A little bit of upcoming indie goodness for your Friday evening. Skyhill is a survival roguelike that starts on the 100th floor of a hotel. World War III just ended all around you, transforming most of the population into hellish creatures via a bio-weapon. Now you’ve got to get down and get out, though exactly what awaits you at the bottom I don’t yet know. Two reasons for that: it keeps killing me and the demo ends before the 70th floor.
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Each floor is divided into three rooms: left, right and the stairwell. In each can be enemies, containers or the odd NPC. Sometimes there’s a phone or tape hidden inside that lets you know of some threat or item elsewhere in the building, or tells a little of the story of the other inhabitants of the hotel on that fateful day.
Combat is a simple matter of waying options based on chance to hit and damage, then aiming for a body part. It’s the usual risk/reward of more pain caused in harder to hit areas, modified by a stat line and weapon system. You’ll find different armaments lying around the world that will base damage off different stats, while an accuracy one governs the chance of every hit.
It’s simple, but I like it for that. The interface is easy to interact with and you always know which way you’re going: down. Events and encounters are varied enough that it doesn’t get boring, though the simplistic combat can take a bit too long to grind through when you encounter several enemies in a row. There’s a heavy crafting element that involves returning to your room via the elevator and has a lot of options within it, but all limited by what you find on the floors below. You also have to manage your hunger along with your health, which is a good thing to have, but does make me wonder how the protagonist keeps his svelte figure if he feels the need to eat whenever he leaves a room.
The difficulty is fairly random, though there’s an obvious trade-off where you can go deeper, quicker by exploring less and just taking the stairs down on each floor. That seemed like it would probably work okay for the demo floors, but once you get deeper I assume you’ll be outmatched without the items and experience from other rooms.
The demo’s available through Steamand I recommend giving it a shot if you like roguelikes or survival games, while the game itself is out on October 6th. Pre-orders are $14.99/£11.99/€14.99. Let me know below if you give it a shot and what you think.