Creature in the Well had to be one of those absolute bonkers meetings when it was first pitched. You know the ones? Where you’re sat in a meeting, and a colleague decides to voice an idea, and that idea brings a combination of laughter and bemusement into the room. Most of the time, these sorts of ideas tend to disappear just as quickly as they were announced. On occasion though, they are so crazy that they might just work. Creature in the Well is very much in this category. What is this mad idea, I hear you ask? Well, simply put, Creature in the Well is a hack and slash dungeon crawler mixed with pinball. I know, I know, it sounds beyond mad, but do you know the famous phrase that genius is just one step away from madness? Creature in the Well fits perfectly between the two.
During your adventure, you will be in control of Bot-C. He is the last engineer who used to work in a facility that kept the town of Mirage safe from a sandstorm. However, a creature decided that he liked the mountain where this facility is and decided to take up permanent residency in it. After the creature wiped out all the other Bot-C units, the town of Mirage was decimated by the harsh storms of the surrounding desert. Your job is to reactivate this facility, but the creature that now calls the mountain home has set up numerous traps that will take skill, patience and good old fashioned luck to overcome.
You’ll learn how Creature in the Well works within the first 10 minutes of starting this mission. The age-old proverb of easy to learn, difficult to master is very much the case here as you’ll progress through the various rooms/traps laid out by the creature. Simply put, you’ll need to hit electric spheres to various objects in a room. Hitting these objects will charge them and give them power so you can move on to either the next object or room. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? But the challenge comes when you have to hit a single electric sphere at just the right angle to make sure it hits several objects within a second or two of each other. Completing these puzzles will reward you with energy currency, which you’ll use to unlock doors to progress through the facility. How liberal you are with this currency will determine how quickly you’ll be progressing through the facility as there are bonus doors you can choose to unlock, which will either reward you with (pending on finishing the puzzle, of course) more currency, new weapons or a cape, which adds a bit of customisation to Bot-C.
Some rooms are incredibly simple, and you’ll start to develop a sense of overconfidence while going from room to room in Creature in the Well. But then you’ll enter a room where, after twenty minutes of trying, you’ll just think it’s impossible. That generally summed up my journey with Bot-C; I was always at either one end of the spectrum, there was never any middle ground. The feeling of finally completing a particularly difficult room is a wonderful experience, especially as watching the electrical spheres fly around the room is a joy to behold.
The creature itself is very much inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Smaug, and you’ll often encounter him throughout your mission, taunting you and also taking part in Creature in the Well’s (sort of) boss fights. These (sort of) confrontations are the only time you’ll have to fight off any other creature in the game. This will be a bit of relief for players that like the idea of dungeon crawlers who are put off by the constant “oh god, what the hell is waiting for me in the next room?” thought as there is no sense of fear or dread while going from room to room. In turn, this will, of course, put off dungeon crawler veterans who thrive on the sense of the unknown. I really can’t see that puzzle difficulty will make up for this for dungeon crawling fans.
Developer: Flight School Studio
Publisher: Flight School Studio
Platform: Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4
Release Date: 6th September 2019
What did you think of our review of Creature in the Well? Do you agree with it? Let us know in the comments below.