Going down, gunboots blazing
£2.29 Developer GHI Media, downwellgame.com
Works with iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Version 1.0.2
Downwell starts as a fun but tough game as you blast enemies with your gunboots, inching a little further down the well each time before the demons get you. Then you realise your gunboots aren’t just weapons, but explosive air brakes. You shoot less, bounce more, and chain together increasingly audacious combos.
Downwell is a masterclass in design, crisp aesthetics and crunchy feedback. Like Spelunky – with which it also shares a composer – it’s full of discoveries and choices, where every weapon is potentially doubleedged. Will you sacrifice your laser beam for health? Feast on enemy corpses? Turn bullet casings back into bullets? The randomised level design and distribution of power‑ups forces you to master every weapon and strategy to survive.
There’s always a new way to play, and even if you somehow reach the bottom there are high scores and speed runs to chase. It’s a bottomless well of possibilities. Alan Williamson
Not just another pretentious pixel art platformer: it’s one of the best games of the year, on any device.
Beneath the deceptively simple visuals lies a deep and fiendishly hard game.