I am starting to show my age… I loved 90′s PC gaming and Ultima Underworld was one of my favorites. I truly believed it to be a masterpiece and one of my favorite experiences in RPG gaming.  The look and feel of Wolfenstein 3D’s engine with the brains and depth of an Ultima RPG. Well, what goes around comes around, comes around.  Here lies Eldritch, with a few fresh ideas melded into it. It is a smart little first-person H.P. Lovecraft vehicle.

Eldritch Review Light At The End Of The Tunnel Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce

Light at the end of the tunnel.

I had to come back multiple times to tackle Eldritch. I had to be in the right mindset, I had to play it safe and I had to be calm. My short fuse only went off on a few occasions. Permadeath games aren’t for the casual gamer, they’re for someone who is willing to invest a lot of time, effort and patience.

This type of game can only really work if the coding is stable, the engine is tried and true and the game is overall bug free. I’m pleased to say that Eldritch has all of these qualities and then some.

Eldritch Review I Dont Know What Youre But Youre Getting Shot In The Face Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce

Cute, ugly and aggressive.

You begin in a library with a very peculiar designed layout. The library acts as your home base and a place to escape from the madness around you. This is also where you can interact with a chest to store your currency collected from completed stages. Now, you might be asking why have a chest if Eldritch is roguelike? Well, they give you a little wiggle room here, you can pickup your money after death but roguelike rules apply to pretty much everything else in question. If you die, your upgrades and items are gone but the stages you have completed remain complete.

Specific books in the library act as portals to other worlds, open one up and you are immediately transported to a distant world. Each of these worlds is odder than the last.

Eldritch Review Idol Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.

Eldritch isn’t about hand holding and coddling, it’s about exploration and unearthing a dark mysterious story. If you are a quick learner, you should be able to figure out what’s what in under an hour or so. The first world you are whisked off to starts off like a kitten but after you get a few worlds under your belt it quickly turns into a lion. It’s nothing a seasoned gamer can’t handle but it will be enough to keep you on your toes.

The enemies strength and aggression ramps up as quickly as the worlds do but thankfully you have the ability to mold your character into a tougher protagonist through collection and the purchase of items.

There is a large selection of enemies that you will come across. Some are nothing unusual but others are so macabre that you know Lovecraft`s influence was at the forefront. Each enemy type attacks differently whether from afar or in close quarters combat. The enemies really don’t react to the way you attack, and as a result are mindless and easy to exploit.

As mindless as the enemies are, killing them in a run-and-gun style will leave you low on life and out of ammunition very quickly. It’s a numbers game you can’t win. You kill a demon with 3 bullets, search his body and find one or two bullets, then he re-spawns ten minutes later.

Eldritch Review Jazz Hands Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce

Guns with a side of magic.

You can play through a large part of the game in a stealthy manner, which isn’t my bag, but it’s probably the most viable option overall. Some of the spells you learn can turn the table in combat while others can help you get to unreachable areas. Randomly generated dungeons may also add to the frustration, but for some it might also add to the appeal. Dynamite and malleable levels is the ultimate equalizer.

You are limited to how many items you can hold, but you can find items that will help you in your journey immensely.  I found an item that allowed me to not suffer from permadeath. It would cost me 50 ruins upon my death, but it was worth every penny.

The story was a little light for me and extremely text heavy. Its worth mentioning though that there is a lot of good reading to be had through the series of books you uncover.  Voice acting may be absent but the sound effects are strong. The music is nothing memorable but does a fine job of setting the tone and feel of the game.  Unfortunately, the graphics may be the weakest part of Eldritch, but it is a voxel style was chosen for its unique look.

Eldritch Review Now Thats The Key Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce

Dynamite beats rock.

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Eldritch Review: Love That H.P. Sauce
The Verdict: Eldritch is an enjoyable experience that is unique in so many different ways. If you are comfortable with roguelike adventure games then this is the game for you. A great deal of thought and effort went into Eldritch so its easy for me to say its worth the fifteen dollar price tag.
The Good
  • H.P. Lovecraft inspirations
  • Solid gameplay mechanics.
  • Permadeath (love it or hate it).
The Bad
  • Graphically underwhelming
  • Frustrating re-spawning enemies
  • Permadeath (hate it or love it).
7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
7.0

About The Author

Matt Fox
Editor

A lot of people out there say they love games. Well, we can confidently say that no one loves games like Matt does. And we're talking about literally loving games in the most physical way possible...No, not like that... What we're trying to say is that Matt is a collector like no other. He owns the complete US Official NES collection, the complete Sega 32x collection (boxed), and the complete Turbo Grafx 16 collection. That's pretty hardcore.