Vaporum – Review
Follow Genre: Dungeon crawler
Publisher: Fatboy Gaming s. r. o.
Developer: Fatboy Gaming s. r. o.
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Vaporum – Review

Site Score
8.1
Good: atmosphere , music and sound, attention to detail
Bad: controls require some practise
User Score
9.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Water trickles off the walls while you make your way between pipes and valves into the darkness below. Lights flash and sounds bellow as you delve deeper and deeper into the realm of Vaporum. A steam punk dungeon crawler like no-one has ever seen!

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Story

You are stranded on a tiny island in the middle of a vast sea. Nothing but water surrounds you as your eyes are drawn towards an odd tower, reaching towards the skies before you. Something seems familiar, but you can’t place your finger on it. And soon you enter this building, where the real fun begins.

Vaporum has a vague storyline which is easy to follow. You enter the tower and you make your way down some flights of stairs into dark halls riddled with valves and pipes. As you progress, you find written notes that give you hints about the story thus far. But if you miss a note or two, there’s no reason to panic. Most of them seem to be well-hidden in secret passages and doorways you might overlook if you don’t explore thoroughly. There’s a good voice-over sequence that keeps you up to date to all the things that happened and you might’ve missed. Within the dungeons itself, you find inhabitants that dwell there to protect the halls, and it’s not hard to notice that they see you as the invader.

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Graphics

The atmosphere this game creates is astounding. The well-tuned graphics add a lot of dynamics and immersion into the game. The dark tones and colours add a lot of charm to the steampunk concept the developers aimed for. All of this combined gives an eerie aura to your surroundings, and it offers a dimension that is not often found in dungeon crawler games. The loading time within the game is close to non-existent, but upon entering new areas the game tends to shift a little in the quality of the graphics. Luckily it switches back up as soon as you enter the new area, but it can be a bit troublesome when you’re just about to encounter a strong enemy.

Sound

The use of sound in this game is incredible. All kinds of small noises and sounds keep the player on their toes as they delve deeper into the dungeon. To the simple dripping of water or the hissing of steam, to the great entry of your first enemy encounter. It’s all tuned to near perfection, making it a very in-depth experience. The game has implemented a voice-over, who tells you in fair detail what is going on and where you’re supposed to go. The voice-acting isn’t bad. There’s a lot of emotion found within the narrator’s voice, but it isn’t always used at the right times. The timing was a bit off with certain reactions to things that happened in the environment, and there were some grammatical errors in the sentences that were spoken. It does not affect the experience, luckily, but it could definitely use a finishing touch.

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Gameplay

Vaporum is a steampunk dungeon crawler. The introduction into the game is spot-on, making the player wonder why they are here and why they would venture into a giant tower sticking out of the ocean. It offers mystery and immersion as you delve deeper and deeper into the halls, discovering the mysteries of the dungeon as you go. The influences of The Legend of Grimrock is highly noticeable, but Vaporum stands on its own quite well. The steampunk aspect also gives Bioshock fans something familiar. It gives a nostalgic feel without it actually trying to copy anything of other games. Which makes it unique, but also strangely familiar.

The tutorial to explain the controls is a bit off. If you’ve never played a dungeon-crawler type game before, it takes some time to get used to the controls. You move in a grid, which means you take steps forward, back and to the sides that influence your movement. You can’t free-roam, as you are tied to the grid and its restricted ways of movement. Some of the action keys are very close or sometimes even next to the WSAD keys that you use to move, so it’s not unlikely that you accidentally press the wrong buttons a few times before getting the hang of it. Especially during battles you need to learn the controls rather quickly. The sidestepping and dodging is a bit tricky, but with some practice it’s fairly easy to master.

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Vaporum offers the player multiple choices to customize their character. You can choose your own play style by equipping different mech-suits that grant you bonuses on skills and feats. These bonuses include things such as speed boosts, quickened health regeneration and strength. It offers quite some freedom to the player to choose how they wish to interpret the game and the challenges it lays before them. It’s a cool feature that’s certainly appreciated by anyone who wants a bit of extra choice to develop the main character in the way they wish it to be.

The halls of Vaporum are riddled with puzzles and secrets. It offers a lot of room to explore and stray from the main path to find Easter eggs and notes hidden throughout the game. It’s definitely worth the time and effort to explore everything, especially if you wish to find all the details of the storyline and it’s secrets.

Conclusion

This game screams nostalgia, but its graphics and gameplay keep it very modern. The controls take some getting used to if you’re not very known with dungeon crawlers, but it’s certainly worth the time and effort. It’s a beautiful dungeon crawler game with many beautiful aspects that could make player intrigued. The game used your tact, wits, skill but also bravery as you face the strong and challenging  enemies within this game. The atmosphere is flawless. The sound and the beautiful graphics flow into each other seamlessly, leaving the player in a magical realm of technology and mystery. Vaporum is certainly a game that any Legend of Grimlock fan should try out, but not only the fans of Grimlock will find enjoyment in this gem of a dungeon crawler.

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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Vaporum - Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
RockingPudding
RockingPudding


Heya! I'm Joyce, and I'm 23 years old. I spent most of my spare time playing games, writing, LARPing, and playing Dungeons & Dragons. You can find me nose-deep in many fantasy worlds.

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