When a developer prides themselves on just how sharp the learning curve for their game’s difficulty is, it is wise to listen to them. Krafted Games have taken that route for marketing of their roguelike first person shooter, Polygod. Players begin the game as a Faceless Assassin who seeks to run through the Trials of the Gods and hopefully ascend to godhood. Between the player and godliness, however, is a gamut of procedurally generated maze like arenas, a smorgasbord of bullets, and seven Holy Champions. Players are initially armed with a simple pistol, and while the game is kind enough to not force you into stressing over ammo counts and menial tasks like reloading, it does still leave you at a disadvantage of ungodly low damage output.
Each arena has one objective, and one objective only. Survive the onslaught of enemy bullets to reach the portal and move on to the next arena. One would think it would be wise to simply jump your way across the level, dodging enemies and making a mad dash for the portal, but one would also be very, very wrong. Killing enemies grants the player souls which are used as the game’s currency and is exchanged at altars scattered around the worlds for various upgrades. These upgrades range from special bullets that linger before exploding to life insurance which allows you to continue to play even after exhausting your health, giving up souls to damage instead, to powerful upgrades that increase your damage output so long as you don’t take a hit. If you choose to duck, dodge, and leap your way across the arena without taking on any enemies you’re in danger of standing in front of the Holy Champion that you’re forced to fight following each level with nothing more than your very weak starter pistol.
While Polygod is a roguelike, and death at the hands of any enemy results in a game over, Krafted Games have been generous enough to include a very effective seed system. Should you like the way a run turns out, and want to attempt it again upon your demise, you can simply hit retry- albeit in the first arena without any power ups (obviously)- but with everything in the same place it was the previous attempt. Should you just not feel like a run is set up in a way you can manage, then you can return to the main menu and receive a new randomly generated seed. Or if you’d like to take advantage of the game’s local splitscreen or online coop multiplayer capabilities on a certain run, you can make use of the seed system to do just that.
Polygod features a low-poly aesthetic in it’s game world, but being light on polygons doesn’t mean the game is light on color. In a lot of games, a vibrant and colorful world is a welcome sight. But when it comes to Polygod, the color and lighting choices in the game’s appearance are hard on the player’s eyes. The world id heavily colored with heavily saturated primary and secondary colors that often clash against one another, making it difficult to focus on important activity. The player’s eye is often being drawn away from an attacking enemy to a nonchalantly spinning orange windmill in the distance. During the game’s action intense sequences, when bullets of multiple colors are whizzing by from multiple vibrant enemies, while the player is bouncing into the multi-colored sky in an effort to dodge the bullet hell surrounding them it all becomes nothing short of an assault on the player’s vision.