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UDO Review

UDO Review

UDO (an acronym for Unidentified Drilling Object) is an arcade-style roguelike developed by Blue Firefly Studio and published by Short N Sweet. In this game, you'll be going down a creepy hole with an oversized drill to find gold and see whatever it is at the bottom… if there is one. One quick look at the gameplay trailer, and you'll see how apparent it is that the game was inspired byDownwell, but instead of gunboots, you have a drill. So let’s see what this game has at its deepest depths.

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In your journey down the we- uh, hole, your main ally will be your drill. It can pogo stick off dirt and enemies and dash in all four cardinal directions, provided you have the fuel. You gain more fuel (outside of select skills) by killing enemies or drilling through dirt. Now, I've put plenty of time into Downwell (although I never got past the third level), so going into this blind, I was caught off guard by its similarities but glad for the changes it made.

Going fast is highly encouraged, as killing enemies and destroying big lumps of gold adds to a combo, and bigger combos equal more gold you can spend on skills. Falling down is both exciting and risky, but in UDO, you have much more control over your descent than you'd think. Being able to dash up or to the sides allows you to avoid damage and keep going down, all while building up your combo and collecting gold. While it could use a little more impact, it still feels good to drill through multiple enemies and keep going.

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Along your way down, you will find limited-use items that can help you in your descent, like pocket fuel, a teleporter, a shotgun, or a time manipulator. These items are useful, but I often forget I have them when I do get them, and not all of them are the most helpful in some cases. Like, seriously, you’d think a shotgun would kill more things.

However, there’s a lot more you can do outside of your base abilities. In-between areas, you’ll have a chance to purchase skills, and for every new skill you buy, you can purchase and equip it before you begin your next one. It is limited by deck cost, but you can bring whatever skills you want and experiment with builds. Do you want the ultimate drill, high mobility, or just a bunch of companions to do the work for you? Even with these, you’re not guaranteed to make it to the bottom. There aren’t any permanent upgrades that increase your max health and fuel, so you will actually have to be good at the game.

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Now, I do have some gripes with UDO that should be addressed. It doesn't pause your combo timer if you go and check out any secret rooms, and it also allows enemies to enter from outside, which can lead to unfair damage. I also ran into one or two glitches, such as the health bar being visible on the main menu while I was exiting the game and the shop menu not showing available skins. I even discovered that it is very much possible to teleport and get stuck in a wall, with no other way to get out other than another teleport. Still, it doesn’t really detract from the overall experience.

UDO is just really fun and addicting to get into. It’s fast-paced, and there’s always this “one more try” feeling, maybe with a new deck of starting skills so I could survive longer or just grind some money. It can kick your ass, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

8.50/10 8½

UDO (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.

UDO is a great game if you loved Downwell, with its fast-paced gameplay loop and “one more try” type of feeling after each and every failure.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

Taking all of the AAA games

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