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[Vita/PS4] Downwell Review

Downwell Logo

Downwell is a game that, as stated by its name, has you playing as someone falling down a well. Sounds easy? Well, there are a ton of hazard throughout the descent, so this will not be a pleasure ride! Downwell captures the spirit of retro 8-bit games with its almost Metroid setting and is even Cross-Buy between the PS Vita and PlayStation 4 versions.

Downwell is a curious game about a young person venturing down a well in search of untold treasures with only his Gunboots for protection. Make your way further and further down into the darkness filled with nasty creatures and mysterious secrets to collect the spectacular red gems scattered about the rocks. Step into precariously placed shops and buy some helpful items or level up between levels to battle well-dwelling monsters and uncover hidden caves filled with riches and relics. No two trips down the well are ever the same!

Downwell – Launch Trailer


Downwell’s gameplay is as simple as it gets: you are going down a well, and you can break your fall and go slower by pressing the X button which also shoots bullets below you using your trusty Gunboots, allowing you to defeat any enemy in your path. The bullets aren’t infinite, and you’ll soon notice that they need to be saved for getting out of a dangerous situation here and there, or otherwise you’ll be in deep trouble (pun intended) when you least expect it! Luckily, they’ll automatically recharge as soon as you hit solid ground.

Downwell - 1

Some safe and bonus zones are scattered throughout the levels, and the loot there will definitively help your descent. Also, after each level, you can select an upgrade, which is also mighty helpful! Oh and Downwell is a roguelike, so loose all you hit points and you’ll be back to the very first level without any of the upgrades you have collected!

For its presentation, the game showcases a retro 8-bit look with a near-monochrome palette. Other color palettes can be unlocked, which allows you to change the game color background in a similar fashion of what the Super GameBoy used to do back in the day.

Downwell - 2


Final Thoughts

No game ever made me feel like I was going down a Metroid cavern like Downwell. This is a great game which was fun to play and was very addictive thanks to its “one last game” pull. The trophies are varied, and some of them require great skill to achieve, so be ready to dive in!

If you’re not convinced yet, Downwell is also a small download (around 50MB for the Vita and Playstation 4 versions), and it is available at a budget price…. and is also Cross-Buy!

[review pros=”Fun and addictive
Roguelike mechanics will please fans of the genre” cons=”Nothing to say against” score=78]

Cost: $4.99 (Cross-Buy Playstation 4/Vita)

PSN Game size: 52MB

You can purchase Downwell on the PSN right here.

This review is based on a PS4/Vita copy of Downwell provided by Devolver Digital.