It’s my turn to take on the So I Tried... series, and I think you all know the score by now. I’ll take a game that I have never tried before and play it for a solid half an hour, no matter how much I hate it, or how poorly I perform. Maybe I’ll find a new game to lose myself in; maybe I’ll find one to gather dust on my shelf. Either way, I decided to give the PC version of Undertale a go.
What I thought it was
Judging from some of the screenshots and the fact that Undertale was made in GameMaker: Studio, I’m not expecting anything technologically unique or even vaguely impressive. What I am expecting is a game that plays with mainstream conventions and offers an experience reminiscent of the two-dimensional RPGs of yore. I’ll be honest, I’ve listened to some of the soundtrack already, and I’m pumped!
What it actually was
A light-hearted retro-style RPG that sees you take on the role of a child that has plunged into a world inhabited by monsters of ambiguous intent. The sunflowers wanted to eat my soul and demonic vegetables cackled incessantly as they tried to give me 1 of my 5 a day. The combat phases are bizarre yet ingenious as the game enables the player to dodge every attack and spare every enemy; I genuinely feel as though I’m playing as Alice trapped in a dangerous, yet tameable wonderland.
Will I keep playing?
My God, yes! Undertale takes a simplistic engine and some well-worn conventions and uses them to create something charmingly quaint and unique in today’s market. The music, the jokes and even the colour palette itself could have been torn straight out of a 90s RPG. It walks a fine line between being threatening and innocent, and I’m excited at the prospect of seeing those boundaries blurred further as I progress through a world that is really creative: there’s only one way to find out where this level of whimsical design will eventually take me.