Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle Early Access Preview

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Claustrophobia is the extreme fear of confined spaces but the only thing it has confined me to is my gaming room. Created alone by Daniel Millward under the banner of The Indie Forge this Strategy, Rogue-Like RPG game ticks all the boxes, adds more boxes and ticks those as well.

This games been illuminated by Steams Green Light project and has gone from strength to strength, after playing for a multitude of hours I still can’t believe this game is in Early Access. It’s a very well polished example of an old school RPG, you get to fully customise your character and choose a handful of starting classes that you can further edit, adjust and make your own with much more content being promised and added on a monthly basis.

Playing this game brings back memory’s of games I played many years ago as you can’t just run around the expansive randomly generated dungeon like a blind fool. You have to think about the statistics of you armour, weapons and how much health you have before opening each door. Picking the Archer I could hit the progressively more difficult enemy’s from range but I was still killed plenty of times but I reanimated another character and headed back into the fray. Even with an ability named “Aim for the Knee” a small homage to The Elder Scrolls titles I was being annihilated and loving every second.

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The Downward Struggle this title may be but it is an exceedingly enjoyable one, breaking barrels, killing enemy’s, deactivating traps to get experience, gold, items/potions, weapons and armour is so rewarding as you yearn to level up to enhance your skills and ability to further your ultimate demise. The levels are beautifully designed, exploration is enjoyable and apprehensive as your peripherals are edged in a fog of war. All the while you hunt for keys to open locked doors and chests in search for the downward stairs to further increase your chance of death or finding an epic piece of loot. The loot and item system in this game is vast and gives you a pleasant surprise when you use a scroll or potion that doesn’t have dire consequences.

You are hampered in your quest by so much more than just enemy’s as traps will set you alight, poison you and cause bleeding. The potions and items will also help and hinder your advance even as i write this my character is down to half-life, surrounded by enemy’s and I’ve drank a disguised armour degradation potion which is seriously going to impede my plight. Obviously saving the game at strategic points is the best way to utilise you progression through the game and prolong the life of your chosen character.

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With a developer who listens to fans/gamers and improves on this ever-expanding title is a breath of fresh air you rarely get from the bigger company’s and something i truly support. Reading the list of upcoming content, story mode, boss battles, more classes and crafting it is going to ascend this game from great to legendary. I honestly can’t praise this game enough and with an ever-growing fan base it will become a true masterpiece.

This game has everything a RPG fan will love and being priced at only £3.50 (full price) should have people flocking to it, Dan at The Indie Forge says he’s studying to become a games programmer but is already one with this level of game. The game scores 10/10 from me and deserves all the support in the world because if this is his first project while he’s learning in a few years what he could create will be groundbreaking, if there’s any ground to break after this title.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@brashgames.co.uk.

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