Rogue-lite is a video game genre that has been popular since its inception and isn’t slowing down. Death or Treat is the latest addition to this genre, a Halloween-themed 2D platformer with roguelite elements with enough charm and flaws. The game follows the adventure of Scary, a traveling ghost candy salesman who must save Halloween.
Real-world and movie inspirations are apparent from the get-go with NPCs based on famous people and the game’s art style is inspired by the works of Tim Burton. Saona Studios incorporated the essence of Halloween into their new game.
Death or Treat is a captivating 2D roguelite platform game that offers players a unique and dynamically changing ghostly world to explore. Before venturing into this eerie realm, players have the opportunity to equip and upgrade their character within a well-designed hub area. Progression in the game occurs through multiple runs, both in the story and within the hub, with each world presenting distinct level layouts and focuses. Skillful management of health and power becomes paramount as players navigate through these diverse environments.
Players take control of Scary, a ghost-like resident of HallowTown whose livelihood thrives on selling goods and savoring the delights of candy. However, an insidious group of corporations has introduced Storyum, which leads to Scary losing their business. Driven by determination, Scary embarks to confront each corporate leader, eradicate Storyum, and restore the flow of candy to HallowTown.
The “Treat” in Death of Treat are visuals that feature incredible art direction. The hand-drawn art style of its visuals lends the game a sense of enjoyment. Familiar horror icons are ingeniously reimagined as shrewd business owners, while power-ups sport amusing names that inject humor into the gameplay.
Interacting with other characters is important as they provide services like upgrading abilities and selling new and powerful weapons. Not only that, players will find familiar pop culture icons in Death or Treat with a twist.
Players will find substantial challenge in the game’s difficulty. Enemy variety is plentiful, which keeps players on their toes. The combat mechanics, combined with the generous loot drops from defeated foes, reward players for their skillful and attentive gameplay.
Any game, no matter how visually appealing it is, is defined by its gameplay and that is where Death or Teat falls flat. The game lacks the control responsiveness that roguelites require. Platforming is where players will feel the lag the most as Scary won’t respond as quickly as required. The laggy controls especially become a problem when Scary is surrounded by enemies, as I told you earlier, there are plenty of them in Death or Treat.
Inconsistent enemy behavior is another issue with the game. This inconsistency disrupts player rhythm and necessitates quick adaptation. In some situations, I noticed difficulty spikes, where an enemy that was easy to get past before has become a nightmare to defeat.
In summary, Death or Treat is a compelling 2D roguelite platformer that immerses players in a quest to save Halloween. The game’s amusing visuals, interesting characters, and sense of challenge make it an enjoyable experience. However, controls need refinement, and difficulty spikes need to be toned down.