On Stream:http://store.steampowered.com/app/344740/CRYPTARK/

About This Game

Cryptark is a 2D roguelike shooter that challenges players with boarding and neutralizing procedurally generated alien starships to earn income for their Privateering enterprise. Purchase improved equipment and weapons to tackle more dangerous targets, but be cautious as failure will result in a loss of investment and profit. The decaying alien arks will defend themselves from intruders with a wide arsenal of cyborg monstrosities, robotics, and security systems, all obstacles that must be surpassed to achieve victory, the destruction of the ship’s central System Core.

  • Complex, procedurally generated alien space-hulks to board and defeat.
  • Challenging, re-playable campaign that tests your strategy and tactics.
  • Over 70 weapons and items, including frag-cannons, tractor-beams, flamethrowers and nukes.
  • High-score leader boards to rank your skills.
  • Fully lip-synced voice acting brings your fellow shipmates to life.
  • Blood-pumping soundtrack perfect for intense firefights.

Game Wiki: http://cryptark.gamepedia.com/Cryptark_Wiki
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: Dual-core processor (Intel Dual Core 2.0 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 5200+ 2.6 GHz)
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce 9600 GS, Radeon HD4000, Shader Model 3.0, 512 MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 700 MB available space
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PandACT

Posted: January 2, 2016
Early Access Review

This is an analytical review, which tries very hard to be unbiased. If I liked the game, I’ll try to give you the positive and negative. Though I love these devs, I won’t try to sell you this game.

Gameplay & Strategy
On the matter of strategy: you can go reeeaaally deep, but they didn’t make it necessary. On a rogue-lite, you don’t make next-to-impossible levels. However, there’s still a great deal necessary. Ship design and course are a big deal, to be sure. Should I destroy the alarms, or is it too risky for my hull? Should I destroy the repair system with one of my four missiles, or save it for more defended systems? Should I add an extra 20K with a remote nuke, or 10K with smaller nuke-rockets? A shocking amount of strategy, and about as much as it seems at first sight. (Perhaps a little more)
I almost didn’t buy this because, somehow, I got the wrong idea about gameplay from the trailer. It is strategically isolating enemies, and as much of a stealth-game as it is a bullet-hell. There are infinite different styles of gameplay, due to the customization of the suits.
One con: in order to have the style of gameplay you want, you first need to get the weapon(s) you want. Dying removes these.
Certain things are unplannable, and INSANELY FRUSTRATING to me. That one mine that doesn’t show up on the radar and boom, boom, BOOM! You’re dead. Shiny, expensive ship and your plan blown to pieces. One bad move can set off a massive chain reaction that kills you instantly. Also, encountering new things can be dangerous. A new system or drone can blow you badly off course. (Sometimes literally.)
The only other con I can think of: Bugs. The infamous invincible minelayer, or the perma-shield can hamper gameplay badly. The good thing? These will be gone in a month. The devs are great at killing bugs, and not very good at making them.

Gameplay: 9/10

Replayability
A rogue-lite is less frustrating for some, and less fast-paced for others. The amount of replayability depends on how much you like the genre, but here’s my opinion. (Which prefers a complete rogue.)
The game will force you to play over and over, as it’s a rogue-lite. With 10-15 hours, I still haven’t got to the end. You are likely to get a completely different experience on every play-through due to the massive amount of content already. The maps are TRULY randomly generated (With their share of bugs), and about 15 different systems that you can encounter, so you are rarely faced with a ship that’s the same. You can unlock new weapons as you play, and I KNOW I haven’t seen half of those.
The one thing I don’t like is the permanent unlock system. While infiltrating these ships, you can meet special objectives on certain, not-very-rare-at-all ships. Meeting these objectives earns you an artifact. Two artifacts unlock a suit. One unlocks a skin. No unique ways, no secret events, no special things for special suits. In most rogue-likes, there’s some daring mission that’s off to the side, or perhaps a buried secret that you have to discover and reach. Nope. You find yourself without a lot of purpose once you’ve unlocked everything… I was almost glad for the bug that wiped my data.

replayability: 8/10

Other
Early access is usually a bonus for me, and this is 90% finished JUST AFTER coming out! Don’t be suspicious of this early access title. With only 500 or so players, this is definitely a bonus.
On the matter of bugs: They have some. The problem is they’re abundant. I’ve got my progress wiped once and crashed (Without losing anything… Cheers for autosave!) at least 10 times. A nuisance, but I’m willing to put up with it for now.
Graphics: so insanely good, that I had to turn it waaaaaaaaaay down to avoid crashing and immense lag. It still looks really, really good, and sadly lags slightly.

