Undertale (Review)

Undertale (2015)

Rating ★★★★

Genre: Role-playing
Publisher: Toby Fox
Developer: Toby Fox

Synopsis

Undertale takes place in the Underground, a realm where monsters, once equal to humans, were banished to after war broke out between them. The Underground is sealed from the surface world by an imperfect magic barrier, the only point of entry being at Mount Ebott. A human child falls into the Underground and encounters Flowey, a sentient flower who teaches them the game’s mechanics and encourages them to raise their “LV”, or “LOVE”, by gaining “EXP” through killing monsters.

Response

For an indie game, and one that is produced by only one pair of hands, Undertale is widely praised, and I can see why. The way it is able to balance out holding quite a handful of characters, a compelling plot line as well as complicated mechanics involving switching turns between your character and monster through combat, again for the same reason that one person was behind it all, makes the acclaim understandable. Something definitely worth looking into for the development of my own game is its smartly-handled fight sequences which occasionally result from the player exploring the map in the demo. What I’m personally most impressed with is the game’s recurring value of ‘exploration leads to discovery’ – leading you to either engage in combat with said discovery or earn from it. Both options make a fun game play and hence keep the player satisfied, which is the key idea especially in an RPG (role-playing game).

As for the negatives – sometimes you have to sacrifice a couple of forgivable things to achieve smoother game play. In Undertale’s case, it is its graphics. However, the narrative tends to captivate its players to a point where the initially outdated-looking visuals become less distracting the longer they play, which again comes with effectively balancing out your components.

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