Iron Crypticle (Review)

Iron Crypticle is played as you would expect: you run around with the left stick and shoot (or throw axes, rather) with the right. A couple of interesting complexities to the gameplay come in the form of dashing, using scrolls, and unleashing your Atomic Fist. Dashing can help you get from point A to point B faster but it's also risky if there are monsters in your vicinity. Scrolls have varying effects and are occasionally found lying around the dungeon floor. The Atomic Fist is a pretty cool move for whenever you're in a pinch as it damages all of your surrounding foes. As you work your way through room after room battling all kinds of interesting monsters, you'll pick up tons of items that can grant you more points, level you up, increase your base stats, and spell "bonus" in order to clear the screen and grant you a ton of points. Speaking of points, collecting certain items in succession will increase a multiplier which adds a layer of compulsion to the already addictive gameplay.

As you can see, Iron Crypticle is a very fun game. Believe it or not, you can play with up to four simultaneous players as well. Doing so makes the hectic action so much more enjoyable. However, I found it very odd that you don't get any continues while playing solo but if you play with at least one other person then players can use continues whenever they perish which makes the difficulty come across as unbalanced. Anyway, after completing each room, you can choose which path to take. Most rooms simply task you with taking out waves of monsters while other rooms contain shops, themed endurance challenges, and even arcade machines that you can use to play a fun little 2D platformer mini-game. On top of this, you'll discover loads of different weapons that make taking out enemy hordes much easier. In the end, the amount of variety elevates Iron Crypticle above and beyond what you'd expect from the genre.

Iron Crypticle thankfully includes leaderboards and a couple of other extras that help to extend its replay value. The coolest of which is the ledger where every item that you've unlocked is collected. Browsing through the handful of pages is pretty fun as the item descriptions contain more puns than you can shake an analog stick at. When it comes to modes, there's the main mode and a single-screen endless mode that can both be played on three difficulty settings. Overall, it's a solid collection of content.
Although Iron Crypticle is a ton of fun, it has its issues. The first of which is that the graphics are very dark which makes trying to keep track of your surroundings more difficult than it should be. I generally play games in a well-lit area but if you play in a dark and windowless room then this issue may not be a substantial problem. It's surprising that there is no brightness setting. Anyway, I found the gameplay to start becoming repetitive after playing for a couple of hours. This is because once you unlock almost everything; you'll encounter the same scenarios, bosses, and such over and over again. In other words, it makes a great first impression but it doesn't stay for as long as you'd hope. That being said, I can definitely see myself booting up Iron Crypticle whenever I want a fix of twin-stick fun.

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