Overall
9/10 (And I’m serious. This is among the best of my games.)

Drawbridge

Posted: October 10, 2015
Early Access Review

Review written for update 0.25

Fun little space mech shooter Where you fly in to disable old alien ship security systems so that big companies can salvage the derelicts for valuable parts and materials. Each mission will have you running against the clock and your ammo count as you tally every second wasted and each piece of hardware you carry against the mission payout. You need to be quick, careful, and keep moving.

Some of the following points are objective fact, some are just my opinions.

Good:
  • Voice acting is clear and character looks suit their voices, the portraits also lip-sync well.
  • Flexible 4-hardpoint loadout system lets you have any amount of any gun and fire them all at once if you want.
  • A nice assortment of consumable items to keep you going and help fight tactically.
  • Free weapon testing in your hangar lets you get a good feel for your loadout without paying anything.
  • Handy bonus objectives for each derelict let you reap more rewards.
  • Entering the map/waypoint screen mercifully pauses the action and allows you to get your bearings.

Neutral:
  • Some of the small sentry drones have terrible aim when charging at you and will sometimes go off at an angle to smack into a wall instead. They are hard to hit though, so they still pose a threat.
  • The alien ship areas look good, but can easily hide drones and turrets along the walls that you can’t detect until they start moving to attack.
  • The minimap is clear but small, a button to enlarge it would be helpful. An map marker indicator arrow or ring around your mech or reticle would help too, as you don’t always have time to find the tiny dotted line somewhere in the bottom corner of the screen.
  • Debris is both a blessing and a curse as the parts block both your shots and those of the enemy. Shoot and move for a better angle to avoid getting blocked. It all looks great, but it’s easy to confuse an enemy ship for a piece of scrap.
  • Some of the bonus objectives can be hard to the point of sillyness (loadout armour 3 or less, for example) but if you can pull them off and survive they usually pay out well.
  • Visual style is fairly clear cut but weapon effects have too much glow on them, You can’t tell if there are enemy bullets flying towards you behind your own.

Bad:
  • The mission clock time limit seemed a little tight to me on the early missions. In the later ones you get more time allowance and you feel like there’s room on the clock to breathe.
  • Explosives appear to be weak and generally pricey for the ammo you get.
  • The map waypoint system doesn’t always account for doors or open gaps in the hull you can get through, so it’ll only give you a helpful course about half the time. Being able to set a series of waypoints in order to plot the course you want to take would be helpful.
  • Alarm lasers are hard to spot if you’re distracted by threats, this makes it difficult to avoid tripping the alarms while you zip around in combat, causing enemy reinforcements to converge on your position.
  • Gamepad mode is on by default. If you try to configure your controls without turning it off and click one of the button bindings you won’t be able to get out of control settings without a gamepad plugged in unless you forcibly quit the game. Hopefully the devs will make the escape key back out of setting controls even in gamepad mode to fix this.
  • Your pioneer suit will immediately feel fragile and there are no variants to pick something that suits your style, faster movement but fewer hardpoints, for example. You can increase armour but it quickly becomes expensive per point and doesn’t help you much for the cost.
  • When you die the entire derelict gets left behind, ignoring all the work you did to shove you into a new vessel. You also get slapped with a fee and receive nothing for your work, so you can literally go broke and while making no progress. The only benefit is that you keep whatever tech you grabbed.
  • Some weapons cost more but perform worse (I’m looking at you, melee saw).
  • EMP weaponry costs more and stuns your targets briefly but doesn’t appear to do any damage. I hope you brought a melee weapon to save money on ammo.
  • Enemies will quickly overwhelm you on some ships if you don’t destroy the drone factories first. Once active they can produce too quickly to keep the numbers down and kill the spawner.
  • Enemies float through doors as though they weren’t there. This occurs for both locked and unlocked doors, which is frustrating when you are trying to get somewhere but can’t because there are drones flying through the door you wish to open. Doors should be obstacles to AI as well.
  • Some ship systems just take too long to kill on a time limit because of the limited opportunity they present to damage them, and your weapons generally aren’t high powered enough to knock them out fast within that window.
  • The screen gets far too busy during the later stages. There is just is just so much gunfire and stuff all around that you can’t hope to properly see threats coming at you.
  • The game is fairly short. Sure things are randomized so you can do several playthroughs without running into the same ship, but for the most part the experience will be very samey until the devs add in more main and unique objectives than just "kill the ship’s brain" every time.
  • No story to speak of, which makes the missions feel unimportant except to fill your bank account. Plenty of room for rival contractors and corporate espionage to interfere with your zero-g picnic and develop intriguing extra mission choices should the devs decide to add more content.

