Title: Disc Room
Developer: Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Terri Vellmann, Doseone
Release Date: October 22, 2020
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Genre: Arcade Action
If you were ever looking for a game that shoves you in a room full of blades and features a fantastic soundtrack that will have you bouncing off the walls as you try to survive, well, you found it. Made by a small group of developers, Disc Room is a bullet-hell dodge ’em up where your maneuvering skills are put to the test in every stage.
Disc Room scales up its difficulty after the initial batch of training stages. The game is basic in concept, where you need to simply escape a room. However, there’s one small issue as each room contains spinning blades that will most definitely kill you. There’s a decent learning curve here as the game makes it tough to get comfortable given that each room has unique blades spinning. Like other arcade-style games, there’s a bit of trial-and-error when it comes to your approach, but everything becomes manageable the more you play and improve your dodging skills.
To keep levels fresh, there is a variety of discs that you’ll encounter. These range from large ones that explode into tiny ones to heat-seeking types that can snipe you from wherever you are in the room. Other obstacles cause you to slow down, making surviving all the more difficult when you get within proximity of them. It’s a healthy variety that makes it impossible to get too comfortable as you progress from stage to stage.
To make Disc Room even more challenging, the developers decided to throw in bosses, which are these big giant saw blades that take up a majority of the room and spit out other little tiny saw blades. Yea, you could say things get pretty intense during these encounters. Small buttons come up from the ground that you then have to step on to cause damage and survive. Simple in concept, but don’t forget you have those damn spinning blades that you have to worry about simultaneously.
Stages also have objectives to complete to progress. Goals include simple tasks such as staying alive for 20-seconds as the numbers of blades increase, or maybe it won’t give you a task at all, causing you to die over-and-over again to figure out what you have to do. The objects add a decent layer of variety to the stages, but in the end, it’s mostly about avoiding blades, and the objectives seem to distract you from the repetitiveness of it all.
Disc Room does offer some abilities that you can take advantage of to make it more bearable. During a level, you can use a dash that lets you pass through discs, spawn an infinite number of clones of yourself, or slow-down time so you can make some risky moves that you usually wouldn’t. While playing, I found myself using the dash most often, the other abilities were used to solve a puzzle, and I never touched them again honestly.
There are online leaderboards, and being the competitive person I am, I definitely made it my goal to beat some of the current high-scores. Often, I noticed myself staying in sections that I have cleared just to see my name on top of the list, which was rewarding for me. If you have a competitive nature like me, you are for sure going to want to beat some of the scores up there and trust the times some people get seem impossible to beat for some stages.
Looking into the settings, there really isn’t much you can do here, just some pretty basic graphic adjustments. You can change the control scheme, but I wouldn’t even bother touching this. If you have a controller lying around, plug that in for this because a keyboard feels awkward and more challenging to play than a controller. The game’s design is charming and cartoonish, which parallels nicely with the bloodiness of it all. Also, the soundtrack is impeccable and makes for the perfect background noise to the carnage.
Disc Room is a straightforward arcade game that is fun to sink a few hours in as you reach a heightened sense of being. Weaving in and out of blades that are inches from you and pulling off some split-second dodges is panic-inducing but also pretty rewarding to your gaming ego. Even with a repetitive gameloop and some not-so-useful abilities, I had a great time maneuvering through this daring adventure while solving puzzles and facing death head-on.
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