A few weeks ago, there was a Weekly Humble Bundle sale for Roguelike games. Roguelike games comprise one of my favorite genres. I like games that give you a lot of replayability, and nothing can truly offer that like a randomly generated game that’ll be different every time you play it. The bundle had a few titles I was interested in that may eventually get their own posts, like Hack, Slash, Loot and Paranautical Activity. I also got access to another copy of The Binding Of Isaac: Wrath of the Lamb, despite already owning and having 200 hours invested in it. However, the game I was most interested in was Teleglitch: Die More Edition. Teleglitch is a top-down Roguelike shooter with survival horror elements. It features some very unique pixel art which, when combined with the top-down view, makes for a unique experience as far as perspective and visibility are concerned. The game’s trailer gives you a good feeling for what it’s like.
You start off each run in a small room where you’ve supposedly been hiding for a few weeks since everything went to shit and the people in the military complex with you turned into monsters. Having run out of food, you’re left with no choice but to venture forth. Right off the bat you have a pistol with a few clips, a couple of explosives, and you can pick up the empty food cans in your starting room. You also always have a knife if you want to get up close and personal. From there you have to travel through the level, making your way to a teleporter that’ll take you on to the next level with the end goal of eventually reaching safety.
Make no mistake, the game is brutally difficult right off the bat. There are some tricks you absolutely must learn in order to survive beyond the first couple of levels. As the game’s difficulty ramps up by the 3rd and 4th levels, you’ll quickly find yourself in a hopeless situation if you squandered health and ammo in the first couple of stages. For instance, there are “voids” throughout the levels, which the game explains are the result of anomalies with the teleportation experiments being carried out at the facility. Touching these voids will instantly lead to your death. However, if you can kite enemies into the void, it will also instantly kill them, allowing you to dispose of enemies in the early levels, which are slower than you and cannot attack from a distance, without having to either burn your precious ammunition or risk your health by stabbing them. Another useful trick early on is that there are frequently parts of the level into which your character can fit but the enemies cannot. Likewise, your knife has a longer range than the melee attacks of the enemies, allowing you to kite them to said location and stab them at will without risking yourself.
However, the game quickly switches gears by the 4th and 5th levels (I should mention that even after a few hours I’ve never survived beyond the 5th level) as you start getting into firefights with faster, stronger enemies who are able to shoot back. As if that’s not enough, you then begin to face mechanized War Walkers that are virtually impossible to take down without exhausting your ammunition supply if you don’t have either heavy explosives or armor piercing weaponry. Despite the difficulty, though, it makes for a really enjoyable experience because even within the span of the first five levels you have so many different styles of gameplay to master.
Similarly, the game also gives you a lot to learn with its crafting system. There isn’t a requirement for you to figure out which items to craft with which; simply hitting a button on your keyboard will bring up the “Combine” menu that will give you all of the options of items you can make given your current inventory. The trick comes from eventually figuring out which combinations are the most effective and in which situations. For instance, do you want to save your explosives and food for health, or do you want to combine them into a highly effective meat trap that could save your life against a swarm of enemies? Should you upgrade your shotgun to a double-barreled one for more stopping power at the risk of consuming twice the ammunition? They’re tricky decisions that’ll game a big difference in your likelihood to survive, and especially when you’re forced to make a choice because you’ve run out of inventory space to keep putting it off.
As part of the Die More Edition, which is an expansion to the original Teleglitch, you also occasionally get branching paths in the game that force you to choose where you will teleport to next. At the end of the first level, for instance, you must choose if you want to go to the military biology sector or to the plankton research sector. The plankton sector is likely to have easier enemies, but you also won’t acquire as much loot. The military sector is more likely to have weaponry for you, but at the cost of fighting military-grade bio-freaks, and you have to weigh which provides more benefit to you.
The other bonus is that the developer of the game is relatively active in the Steam Forums. When I first installed the game there was a bug with Intel integrated graphics which prevented it from getting beyond the loading screen. I checked the forums and found plenty of others describing the same issue. The developer was in each thread to reassure everyone he was working on a patch and letting it be known when he had pushed it. You really couldn’t ask for better support. If you’re a fan of Roguelikes and don’t mind playing a game where, as the subtitle states, you’re going to die a lot, then it’s hard to not recommend Teleglitch: Die More Edition.