Nightmare Reaper is a game you’ve probably heard of before, it’s been in early access for quite a while now but the full release is launching on March 28th. The full release comes a ton of new content and when I say a ton of new content, I mean three different chapters all that are around seven to ten hours long each.
You start in some sort of mental healthcare facility, you’re all alone and the general atmosphere of this place is unnerving at best. You’ll quickly piece together that you’re a patient here, if you walk over to this desk you’ll find a piece of paper that will give you a brief look into why you’re here and what’s your background. Every time you go to sleep in your bed you have nightmares these nightmares are where the roguelike elements come in and every time you wake up you’ll get another piece of paper on your desk telling you a little more about what’s going on from the doctor’s perspective at least I think it’s a doctor. I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m just going to say that it’s an interesting story that you will be invested in.
The graphics in this game are a bit of a mixed bag, some of the pixel work is slightly subpar for example, the animations for the weapons and the enemies are not that great, I mean they’re definitely passable, it’s not like they’re bad but if you’re going for art like this my mind immediately wants to compare it to something like Brutal Doom which may be unfair. On the contrary though these environments do look quite good there’s also quite a few of them so you’re not going to be seeing the same texture for the next 20 hours, you’re going to get a good variety.
In terms of the gameplay, tons of enemies are crammed in open-ended levels full of surprises and geysers of blood and treasure with a HUGE selection of guns. While levels are procedurally generated I never found any of them that were like giant branching mazes that I got lost in, something is definitely keeping them in check and as you play through the game they do continue to escalate giving you better weapons and better enemies, the different textures are also separated you may get three sewer levels and then wake up and the sewer levels will be done you’ll get an achievement for it and it’ll skip to village sections just as an example, for me this was the perfect pacing, every time I got bored of one area I would find myself in another and one of the most important things this game does is that at the end of every single level you’re only allowed to keep one weapon, all the others are sold for gold while this may seem annoying at first what this actually does is cuts down drastically in the amount of time you find yourself in menus, you won’t be micromanaging every five seconds. Another thing this game does that’s different from other roguelites is that if you die you don’t restart the game all over again, instead you wake up in the asylum go back to sleep and start that specific level again with the weapon you had chosen from the level before, it’s not too harsh of a punishment and it ensures that you’re going to keep continuing forward through the story without having to play hundreds of times.
Overall, Nightmare Reaper is a work of love, it’s not often that games comes out of early access and this one is super well made, if you’re into retro looter shooters I can highly recommend purchasing this game.