Bugs:
  • Due to an unknown glitch you will occasionally get stuck on empty environment and be unable to move except at a snail’s pace. Firing high-recoil weapons helps push you a bit in reverse but this is hardly a worthwile solution as you will quickly expend all your ammo and get nowhere.
  • The ship generation system sometimes makes hull gaps which seem big enough on the map but are in fact too small to fit through, this causes wasted travel time and having to deal with security on the way that you could have avoided. Worse still it can deploy systems and pickups in these locations, buried in the walls or impassable crawlspaces. Hopefully this problem will be ironed out in future updates.
  • Sometimes the security cage protecting door lockdown control snaps closed long before you can hack through. The first time I tried to disable the systems the third gate snapped shut on me by the time I pressed the first two symbols to hack it open. This happened several times in a row before I gave up. On a later mission I managed to hack the gates open just fine, so I’ll assume it’s a bug.

Overall a good game in my opinion, definitely one for people who like fast and dicey combat. I honestly went bankrupt on the second ship, dying over and over just short of victory, but I got to play with some cool toys at least and had fun with shotguns.

Recommendations
I think the game is good fun for a thrash about but not much more at the moment. I would suggest that others hold off until the developers add more to the gameplay. If anyone does pick this up I recommend dual Zipguns, Shotguns or Frag Shotguns for a main weapon choice and Frag Grenades as an effective explosive.

There are some cheats in this game if you can find them, which will help you take that loadout you always wanted. *cough* "console" *cough*

I hope to see some fixes and new features soon.

Edit: I have removed the notes about door keys because I may have misjudged how they work. I currently believe that keys aren’t tied to specific sets of doors and holding a door key allows you to unlock any single locked door (red on the map).

Kenobi Lives

Posted: June 23, 2017
If you like three, and hate none of the following….
-Managing Money
-‘Mechs
-‘Mech Customization
-Spooky Aliens
-Learning About Spooky Aliens
-Collecting Artifacts
-Technical, believable briefings extrapolating data from artifacts
-Cyberpunk
-Privateering(legal piracy)
-Space
-Difficult Gameplay (I.e. getting killed frequently on the easist dungeons)
-Palpable Atmosphere
-Futuristic Electronic Music
-Looking at Maps
-Pixel Art
-The videogame ‘Brigador’

…you should consider this game.

This is the most enjoyable game I’ve played recently. Great concept.

My only complaint is not the difficult gameplay, which I find endering. It’s my inability to equip my ‘mech off the bat, and how restarting the campaign resets all progress aside from unlocked suits/relics.
I’d honestly love a budgeted start feature where the equipment and ‘mech you choose can only be so expensive(i.e. 200K initial loadout pool budget, and the guns unlock just like the ‘mechs except no relics are required and you just need to get a kill with one to perma-unlock it)

This is one of the four best purchases I’ve made on Steam.
(The others being Stardew Vallley, Brigador, and Divinity: Dragon Commander)

Kemo

Posted: October 7, 2015
Early Access Review

Introduction

Cryptark is a challenging new rogue-like action game from Alientrap. In Cryptark you play as the mech pilot for a Privateering company who have recently received a contract to take over what is known as a Cryptark space-hulk. But you can’t just take this Cryptark on straight away! You must first take over smaller alien space-hulks to earn more money and unlock better gear.

