Review: Neon Abyss (Nintendo Switch)

Neon Abyss is a frantic, roguelite action-platformer where you run ‘n’ gun your way into the Abyss. Featuring unlimited item synergies and a unique dungeon evolution system, each run diversifies the experience and every choice alters the ruleset.

Pros:

  • Cool neon pixel art Graphics.
  • 641mb download size.
  • Can remap controls.
  • Gameplay settings-screen shake, seed display, rumble, and aim assist.
  • 3 save slots.
  • Roguelike gameplay.
  • Twin-stick shooter controls.
  • Tutorial area.
  • Colorful locations.
  • Map uncovers as you play, mini-map shows if it has any unlocks/secrets in the room.
  • When entering a room it locks down until all enemies are killed.
  • Eight characters to unlock and each has unique stats like health, how many grenades they can carry etc.
  • Input a specific seed.
  • Bar-Main hub where you can change character, input a seed, change difficulty, etc.
  • Levels randomize every run.
  • Eggs-pick them up in a level then continue playing to have a chance at hatching a pet from them.
  • Banging soundtrack.
  • One more go mentality.
  • Gems-earn them and use them to upgrade your character permanently.
  • Find and activate fast travel points.
  • Big boss battles.
  • Quick to action every run.
  • 3 difficulties-easy, normal and hard. Can change it every run.
  • Each run has four levels then a fifth boss level.
  • Crystal’s-find in-game and use to open rooms.
  • Different room types like wave-based combat.
  • Play how you want.
  • Pop up notice of items/weapon/gear you pick up. Can always pause and see what you have and what it is.
  • Five game bosses.
  • Unlock a piano room to play music.
  • Pickups will give a buff or action and usually float around you and last until they received X amount of hits.
  • Very moreish.
  • Has a Binding of Isaac vibe.
  • Coins drop from enemies and crates/chests and used in the shop if you can find it.
  • Breakable objects and hidden walls.
  • Stone-need grenades to smash them.
  • Brilliant having a whole line of creatures/people who all do different things at different times.
  • Just really well done for pick up and play.
  • Wear new gear for boosts and causes you to look…… Strange at times.
  • Massive splash screen on the pick up you got.

Cons:

  • No touchscreen support.
  • Small writing in places.
  • Doesn’t explain all the mechanics in game-like chests, cursed objects, gems, and crystals.
  • Rooms repeat themselves often.
  • No pop-up info on guns in the shop meaning you have no idea if it’s good.
  • Once you finish and beat a boss you lose all your guns and pickups.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Sound - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Accessibility - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Length - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
8.2/10

Summary

Neon Abyss is a roguelike-like no other, it is simple yet deep, frustrating yet satisfying and that’s just in the first few hours! The game keeps opening up jew avenues, new bosses and brings a much-needed breath of fresh air to the genre. I loved the fact I could pick it up and just get stuck straight in, the eggs mechanic of hatching them periodically meant I could at any point turn the table, finding keys so I could unlock a chest or room for that much needed new weapon or buff was always on my mind, boss fights are not that difficult but the main bug bosses are some excellent set pieces and really difficult. Having the ability to fast travel around the map means you can take your time and explore every spot before moving on, you are never hurried along or forced to play a certain way. Yeah OK, the room templates repeated a lot and is still a bummer but the loot and enemy placement really does keep it fresh. The bar which is your hub will open up new secrets as you go and hell you can even boogie on the dance floor of you so wish! As with any roguelike, it’s a time sink, being portable only elevated that opinion and it killed my battery and productivity many times. I enjoyed the seed generator, the pop-ups telling you what you found (it is very Binding of Isaac) I loved finding my next favorite gun or hatching a powerful aid in my egg. In short, it’s a really well-oiled roguelike that is a ton of fun to play despite levels constantly repeating themselves.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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