An Unlikely Hack-n-Splash Pinball Mashup, Creature In The Well
Describing itself as a pinball hack-n-slash, Creature In The Well is surely going to get your attention. Now, there is also a chance that those two game types do not mean much to you, in which case you might have difficulty visualizing what this is supposed to be. So, to make things simpler for everyone, the game oscillates between puzzler and bullet hell… you could also throw dungeon crawler in the mix as well.
What is Creature In The Well?
To put it simply, Creature In The Well is a dungeon of rooms, where you need to battle to collect power, that is the resource that is needed. Each room will have a pinball-style of bumpers, with a variety of sizes and shapes that will generate power when you smack them with pinball enough times.
Some of them will just need to be slapped, while others need to be hit before they disappear, and there are also those that will throw your balls back at you and they will be charged with energy that will damage your character when it hits you.
In this version, things are rather slow, which is good, since the hack-n-slash pinball is a bit odd, for some people.. You start as a robot mechanic, who is apparently the last one there is, and you need to go on an adventure to reactivate an amazing machine beneath the mountain, and that machine is supposed to protect all the nearby desert towns from the coming sandstorms.
When you run inside, this entire operation will be shut down, and you will need to actually generate enough power for it, and you can do that by hitting a lot of glowing white balls that you will find around. Do not worry, as the first few rooms will be a lot easier than you think; you will be asked to use your weapon (a broken pipe that can later be replaced) and hit the while balls to speed them up and hit the center of the room where there are several bumpers. Once you do that, you will be rewarded with power, and then you will able to unlock the next door with that.
More complex puzzles!
Of course, as you progress in the game, the puzzles will start to be more and more difficult. In one of the rooms, for example, between tight spaces you will need to make several trick shots for you to activate the bumpers that are behind the wall. Many bumpers in the game will have to be hit a couple of times before they will drop onto the ground, and then you can use them.
There was another room where you will have to activate a central rectangle bumper, which is designed to create three more, and each one of them will have a clock countdown of a couple of seconds, after which they disappear, and then the central bumper will return. In another room, there will be several bumpers that you will have to take out, and that pop up. So, you will have to get the entire space filled with flying white pinball, and then you will be able to deal damage before vanishing yet again.
Most of the rooms you will encounter will have a couple of possible exists. Some doors might require more power to be opened than others, so it is easier to just keep an eye on the amount you have collected, which can be seen in the top left of your screen. Some of the rooms can also be entirely skipped if you are unable or you do not want to solve the puzzle.
It all depends on how much power you have saved up, to open a way to move forward, since you can always come back and try again later. This is a philosophy many players are enjoying and praising since once you are stuck at a level, you can still progress and return to that level when you are ready to try it out again.
As you enter the room, you should take a quick look at the situation. Start by determining whether the room you have just entered actually requires a puzzle-solving, will you have to take time to precisely time the hits and trick shots? Or maybe it will be a bullet hell room where there will be lots of flying pinballs that have turned rogue, as well as bumpers that are dealing with damage? Keep in mind that there will be plenty of different challenges, and no matter the type of challenge, the rooms will always seem to be filled with more pinballs than you could possibly track, which is what makes the puzzles very harrowing.
The progress of the game
Eventually, as you solve those puzzles, you will meet with the creature itself, giant boney hands and a pair of eyes that are glowing, which is basically the boss at the end of each area. The hands will throw red sparks at you, and thus steal your health when you are in the room full of bumpers, trying its best to kill you with the area of effect damage. After you defeat a couple of floors with the creature’s tests, you will be able to power up one of the main systems, and then continue to the next mission.
One thing that makes Creature In The Well stand out from the crowd, is the fact that there is no such thing as diluting the game with secondary systems. You are in the game to swing blunt objects of your choice at pinballs, and you will be given some pieces of gear that can be customized to help you solve the puzzles and pass the game.
Creature In The Well does a rather admirable job when it comes to mixing up the types of challenges you face, and while you can find yourself in some frustrating situations, you can always skip the level, and come back to it later. Even if this is not considered a new genre of game, it is definitely worth checking out.
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