Going Under is a very colorful rogue lite about being an unpaid intern at a start up called Fizzle. Fizzle produces a sparkling beverage that replaces meals as well. This is how the apocalypse starts and the world ends, not with a bang, but with a fizzle.
The game is chock full of witty satire and parody about the start up, maximum productivity life style and the humor associated with it is often times quite sharp. The protagonist’s main dream is to have health insurance, this is getting too real! The art style and music are just as colorful as the humor.
The core game play is basically a rogue lite. You venture forth into dungeons below your office building, where failed start ups have been forced to dwell. Your main goal is to proceed low enough to fight and defeat the boss in order to steal their relic and increase productivity at your own office. A side note here, you originally applied as a marketing intern.
The game has a unique mechanic where you can pick up almost any object in the environment to use as a weapon. Different items have different attack animations, damage, and durability. The combat is deceptively challenging. You have to avoid taking as much damage as possible in order to make it to the boss many floors down. The combat is more similar to Dark Souls, where taking advantage of the invincibility frames from rolling is a must. You will die rather quickly if you only focusing on attacking.
The game does make the job a bit easier by providing item shops on floors where you can purchase skills and weapons, or restore your health with cash earned from defeating monsters. You can also use passive bonuses provided by mentors, earned by completing mundane tasks for them such as purchasing an espresso machine. You also have available the game’s version of spells which come in the form of single use apps on your phone. All of these mechanics do make it a bit easier to reach the final floor.
Once you defeat the boss and take their relic, another dungeon of a failed start up will open up. There are a lot of companies being made fun of, from crypto currency start ups to dating apps. No one is safe. And most likely very few people are getting paid.
Overall, Going Under is a challenging rogue lite. It took me a couple of hours to understand the flow of combat but once I did, it was a satisfying experience. I could pick up weapons I wanted on the fly and throw the weaker ones as ranged weapons, all the while dodging through enemy attacks. The writing is fantastic and witty, the icon based art style looks great, and the sound track is pleasant as well.