Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: start-ups

Going Under: a send-up of start-ups that is satisfying

About a month ago, I tried the demo for Going Under by Aggro Crab in a desperate attempt to find a game to tide me over until Elden Ring–FromSoft, of course. At that time, I didn’t know I was filling the time until Elden Ring (ER from now on) came out because it was before the Summer Games Fest, but I wanted something new to sink my teeth into so I decided to dive into my Pile of Shame and see if there was anything I wanted to play. Or rather, I installed a bunch of demos and tried out a bunch of games. Going Under was one of them and I wrote a brief write-up of it here. Then, Ian offered it to me out of his Humble Bundle and I accepted because it had something to it and why not? It’s a roguelike-lite that has that one more run feel to it. RNG both giveth and it taketh away as well.

The premise is that you are Jacqueline Fiasco, an intern at Fizzle Beverages.  You think you’re going to be learn about marketing and such, but you are so very wrong. When you meet Marv, the Project Manager (PM), he’s full of empty slogans and toxic enthusiasm. Not that enthusiasm in and of itself is toxic, but when it’s used to cover terrible and inhumane business practices, that’s when it becomes toxic. He immediately nicknames you Jackie and then tells you that you have to go kill goblins. He wraps it up in verbiage, but that’s the bottom line.

I have to say that they got the environment perfectly. Or rather, they were able to evoke the feeling of a start-up perfectly. There’s a giant tunnel slide that you can take to get from the second floor down to the first. There’s a cafe with a man named Swomp (yes, Swomp and not Swamp) who seems like a sleaze at first, but then turns out to be a pretty decent guy. There’s Tippi, the financial officer, who is trying to rein in the CEO while the company is hemorrhaging money. There’s Kara, the computer gal who hates computers. She has an adorable doxie, Eclaire, who is more than just a cute face. There’s a side mission of taking her for a walk through the dungeons (reaching the third floor of any dungeon) which means she’s tethered to your waist and slows you down dramatically as you fight with the Joblins.

Quick note: I really enjoy the biting satire of the game. In addition to the names of the dungeons–which, by the way, are other companies. So Fizzle Beverage is literally built on the grounds of other companies–the whole tone of the game is spot-on as a spoof with bite. I had said in my original quick review that the combat felt off to me. Part of the issue was that the framerate was locked at 30 fps (why is any game locked on the PC???) and once I changed that to 60, the game felt better.

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