Presentation

If you’ve played Apotheon or Capsized then you know that Alientrap make some great looking games, Cryptark does not disappoint. The almost cartoon-y style that they’ve gone for with Cryptark fits it perfectly and everything, from the giant space-hulks to the tiny repair bots, look absolutely fantastic. Some of the visual effects in particular look great, such as the napalm weapon that can be seen in one of the screenshots on the store page. The menu and UI are both clean, simple and easy to navigate making this game’s presentation excellent in all departments.

Gameplay

A game of Cryptark takes place over seven missions, six smaller space-hulks and then the Cryptark itself. Every time you progress to a new mission you’ll be given a choice between four different space-hulks of varying levels and classes. The highest level space-hulks with the most difficult classes will offer far greater rewards for beating them but will obviously be significantly more difficult to beat. Since you start with a budget of $500k sometimes you have no choice but to take on these incredibly difficult missions if you want to avoid running out of money which ends the game.

Once you’ve chosen which space-hulk you’d like to take on you travel to it in your little ship where you can choose a loadout and test your weapons before going into battle. Each space-hulk has several different systems, such as shield generators and drone factories, on-board so the next step is to decide which system you want to take out first and where you want to enter the space-hulk. As far as I know the only system which you absolutely have to take out is the shield system since it defends the core but taking out other space-hulk systems will make it far easier to eventually take out the core, specifically the drone factories and alarm systems.

How much you get paid for capturing a space-hulk depends on several things, the most obvious being how tough it is. There are some other variables which seem to differ mission-to-mission but there is one worth noting, how long it takes you to beat the mission. Depending on the level of the ship you’ll be given a certain amount of time to capture the space-hulk within, if you manage to capture it during this time you’re awarded a substantial amount of bonus pay which is incredibly helpful. I know a lot of people aren’t fans of time limits in games, I’m certainly not, but I actually found that the time you’re given to complete the mission for these bonuses is very generous, I never went over the time limit and I’m not particularly good at the game.

Customisation

While you can’t change your physical appearance in Cryptark, there’s a fair amount of customisation when it comes to what weapons you take with you on missions. Your mech has four weapon hardpoints as well as four slots for support items (such as hull repairs) and you start off with a few weapons to choose from. As you explore different space-hulks you find alien technology which can be collected, the company hiring you to capture the Cryptark gives you new weapons in exchange for these alien technologies dotted about on the space-hulks so you quickly unlock new weapons for your arsenal. Weapons aren’t cheap though so you have to keep an eye on how much you’re spending otherwise you’ll very quickly end up losing the game with no money.

Audio

Cryptark’s audio is pretty much flawless across the board. The voice acting for the characters in the game is excellent and very believable. The sound effects are all great and sound pretty realistic. Lastly the sound track of the game is very good and fits well with the action packed gameplay. It is worth mentioning that the game is very loud, you’re going to want to turn down your speakers or headphones before playing.

Miscellaneous
  • Cryptark is an incredibly hard game, I generally start failing missions on the third or fourth mission and I haven’t had much luck getting to the end of the game. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just worth keeping in mind if you’re not a fan of particularly difficult games
  • I noticed one or two typos in the menus and in the game, nothing major but it’s still a bit irritating

Here’s a short gameplay video I recorded:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTMmdAbxM58

Verdict

Worth Purchasing.

Cryptark is an excellent rogue-like action game with a great art style, fun yet challenging gameplay and quite a lot of replay value. If you’re a fan of Alientrap’s other work or you just like 2D rogue-like games in general, chances are you’re going to have a lot of fun with this one.

Review Copy Provided.

No drama, Just Reviews.

El K.

Vivian H. /pol/nareff

Posted: August 29, 2017
Probably the biggest few hours of enjoyment i’ve had in a while.

Overall Cryptark is a fantastic experience and a refreshing take on either (or both) the Roguelike and / or Twinstick shooter genre. The plot is very laid bare from day 0. You are a mercenary crew contracted by agent smith looking fellers to assist in securing an alien flotilla known as the Cryptark. Your main task is to pave a way through numerous inactive or partially disabled segments of the fleet in the form of ships with a specific layout or feature attached to them. These range wildly from Warships, to Mining vessels, to Ghost class scout ships.

