Fatboy Games and Merge Games were kind enough to give me the opportunity to try their new dungeon crawler game, Vaporum. This first-person game takes the elements of old school dungeon crawling games but revamped them with a Steampunk twist.
You play as a man who woke up in front of a tall metal structure in the middle of the ocean. With no memories of who he is he feels that the building is familiar. Going inside you quickly realize there’s something about this place that’s wrong.
The movement of the game harks back to how old dungeon crawlers worked, to moves a square at a time as if you’re on a game board. It took some getting used to but I found no problem with it but if you’re someone that might not like it, don’t worry, there’s an option to make the movements smoother.
Combat is pretty standard when it comes to RPG’s, you use your weapon and you either hit or miss the enemy where in turn the same goes for your enemies. In this, you can duel-wield weapons or you can have a shield in one hand to offer you a chance to block attacks. While collecting weaponry you should read carefully as some weapons may be two-handed.
Speaking of reading, there is a lot of that in this game, I’m not complaining, but the only complaint I have is the text is small! Another thing I don’t like about this game is the saving system. There’s no auto-save, you have to save manually but it’s soooo weird, on the Xbox One to save you have to pull the left trigger and press the menu button, if you’re not careful and pull the trigger and press the view button, it performs a quick load.
Now with the bad stuff out of the way, onto the good! First off, this game kept to its promise of being a Steampunk dungeon crawler. The art, textures, enemies, hub, everything is legit Steampunk. The map is unique because you can place waypoints and customize what they are (if it’s a keyhole that needs a rusty key, you can mark it as such).
There is a strong puzzle element in this game where you have to use the environment around you and at times you have to rely on speed especially when dealing with doors that have timers. I love the atmosphere the game gives, and the sound effects help with adding to the surroundings. The enemies are awesome as odd as it may sound, a lot of creativity was used to make them and what I like most about them is that there’s what I call a “collection” mechanic where after you defeat a new enemy you encounter, it gets added to a gallery you can look at on the main menu that allows you to read the lore behind the enemies and watch their animations.
Overall with its loyalty to old school dungeon crawlers, proper use of Steampunk art, RPG, and puzzles, this game is good on its delivery. But the complicated controls, eye squinting text, and odd saving features leave a bit of metallic aftertaste you can’t ignore. On my scale of 5 stars, Vaporum just squeaks by with a 4.