Disc Room Review
At first glance, I thought Disc Room was going to be a light, fun experience more akin to a mobile game than Demon Souls. Man, was I mistaken. Disc Room is a BRUTAL retro-styled action/puzzle game that constantly surprised me and kept me coming back for more punishment, determined to beat the game. In Disc Room, players must battle room after room of gruelling challenges that feel refreshing and unlike any game, I’ve played this year. Disc Room is up there with some of the Devolver greats, such as Hotline Miami and The Messenger, and I can’t wait until everyone gets a chance to play it.
The core gameplay of Disc Room is, well, to dodge discs, but to refer to it as so would be incredibly demeaning. Players will have to avoid discs, which is inevitable, but where the game truly shines is its challenge design. Each room has specific challenges to be completed that will unlock subsequent levels for players to explore. Sometimes these challenges are to survive a certain amount of time, and others can be as wild as “Get eaten by 4 ????,” in which players will have to find the right creature in a room and promptly get eaten by it. This difference of forcing the player to die as a part of progression is just one of the many reasons Disc Room feels so new and refreshing. Every aspect of level design feels deeply connected, and the resulting end product is an incredibly rewarding cohesive experience.
Disc Room is a brilliant display of modern level design. The developers took the core gaming mechanic of “Don’t get hit by that stuff!” and elevated it to new and exciting levels. Unique challenges force players to think outside of the box to find a way to accomplish the task at hand. Specific challenges such as the Pitch-black room offer a terrific change of pace, which, helps keep players engaged when the rather intense difficulty spikes can try players’ patience. Difficulty in Disc Room is also handled brilliantly. While the default settings are quite intense, the game features some incredible accessibility options that make the game enjoyable for anyone to play.
One of the best things about Disc Room is the difficulty and accessibility settings present in the game. Players can adjust the game’s speed at 10% increments from 10-200%, which allows for anyone to enjoy the game and creates a massive skill ceiling for those mad enough to try 200% speed. There are also settings to change details such as blood colour and goal difficulty to help make the game enjoyable for as wide an audience as possible.
Sometimes the rooms in Disc Room can be a bit too much to handle, and that is where power-ups come into play. The game has six power-ups that all function differently and offer some kind of utility to help players get past challenges. Some power-ups such as Dash are almost a necessity in later levels because it provides a brief moment of invincibility. Unfortunately, there are some abilities that, while novel, seems to have no real advantage from a gameplay perspective. Getting a new ability is exciting and pushes the player to keep playing. Sadly when that same power fails to add any real benefit to the player, challenges can get frustrating rather quickly.
While the audio in the game consists of hundreds of saw noises and their correlating death sounds for the player, there is also quite a substantial soundtrack. The in-game music is full of energetic tracks that fit perfectly with Disc Room’s frantic nature. The fast-paced EDM style background music encourages players to keep trying even after being sliced in half by the same Disc multiple times, it is easy to get lost in the loop of “just one more try,” and the game’s audio is a large part of that.
You won’t need an NVIDIA RTX 3080 to play Disc Room, but that doesn’t mean the graphics are anything less than spectacular. The game has a unique and frankly hilarious art style that left me wanting more every time I would experience the game’s brief comic strip style cutscenes. The basic yet expressive art style is perfect for conveying different Disc types and the various mechanics present in each level. There is a large amount of gore in the game that initially is comedic but could be a turn off for some. The gore, while very noticeable, does not take away from the gameplay experience at all and is easily dealt with.
Disc Room Review
- GAMEPLAY - 91%91%
- GRAPHICS - 95%95%
- AUDIO - 95%95%
- ACCESSIBILITY - 95%95%
Disc Room is the best kind of surprise. Modern level design meshes perfectly with classic gameplay principals, and the title delivers hours of challenging fun. At times the game can feel unnecessarily harsh, but in-depth accessibility and difficulty settings make even the most insane levels manageable. Some abilities in the game stand out more than others, and there are clear winners and losers in terms of effectiveness. Overall, the game is a blast to play, and I recommend it to anyone looking for some quick and rewarding gameplay without any serious time investments.