DROS, a game released on the 20th of July, is a 3D puzzle-platformer game in which you control two characters, Captain and Little Dros. You help them get through different obstacles and advance throughout the levels in the game. It’s story-driven and has multiple collectables scattered in every level, adding the possibility of exploration to the game.
The game’s story is not very interesting: there is a character called The Alchemist who builds machines and creates living creatures. He lives in a tower which is full of Dros: small black creatures that do his bidding. Little Dros, one of the main characters you play as, is a rogue Dros that doesn’t listen to The Alchemist. She escaped from his lab, and in order to survive she needed a Shell, basically something for her soft body to use as a shield. She joined our second character, Captain, regarding him as her Shell. Captain is a bounty hunter who is on a mission he received, trying to steal an item that belongs to The Alchemist. The game also contains a lot of lore that is revealed via dialogues and hidden texts that are scattered throughout the world.
Although the story of Dros is one of its core parts, you can get through the entire game not knowing anything about it. Its story and presentation are very boring and are honestly just a bother most of the time. It has an interesting background, and the premise isn’t that bad, but the prologue is the only part in which the narrative was engaging, as the characters lack proper motivation. The player dialogues also make it even worse, containing grammar and spelling mistakes and being uninteresting and a tad cringe. There isn’t any emotion to the characters and definitely no character development.
The gameplay is fun and has an interesting core mechanic — you control Little Dros and can move her on her own, but to move Captain, you need both characters to be together. Each character has their own abilities and is used differently: Little Dros is quick, can jump, and can connect to something called Dros Ports, and Captain is slow, can’t jump, but can fight and interact with heavy things. The puzzles are very well-designed, providing a challenge and making you think, but still having logic to them and not feeling like the designers just made random decisions. The platforming can be fun but gets boring very fast, as it’s not a challenge at all. There weren’t any segments in which I thought I might fail the platforming, and after a few minutes of it, I just wanted to solve puzzles normally: not because it was bad, but just too easy. DROS also has basic combat in it: you can slash, block, and parry. It’s pretty fun and isn’t hard to pick up at all, making the game more engaging while not taking anything away from it.
The game’s graphics are nothing more than fine: not exciting to look at, but also not appalling. The animations are mostly smooth, but the models can look pretty bad sometimes, never feeling like too much effort went into them. A lot of the visual aspects look like they don’t belong in the world, and everything feels out of place. The lack of attention to what style would fit the game is very obvious and makes the visual aspect of the game much less enjoyable. The colours chosen for the game are pretty bad, although they at least don’t feel as unnatural as the style. There are some interesting and cool 2D designs and the perspective from which the characters are seen is pretty cool for 3D games.
DROS’s sound design isn’t anything memorable in any way — I didn’t hate it and kept the music and effects on, but the moment I stopped hearing it, I forgot every single sound in the game. Scenes don’t feel as important or exciting as they could because of the lack of effort that went into the sound design. It doesn’t trigger any emotions or cause any connections to the world, it’s just there to accompany you, and that’s basically it. There is no voice acting in the game, although that’s completely understandable and fine, as a lot of indie games don’t have that.
Overall, this game is the perfect example of “good idea, bad execution” — the core mechanics are interesting, having two different controllable characters that are dependent on each other, and both have different abilities. Some gameplay aspects are good, and some less so, but DROS struggles with everything else, containing awful dialogue and an uninteresting story, and the graphics and sounds aren’t doing anything to help it at any point.
In verdict, the game isn’t a particularly good one, although definitely not the worst. It doesn’t really motivate you to continue playing except if you really like the gameplay. It’s not a bad experience, but an underwhelming one.
DROS (Reviewed on Windows)
Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.
DROS isn’t bad, but it isn’t good either, the game has a few more negatives than positives, but to be honest, it mostly has “neutrals” and is extremely uninteresting.