Along the way, you’ll encounter the remnants of the fleet’s AI defense that was supposed to help keep this whole operation together, but some terrible tragedy happened here, and this is made evident in the form of Artifacts strewn about various ships. These artifacts are the main pieces of story aside from firsthand observation, and i won’t spoil anything beyond this, but it hints at something very eerie, and i love those types of stories that basically make you want to know more as it unfolds bit by bit, so 10/10 there and the whole little cutscene interjection where a crewmember basically explains what it was or is, or what it did is a very very nice touch to the overall feel.

The procedural theme of a fleet devoid of life is very well portrayed, and the variety is huge. Going from excessive space hulk like floating fortresses to numerous smaller ships on the same "map". Variety is great, enemy variation is solid, but felt a bit underwhelming, though that’s not to say there might be things to come.

As you clear the way for your contractor, you’ll be facing numerous dangers, and are rewarded for clearing these in specific manners. These are sort of sub objectives across the entire campaign and the whole risk vs reward factor kicks in insanely hard here, and couldn’t have been done any better in it’s environment.

Weapon and item variety is great as well. I’ve yet to see everything there is and that’s with 17+ hours clocked, but sadly not the binding of isaac proportions i was secretly hoping for.

The main theme and overall visual and audial aesthetics are done fantastically, and you really will want to check out the soundtrack for the entire game on it’s own even if you don’t plan to play this. The art shows effort and reflects the entire setting of the game in the best way possible. Depicting advanced spacecraft with a terrible sense of dread right from the start is the most solid thing i’ve seen in years. The environment literally talks to you and you start to see things the way the game was intended to portray them, and very few games get this so incredibly right.

Gameplay wise i’ve yet to encounter any bugs, but some were mentioned. There’s nothing too advanced or over the top here, but what’s there is properly done. You’re later on given the option to select more diverse suits and loadouts and this all adds towards the general experience. There’s something for everyone here and that’s probably one of the game’s main strengths. Nothing feels over or underpowered and the few that do self-balance in a genius way.


In the end, the only real issue i had with this game was the overall length. It’s good as it is, but i was so hoping for more. That said, Alientrap and the team that worked on this deserve a big round of applause for creating a solid hybrid between 2 immensely loved genres for myself personally.

So if you’re a fan of either or both, feel free to check this out. I sure as heck reccomend you do 🙂 As an afternote, please do not bother with the leaderboards, as they are (almost per default) completely littered with cheating idiots.

Solid 9/10.

calibrojosh10

Posted: July 29, 2017
Product received for free

What I liked:
  • Challenging enemies with different patterns that require tactics to defeat
  • Lots of cool weapons and mechs that mix the game up
What You Need to Know:
  • The game’s overall game is broken up into 3 parts that I feel all need to be played to fully enjoy the game. The first part is called the campaign, that is taking over 6 ships with an economy attached with side objectives and a timer that will reward or penalize you on how much money you get. Here you lose when you can’t afford to buy your gear every mission. This will happen you’re first few tries. So dying multiple times( depending on money) will have you start the campaign over.

  • I don’t play many rogue-likes. I do know that they usually have progression even after death. Usually small upgrades or money kept over. This really doesn’t have that. You die or loss all your money depending on what mode you are playing, you’ll start a new game.

  • They game has artifacts that you get(usually hard side objectives in campaign or in boxes to pick up in rogue mode) that unlocks new mech suits for rogue mode, that offer a lot of different starting weapons, abilities, that is where the replayability imo is at. You have mechs that slow time, cloaking, fire damaging boost, full shields each with weapons that complement their playstyle or theme. So getting at least half of the total artifacts will unlock all them. The rest is used to get new coats of paint for each mech.

  • Next is my personal favorite, rogue mode. Here you can choose a starting mech suit, more unlocked from artifacts. Here you have no money, timer or weapons that you buy. You collect guns and items in the 5 ships you go through. This forces you to replace weapons when out of ammo. You get to see more of the weapons this way and is the only way to use other mechs.

  • The game in the later levels ramp up difficulty with ships having multiple of every system and respawning tons of enemies with the end levels that it might seem unfair. I do think that it limits what you weapons you should bring with you. I brought 100 nuke grenades the first time to finally beat it.


  • Last is the shortest and feels like it should have been at the end of the campaign. But forcing you to beat the rogue mode to get this makes sense (it the real meat of the game). Her you fight other mech bosses and small mech minions with abilities and weapons similar to you. This is the official final level of the campaign.

