The roguelike sub-genre is one I have a particular weakness for. It’s also a sub-genre that is massively popular in the indie game scene right now. There’s a new roguelike coming soon from developer and publisher Noisy Head Games called Beyond the Long Night and I’m taking a cheeky early look at it right now.
Explore The Dark Mountain – a subterranean world full of monsters, secrets and lovable characters. Puzzle, upgrade and battle your way through three randomly generated areas to outrun a deadly storm and escape to the Overworld beyond. Uncover a trail of mysteries in this ancient kingdom of demigods and explorers, captured within an endless time loop.
Now, as this is a preview, I’m not going too in-depth here. I want to save most of my thoughts for a full-fat review later. But, what is Beyond the Long Night? Well, from playing the demo and if I were to liken this to a classic game. I’d say it really put me in mind of arcade shooters like Robotron 2084 and Berzerk but with a roguelite and an adventure twist. This is a twin-stick shooter that throws in some puzzle solving and plenty of exploration to boot.
You find yourself trapped inside The Dark Mountain. A cavernous world full of monsters and (often) funny characters. Your objective is simple enough, to escape from the underground where you are, to the Overworld. But what is easy to say is not quite so easy to do. As mentioned, Beyond the Long Night is a roguelike and that means that you will die… a lot. Weapon upgrades will help you get further and further and keeping in mind what you have learned from previous runs is essential if you want to make any serious progress, with a big emphasis on exploration.
As is the standard for the roguelike sub-genre, everytime you die and restart, the world changes. The (ever changing) map for Beyond the Long Night is both familiar and fresh. The pixel art style is simple, atmospheric and wonderfully detailed. The world here is also full of personality and you’ll cross paths will various NPCs that will put a smile on your face. My personal favourite is the farmer and his motivational speech giving cows. Yup, there are talking cows here that offer you many encouraging words to help lift your spirits.
I’ve been playing the demo on and off for the last couple of weeks or so and have really enjoyed myself. I personally can’t wait to get my hands on the full release and give this a proper review (hopefully) later in the year. I think this could be a top title to add to your collection if you are a roguelike fan.
You can check out the Beyond the Long Night demo right here and I suggest that you do. The demo is a much streamlined version of what the full game will offer but it certainly still gives you a tantalising amuse-bouche for what is to come. The Kickstarter for Beyond the Long Night is also live, so if you feel like helping out, give this a little click. You can even add it to your Steam wishlist if you like, keep at least one eye on this one as I think it could be one of the best games of the year.