While wandering around the exhibit hall at this year’s PAX East, I stumbled across a booth that featured a soon-to-be-released, indie game named Downwell. The developer, whom I later discovered goes by the handle moppin, humbly invited me to try out his game after having noticed me checking out his booth for a few minutes. Now, when I accepted this invitation, I was entirely unprepared for how fun a down-scrolling, action platformer about a boy braving a curiously deep, dangerous well armed only with a pair of gun boots would be.
If you’re thinking that I should have known better, you are quite wise and market-savvy. Have you considered a career in game design? Anyways…
The object of the game in Downwell is simply to reach the bottom of each level. You can take as much time as you like to get to the bottom, but taking it slow is not always the easiest or best thing to do. During your descent, you are beset by environmental hazards and waves of enemies. The only resources you have available to you for dealing with these dangers are your 4 measly hit points, your ability to jump, and your trusty gun boots. Sadly, you cannot jump very high, thus taking away the ability to backtrack, but this is more than made up for by the fact that you can slowly strafe from side to side while firing your gun boots. Your gun boots have a limited clip size. So, you can’t strafe forever. However, the existence of merchants who accept gems and randomly placed power ups means that you can upgrade your gun boots, as well as other things, in a number of interesting ways (clip size upgrade, machine gun upgrade, shotgun upgrade, etc.). You can try to steal from the aformentioned merchants, but it might be the end of you if you aren’t careful…
Upon completion of a level, you are awarded 1 of 3 upgrades. The selection of upgrades is different both on a per level and per playthrough basis. So, you can’t plan out how you want to power up your gun boot-wielding boy too much in advance. As you progress through the game, new enemies and environmental hazards are introduced. In short, it becomes more and more challenging. I only got to try my hand at Downwell twice, but, each time I did, I had a blast. I can’t wait for it to come out.
Downwell is set to be released some time in 2015 for Android, iOS, and PC. If you want to check out the official Downwell page, you can do so here. You can follow the developer, moppin, on Twitter @moppin_.
The GIFs shown above were created by moppin and can be found on his WordPress page here.