  • The game becomes easier once you understand each enemy’s patterns and what systems you should take out first, so there is learning on your part. I do think it’s a weird way to structure a game to be played breaking up and changing the modes, but I enjoyed it, offering 2 ways to play. It will be a short game as rogue-likes go. Once you get all artifacts, there is no real reason to continue to play unless you haven’t tried every gun out.

  • Overall the game is shorter than I thought it would be labeling itself as rogue-like. I did play more rogue mode as the game does offer some challenge and play each of the 8 mechs available was fun to test out. (Stealth was fun, but harder in later ships) The weapon variety is really nice; I just wish I could bring gadgets and have more options as well; because I would always seemed to be forced to bring repair packs as they were the only really good ones. I would say the item choice is not up to par with most rogue-likes, but still a great game

My Score:
B

Paid: $11
Completed in: 5 hours campaign (rogue mode takes 1-2 hours each play through)

Games similar I recommend:
  • Capsized
  • NeuroVoider
  • Apotheon
  • Cortex Command

Endyo

Posted: October 23, 2017
Cryptark may look like just another twin stick shooter on the surface, and if you take a random slice of the gameplay, that’s most likely what you’re going to see. However, underneath the blasting away of alien defenses is a game that actually requires some tactical pacing and strategic planning for an engaging and fulfilling roguelite experience.

”Tough but fair”

The phrase “tough but fair” gets thrown around in a lot of scenarios and in just about any game that has a base difficulty level can be perceived by many as ‘hard’, yet I think for Cryptark it is more applicable than in a lot of titles. The difficulty doesn’t necessarily come from the challenge of you managing the ‘twin stickness’ of the controls with precision aiming and movement, it comes more from the core tenets of the game, resource and money management. This differs a bit between the main two game modes, so I’ll try to outline that first. The main campaign has you and your ship contract cronies loading up your flying/floating armored suit with weapons and heading into a large partially derelict ship full of automated defenses and mechanical enemies that want to tear you to pieces. This is done with the main goal of destroying the ship’s core and salvaging the rest of the ship for a large payout. There are some secondary goals such as destroying (or sparing) specific systems within the ship (these are what control the various defenses) or not using specific types of weapons on that level. The secondary goals can provide a much-needed bonus of cash in the process.

So why do you need all of this money? Well, it costs money to load out your armored suit, and to add armor to it, along with each weapon and its ammo, and of course any extra items you take along like health kits and keys. In essence, you have to pay up front for your entire loadout in hopes of making a profit in completing the level. If you die in the process, unlike other roguelite games, you aren’t immediately finished with the run. You move on to the next set of levels minus much of your profits and plenty of penalties for the loss. Officially losing is only the result of going broke. This adds a meaty layer to the process where you have to determine not only the best way to get to the core effectively, but how you can do that efficiently and make the most money without dying.

”The best laid plans…”

Something that seems to be a bit overlooked in the marketing of Cryptark is just how important it is to plan your moves well ahead of time. Even when the♥♥♥♥♥♥hits the fan and you’re running for your life with the hope of having the chance to survive and come up with a new course of action. Each level gives you a choice of four ship hulks to assault and upon highlighting them, you get to see the secondary missions, types of systems and enemies inside, the amount you receive for being successful, and a number representing difficulty – though this can barely be considered all that accurate. This means you get to decide based on your current available resources, what sort of mission you will take. Once in the mission you have to pick your loadout from your available weapons, along with things like ammo, armor, and other devices, and then look at a map with the ship’s hull and interior and the locations of each system (assuming it doesn’t have a signal jammer). Then it’s up to you to plan what route you’ll take, what systems you’ll attack, and what you can do without blowing all of your cash. Selecting a location or system will give you the shortest route to it, so it’s definitely a good idea to plan accordingly and revisit the map often once inside to make sure you aren’t lost in the dangers of the labyrinthian hulks. Taking a minute or two can really mean the difference between you being successful in Cryptark or failing miserably.

”But wait, there’s more!”

