Developer: Nolla Games
Genre: Rogue-Lite, Action
Price: £13.99 Steam
The rogue-lite, a genre that in a nutshell rewards you after hours of perseverance and dedication to your chosen punishment. The true masters of the art will pummel you into submission eventually giving you that singular golden thread of a perfect run before taking you back to endure more torture, like some mad waiter who’s given you the cutlery but ran away with the main course and forced you to live out some obscure groundhog day where you can’t quite taste the meal.
Developed by Nolla Games, Noita is one of the latest in said genre. Akin to the ilk of Magicite and Deadcells it promises a painful experience from start to finish which at the time of writing I have not had a single successful run in the long string of now 200+ runs and 33 hours. Am I done yet? Nope.
Gameplay involves the player popping into the world as a robed purple figure without much pretence of what’s going on, equipped with 2 wands sent to venture forth into a procedurally generated mine filled with enemies to collect gold for some unknown reason – likely this will get fleshed out later as this is still in early access.
Wands are your main means of offence within the world with a maximum of four able to be held at any one time. Many can be picked up within the dungeon as you explore and can vary wildly from casting tiny bolts of magic which do limited damage to launching a full scale nuclear explosion across the screen that’s happy to rip you to shreds instantly should you be within the blast zone – which as a word of warning certain enemies can also pick up wands.
These wands can also be customised should you reach the end of an area where you essentially level up. Customisation is only limited by what is either in the shop, in your inventory or attached to other wands which you can add and remove to test them out before heading further into the depths. Fancy something that shoots 5 fireballs at once or a bomb that also freezes liquids? The possibilities and combinations are mind boggling with new spells and effects being added regularly through the development process.
Enemies come in a variety of shapes and sizes; starting off quite gentle in the first few stages featuring small bouncing enemies with easy to dodge projectiles all the way to what the hell was that thing oh look there’s the death screen in 3 seconds flat, at least it told me how I died. Every mob I’ve met so far has had different mechanics which is refreshing learning how to defeat or avoid them and provides a unique challenge as well as a possible solution when enemies fight eachother.
With enemies and basic gameplay out of the way its time to get to the meat of what makes Noita stand out through so many others of the genre.
Every pixel in the game boasts its own physics – liquids, dirt, sand, fire, gas, minecarts, rocks, ice, even electricity through liquids creating a very different kind of playpen for the creatively minded. Find a creative way to kill an enemy by kicking a flask of oil and watch it burn or impale it with a falling ice shard and you are rewarded double the gold for your victory. Yet be warned, enemies can end your fun just as easily; one moment of being trapped underwater after an enemy collapsed a roof on me comes to mind and drowning doesn’t take long especially when you accidentally swap to an electric weapon… fun times.
A favourite trick of mine is kicking a minecart and riding said minecart downhill into an unsuspecting chump at the bottom. Bliss.
Noita is an immensely fun and repayable gem that stands out because it deserves to stand out! With solid mechanics and a challenge that will keep even veterans to the roguelike genre satisfied for many an hour.
Sat currently at £13.99 on steam I would recommend Noita to anyone… or at least anyone who is a glutton for punishment.
Go on give the minecart ride a go and tell me it’s not satisfying!