Gaming PC Reviews

99Floors [2018] – REVIEW

ORIGINALLY POSTED JUN.7, 2018.
When you think of difficult video games, you might think of Super Meat Boy, The Impossible Game, Celeste or Cuphead. Well, meet the new challenger: 99Floors. This game has gained a little bit of traction as an extremely difficult game, which has led to a contest in order to see who could be first to complete the entire game. This is something I am definitely not in the run for. Even with its extravagant reward, I feel certain I will never win.

What is it

99Floors is a 2D, dungeon crawling platform game independently developed by Luke Powell. I’m surprised at this game, to be honest. Now, it’s nothing to write home about: To be frank, it’s pretty standard. That being said, there are some things I can say about it.

Difficulty

There has been a contest by the developer with a cash prize if you can be the first person to complete the game. This speaks volumes of how hard the game is as not one person has actually beaten the game. Bear in mind, it ’s been out since May 16, 2018. That may not seem like a long time, but for an indie title that hasn’t ever been beaten, that’s a pretty long time.

Gameplay

After some trial and error, something came to mind: This game wasn’t like most others. Unlike most games available on the PC, 99Floors does away with the traditional WASD keys, mouse and spacebar controls in favor of the arrow, “Z”, and “X” keys. This was something I found difficult to get a grip of. Most PC games put a focus on using WASD, the mouse, and spacebar for nearly everything. Suffice to say, I had a moment where I just wasn’t moving because I was using the WASD.
The combat is clunky but lovable. It’s essentially a big homage to games like the old Castlevania and Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. It’s riddled with enemies nearly everywhere. While the levels are short, there are a ton of enemies that will jump out at you, either flying in the air or crawling on the ground.

Obstacles

There are bombs that manifest out of nowhere or come out after you defeat an opponent. The bombs will do damage to you, so you better watch out. There are a number of obstacles other than enemies and bombs, however, like spike traps and swinging axes that are ready to mess up your day.
There are also treasure chests scattered throughout levels. Some can be opened instantly while others require a key to open them. They will sometimes have gold in them, while others will have a collectible item that will benefit the player in the long-run. Chests that need a key will usually have coins in them as well as a different weapon that can be more, or even less, powerful than your current weapon.

Unlockables

The game features a sum of unlockable characters too. These can be unlocked by collecting coins which can be found by playing through the game and getting as far as you can. Each character or skin is provided with different stats and a different weapon to use at the start.
For example, at the start, you can play as a boy with a wooden sword. If you save enough gold you can then purchase a character with more health, like Bear or Knight.

Graphics

99Floors has just the right aspects to warrant it being classed as modern-day retro game. The game has that classic 8-bit look that some people – including me – love with a passion. There’s something about the design that is appealing and I love it when I see games utilizing this style. 8-bit games have some sort of charm to them no matter how old or new the game turns out to be.

Music

It’s pretty standard to what you’d hear in a pseudo-retro game like this. Chiptune is a genre that tries to emulate the 8-bit style without sacrificing the quality that can come from modern music and without it sounding grating to the ears over time.

Cons

I will say this game won’t be for everyone. If you don’t enjoy games like The Impossible Game then it’s highly likely you won’t enjoy 99Floors. It’s difficult and rather unforgiving as it drags you back to stage one if you are unfortunate enough to get that dreaded “ game over” screen.
The game holds a “dash” maneuver that you can perform by double- tapping the direction you want to go. This can get annoying at times, for example when I’ve dashed into spikes and died while trying to acquire extra health or coins that were just shy of the patch of spikes. There’s also no indication of what picking up some objects do.

Conclusion

I played this game for a good four or five hours and got very little progress made. The farthest I’ve got was to floor six or seven on the first stage. That being said, I found the game to be enjoyable, even if I felt like I was unfairly reaped of seeing the next area from time to time. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys games like The Impossible Game, Ghosts ‘n Goblins or Cuphead. If you’re tight on cash, don’t worry: 99Floors won’tbreak the bank as it’s only $6.99 on Itch.io and their official website. Watch our video review here:
  • 7.5/10
    Score - 7.5/10
7.5/10

Developer | Luke Powell
Publisher | Luke Powell
Game Reviewed on | PC