The campaign isn’t the only game mode available. I can’t say much for the co-op mode, but the Rogue mode is a more ‘roguelite-like’ design that has you making use of many of the same core mechanics I mentioned above. You start out with your basic loadout for your selected armored suit and battle through several randomly generated levels scavenging for new weapons, ammo, health kits, and other equipment as the difficulty gets higher each time. You carry over your ammo and health amounts between each level meaning it can be very important to load up in the earlier levels, as toward the end you’ll really be desperate for those resources. While it’s functionally very similar to the campaign, it ends up playing significantly differently. You don’t have any alternative objectives and whether or not you explore the bulk of the ship in the level is up to you. Sometimes the best choice is to simply go straight for the core and knock it out ASAP rather than risk taking unnecessary damage, but then it may be much more advantageous for you travel around looking for the best weapons and upgrades even if it costs you ammo and health. It makes for a more tactical rather than strategic experience, which can be even more fun in some cases.

Do we have a winner?

Cryptark is relentlessly challenging. It takes a pretty simple concept and gives you a false sense of security in thinking you can just will your way forward in the game, but then smacks you down if you dare to rush forward without knowing what to do and where to go. For myself, I did eventually seem to establish some ‘best practices’ for what I needed to do in any given situation, but after several hours I’m still thrown many curveballs that send me back to the drawing board. You may do well playing Cryptark if you’re good at twin stick shooters, and you may even have fun, but to really enjoy it – you also have to have a taste for games that require some strategic planning and critical thinking. It’s easy to recommend this Cryptark, but I’m completely sure there will be a group of people turned off by the game with the assumption that it was just a cool alien blasting game.

If you’d like to see more of my reviews, check out my curator page here: http://store.steampowered.com/curator/28346672-Endyo-Gaming/

Wolf of Dresden

Posted: November 16, 2016
Early Access Review

Love the idea but I just can’t enjoy the game, given how quickly it ramps up the difficulty and how lop-sided the economic engine is. The game offers you wonderful toys but then snatches them away by making them too expensive to use while the enemy ships scale in difficulty logarithmically. There are just too many pressures placed upon the player at all once for me to find the experience fun – I don’t need a time attack, score attack, roguelike where there is no incentive to find better gear because I can’t afford to use any of it.

thefeint

Posted: August 21, 2017
I wish that I enjoyed this game – it has all of the elements that ought to make a game that I’d enjoy a lot: procedurally generated maps, the same manner of strategic targeting of important subsystems that I liked in FTL (adding item drops into the mix, as well), greatly varied enemy types/behaviors that require very different weapons and/or tactics to eliminate, well designed & varied equipment, etc.

But I don’t enjoy it, for a number of reasons: everything has the same color scheme. This makes the levels visually interesting, but makes it a huge painful eyesore to try and make the strategic decisions & tactical maneuvering needed just to survive, let alone progress/succeed. Infinite enemies means you’re always in action, fighting something – except that ammunition is extremely limited. Energy weapons & melee weapons allow you to get by without consuming your precious resources, but that’s the thing – you’re consuming what is basically your only resource, besides health. So you are always in a race, even when there isn’t a timer making it more of a race. This leads to reckless gameplay that is constantly punished. Which brings up the next point – you’re punished incredibly hard for minor maneuvering issues that you might have no way of avoiding, depending on the relatively random layout. The number of times I’ve been trapped by a nuke, unable to navigate through the blinding explosion’s radius, with no recourse whatsoever is too damn high already. The heavy emphasis on action leads to some very anti-rogue-like gameplay – a small amount of planning is required, true, but any more than that is actively punished as you progress.

I know with a higher level of game mastery, the problem of attrition will be reduced. But there isn’t much incentive to do so – you unlock different starting ships for Rogue mode, but you can’t customize them aside from a paint job, and you’ll never improve them. So while I don’t regret my purchase – I like a lot of the ideas and implementation – and I do see a lot of reasons why some would enjoy it, overall I don’t recommend it, as it isn’t structured in a way that is rewarding for people trying to learn how to play better.

TheBeefiest

Posted: December 28, 2015
Early Access Review

This is a rare good example of Early Access gold:

The game is very functional and possibly early game feature complete already.

Very few bugs experienced so far.

Great Art, original concept, well executed.

Really smart gameplay, it is not just random, but mission bonuses want you to do a very specific difficult to accomplish thing based on what the level is like.

The time limit doesn’t just stress you out for no reason, it actually just limits what kind of extra goodies you can win and makes you focus on a specific tactical plan.

Highly recommended

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