning a little goblin to aid her in battle. Jackie earns Skills by buying them, finding them in secret rooms, or on random enemy drops. Using the same skill on multiple runs will get it endorsed, allowing Jackie to equip that specific skill to start her next run with.

Screenshot for Going Under on Nintendo Switch

Mentors come in the form of Jackie's co-workers. As the office intern, the other staff will ask Jackie for help completing some odd jobs on her next dungeon run; simple intern stuff like buying a coffee machine, walking the dog, or lighting thirty enemies on fire. Helping her colleagues with these side quests will improve Jackie's relationship with them and unlock Mentorships to use on her next run. Depending on who Jackie equips, her next run will be supported by a bonus perk, such as Jackie getting to use the company card to buy expensive things, though she is then literally weighed down by a ball and chain until her debts are paid. Completing more of these requests only make the boon attached to that Mentor stronger. This system not only gives players another incentive on each run, but it's the best way to get to know the other characters, learn more about the world and even pet the office dachshund.

Screenshot for Going Under on Nintendo Switch

It wouldn't be a roguelite without some kind of Curse System, and Going Under is no different. Jackie will meet an awkward vampire that calls himself the Hauntrepreneur. This cringy dude will offer Jackie new Skills, weapons and even upgrades to things she already has. In return, Jackie is temporarily Cursed with a random ailment that makes the next few rooms much more difficult. On one hand, Jackie could receive an extremely powerful sword, on the other hand, she will be Cursed to take damage anytime she stops moving for the next three rooms. These Curses are optional but are a nice way for players to challenge themselves on each run.

The aesthetic of Going Under may not be for every player, but the bright colours, weird shapes and sounds and the expressive character portraits all work to build upon the satirical humour and silliness of the world. The tone works, and though some jokes are a little heavy handed, they don't distract from that 'just one more run' desire that every roguelite aspires to. The story is not the strongest part of the game, but it never feels like it gets in the way of the good stuff.

Screenshot for Going Under on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Although Going Under is a short venture where the art style and humour may not be for everyone, the fun action, creative world, and addictive gameplay make this an excellent roguelite well worth the work hours. And again, Jackie can pat the office dachshund!


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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

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