As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself falling into more and more hipster trends. One of my biggest faults is not believing big-name gaming outlets that a game is “good.” With that said, I’ve never played Crypt of the NecroDancer or Stardew Valley or Undertale, among others, but let’s get back to Crypt of the NecroDancer, never played it. While I realize I’m robbing myself of experiences, I’d like to think I was biding time until someone took those gameplay systems and added waifus and dating mechanics. Well, over 8 years later, developer Finch Bird Studio has created Freaked Fleapit.
Although it’s inspired by some of the gameplay mechanics of the popular rhythm-based action title, its bold character designs, awesome music, and ahem dating mechanics have my full attention. After getting the chance to play an extended preview of the game, I was able to get a taste of the action to share with you.
During the early demo, players control Andy, a new resident of hell, as he’s being woken up by a group of loud demon-like girls. We discover that Andy’s arrival was by mistake and that he’ll have to do some work if he wants to reach the human world. While exploring the base, you can speak to the girls and spend energy points to help them out. This will eventually mean more in the final game, but the unlock CGs were a nice reward. I’m assuming by improving your relationship with the girls, you’ll learn more about them and eventually date them, but that wasn’t available here.
However, I was able to fight a couple of boss battles and explore two dungeons. Here’s where the game gets interesting. Once in a dungeon, I learned that my Tie could speak to me and that I needed to move to the beat of the music in order to navigate the dungeon. Simple, right? Well, kind of, but the later enemies definitely proved that the developers aren’t shy about testing your rhythm.
There’s no formal attack button, as the game works on a bump system. However, it is possible to find consumable items and weapons that add buffs to Andy. Further, you’ll eventually gain access to random buffs where you can choose one of three special traits to benefit Andy in battle. In one instance, I chose an ability that caused AOE damage to my surrounding area if I took damage, but there were some other clever ones that I saw.
I’m not sure if I’d refer to the game as a roguelite at this point since you aren’t encouraged to die, but you aren’t really punished for it, either. I think there should be some downsides to dying, but in this demo, I was sent back to the HUB, and I was allowed to reenter the dungeon. I will add that these dungeons do appear to have some procedural elements to them, but the structure is the same: move to the beat and clear the room of enemies.
The bosses were fun and showcased their attack telegraphs so you know when to move out of the way. I imagine a tutorial for the game will be added in the final release, given that I honestly had no idea what was going on when I first entered a dungeon. Still, the high-quality illustrations, fun character personalities, and colorful dungeons had me hooked.
Freaked Fleapit currently doesn’t have a release date, but this is one game that I will definitely follow through development. The developers have already announced that each character will be voiced and that players can expect more mini-games and dating elements to be added and detailed later on, so we have plenty to look forward to. After playing, I just figured I’d write about the game and share it with you all. Still, if Freaked Fleapit taught us anything, it’s that you can get me interested in any genre by adding waifus.
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