Just how much would you be willing to put up with to land that dream job? Be on call 24/7 to drive your boss home from the bar after they’ve had a few to many? Walk into an overcrowded Starbucks with a six page coffee order? How about sliding down into a dungeon to fight a horde of over-caffeinated goblins? Or being tasked with beating the snot out of a pack of bitcoin obsessed skeletons?
Well this is precisely the pickle our poor unpaid intern, Jackie Fiasco, finds herself in upon starting her first day at the F’zzle company. In Going Under by Aggro Crab, Jackie quickly finds out that in the fast-paced, start-up world, business is anything but usual.
I’ve seen the cover art for Going Under being flashed all over the place for quite some time now and while it’s bright colors and simple art style always caught my eye, I really had no idea what the game was about. That’s when I caught sight of that oh so eye-catching cover art on Gamepass.
I read the description and watched the trailer, and lo and behold, I found myself drawn this time around to much more than just that colorful cover. The gameplay looked just silly and entertaining enough for me to boot it up and try a few rounds. Then I tried a few more rounds… and then a few more after that.
The base gameplay style is rogue-lite, so you’ll find yourself doing the standard “jump into a level, fight enemies, collect a bunch of power ups, die, rinse and repeat”, and Going Under handles all of that fantastically. Each level has a fun, tongue in cheek theme. The battles are hectic, but control really smoothly. Everything you encounter in each level is randomized right down to where you will find the shops each time, what power ups you’ll acquire, what weapons you’ll be given to use, absolutely everything. So that replayability factor is strong, as it should be in any game of this genre. Not much of a rogue-lite/like if you don’t want to replay it, amirite?
What makes Going Under stand out, however, is that awesome, heavy-handed pour of fizzle infused humor. They honestly hit the nail on the head with the many complaints of today’s youth just trying to make their way in this world, as well as those tried and true tropes about working in a trendy start up company. It’s funny because it’s true. And sad… but also funny! Avocado toast anyone?
I really can’t say I have a lot of complaints when it comes to this game. I mean as I mentioned earlier they nailed the whole “kill me off and then rope me back in” aesthetic and that’s just what you would want from a rogue-type game. The dialogue is fantastic and witty. The artstyle is certainly different, but that muppet style kinda works to be honest. The game is all about making you laugh while you’re having fun and that multi-colored body part, floppy rounded arm stuff does the trick!
I really liked how even after you’ve completed a dungeon you are given tasks by your co-workers that make you want to go back in again. They really got creative and went way beyond the typical “go kill this many enemies, or this type of enemy” kind of quests. Not that those aren’t there as well, but they are well spaced out between the majority of weirder ones like “Eat a sandwich when you don’t need to, or smash a bunch of electronics, or take my dog for a walk”.
Certainly not to be forgotten is that kick ass soundtrack. Show me the physical for that pretty baby and I’ll show you a sale. I’ve got it popping in the background as I write this very moment!
I was lucky enough to be able to play this for free (a.k.a. whatever we pay for GamePass), but this is absolutely a game worth dropping the cash on. It’s colorful. It’s quirky. It’s a fantastic example of what a rogue game should be. So pop open a can of oddly flavored seltzer water and go set fire to a few disillusioned skeletons!