At first, the game was so-so but I started to enjoy it. Mostly level design and atmosphere. Music is great and there is so many unique, cute little bugs/enemies. Cute until you have to fight them that is. When I reached Hornet, that’s when my problems started. I died so many times it became frustrating.
It’s a second game I play with YouTube "support". It started by watching few videos of gameplay tricks and a first boss fight. Then I found and bookmarked full map for reference. For the Hornet fight, I found a trainer with basically, a god mode. Few times I wanted to stop with the cheats but every new level discovered was so much harder than the first two.
I found enemy fights most difficult and stressful and level exploration most satisfying. But the game was too nice to just watch ending on YouTube and stop playing. And I’m mostly in awe of design while lore is a bit meh. It’s an anime-type story but with modern RPG sauce so that every bug in the game has some backstory and purpose. I still feel the story is added only after creators had fun coming with dozens of these little enemies and level designs.
Finished the game with all possible cheats and it was still hard. I got to the first ending (of several possible) at 50% completion. Probably wasn’t as satisfying as if I’ve put more effort into it. But without cheating, I probably would never finish anyway.
Afterward, I attempted to reveal the whole map and that included going into Hive, Worlds End and bottom of Ancient Basin. Since I didn’t unlock all Stag stations I didn’t reach Cliffs above Hollownest and since I didn’t collect 1800 Essence I couldn’t get white heart thingy and unlock Abyss to get alternate endings.
Fights in the colosseum were most tiring and felt hardest to do without cheats. Overall this is a very good game. Lore is a bit dense and not that captivating to try and explore it in depth but the game design is really outstanding. The number of levels and enemies and ways to go around this game makes it so it can be played for years (in my causal gamer, low-skills time). Without spending any more time on it I can still appreciate that.
PS: I watched Game Makers Toolkit review more than once. Most excellent.