About This GameCryptark 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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
-Learning About Spooky Aliens
-Technical, believable briefings extrapolating data from artifacts
-Difficult Gameplay (I.e. getting killed frequently on the easist dungeons)
-Futuristic Electronic Music
-Looking at Maps
-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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a short gameplay video I recorded:
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.
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.
What I liked:
What You Need to Know:
Completed in: 5 hours campaign (rogue mode takes 1-2 hours each play through)
Games similar I recommend:
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.
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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.