How low can you go?
Having been successfully funded on Kickstarter all the way back in 2013, this charming Metroidvania-style underground adventure has taken some time to see the light of day, but the wait has been worth it. Taking control of a young recruit on their first mission, you venture into the mines in search of missing townsfolk and stumble upon a subterranean world, unfurling an intriguing tale of an ancient cult.
Returning the mislaid populace not only nets you major good guy points, you can also avail yourself of their services, including blacksmithing and wielding magic. This allows for the slow unveiling of the game’s various mechanics1 – in fact, if there’s one word that sums up Chasm, it’s ‘slow’. The varied and colourful cast of adversaries, from pesky bats to boomerang-slinging skeletons, each require their own careful and considered formula of attacks, evades, and jumps, making battles a veritable dance with death, and racing through the labyrinthine levels is sure to be met with a quick demise. Modern novelties such as checkpoints are non-existent here. Instead, you must save at set locations. 2 With its challenging combat and relatively scarce supply of healing items, this cute action platformer feels a lot like Dark Souls done with pixel art.
Each foray into Chasm’s hand-designed catacombs and keeps is unique, thanks to procedurally generated maps. The stitchedtogether sections feel seamless and ensure the game doesn’t get stale should you delve in for a second playthrough. While Chasm doesn’t offer anything particularly new to the genre, it does deliver intricate locations and satisfying swordplay in spades. Anne-Marie Coyle
FOOTNOTES1 You’ll also gain artefacts for traversing levels, like spiked gloves for scaling walls. 2 The warm glow of these safe havens are a tear-inducing sight for even the hardiest warriors.
FORMAT PS4, PS VITA ETA OUT NOW PUB BIT KID, INC. DEV BIT KID, INC.