Nightmare Reaper logo
Follow Genre: FPS, Boomer shooter
Developer: Blazing Bit Games
Publisher: Blazing Bit Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Nightmare Reaper – Review

Site Score
9.2
Good: Amazingly well programmed for variety, Hours upon hours of fun, Superb soundtrack
Bad: Sometimes there is too much happening on screen, Upgrade system needs a tiny bit of improvement
User Score
10.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Some genres just stay alive forever simply because they work. This is the case for the FPS, but also for the sub-genre that we now know as “Soomer Shooters”. The very first DOOM was just so influential that the ripples from its impact not only decided the course of gaming for years to come but also still inspire many indie developers to create their own shooter in the same style. Behold Nightmare Reaper, which is a game that fits perfectly in the genre, while also creating its own identity in an oversaturated market.

Nightmare Reaper logo

Story

Sometimes you are just not sure what’s going on in a game. In Nightmare Reaper, this is also the case. All you know for sure is that you are a young woman who finds herself in some type of mental hospital. The screams echoing around you are suggesting this is not a nice place to be. Every night you have vivid nightmares. In these nightmares, you run through forests, villages, caverns, cities, and even hell. You do this while you shoot monsters; loads of monsters. If you successfully survive the nightmare, you will find a new note on your desk. A doctor is putting these notes on your desk every day after you wake up, but they hold little information. What’s going on? Can you maybe escape?

Graphics

It’s clear that the creator of Nightmare Reaper is somebody who has an affinity and love for old-school shooters. The game dons a 2.5D pixel art, which is the same as the old school Duke Nukem and DOOM. The game has many great environments and (enemy) sprites. It’s filled with all manner of weapons, and also has a ton of easter eggs that pay homage to decades of gaming history. This is all really cool, though later in the game all the effects such as explosions and bloody pixels pouring out of enemies start to cloud up the screen at times. This can make the game slightly more frustrating to play, but aside from this little bump in the road, Nightmare Reaper is absolutely fantastic.

Sound

The sound design alone is something that elevates the game to a top-tier shooter. The game offers you a part where you roam the halls of the scary asylum you’re in. This serves as a sort of game mode selector where you have some secrets to unlock every now and then. This part is filled with bits of horror, screams, and a couple of scare tactics. Whereat the start of the game it all still seems to be a generic mental hospital, over the course of the game there are subtle changes and new additions to the sounds in the background that actually made us uneasy and somewhat scared, making us feel like our own room was actually the safest place to be. During the main gameplay (shooting) of the game you obviously have your monster growls and your gunshots, but the real award here goes to the music. Incredible metal makes up the music for every fight. This metal was written by Andrew Hulshult, the composer who also did the track for DOOM Eternal and many other shooters. It makes the game come off as a total badass, and it would not be the same at all without it.

Gameplay

Nightmare Reaper has been five years in the making and it shows. This retro FPS “Boomer Shooter” has been packed with content. There are about 75 levels to go through, a New Game+ option, and an arena mode with multiple locations to unlock that allows you to defeat wave after wave. There’s also an ability upgrade system that slowly makes you stronger over time. This includes the ability to get more health and ammunition, but also new abilities such as dashing, offensive moves, or sliding off walls. The best about all of that is that the upgrades are divided into three mini-games. One is a Mario-styled game, the second is like a small Pokémon clone, and the third lets you explore galaxies in a 2D scrolling shooter. The game also offers many customization options such as turning off those mini-games if you don’t want to play them to unlock something, allowing players to custom-tailor their game experience.

Now, that already sounds like a lot, but the replayability gets a big old boost because the 75 levels you go through are also programmed in a roguelike fashion. This means that even if you die, the level will not have the same layout as the last time. Enemies have a big variety, there are loads of positive and negative random events that could transpire upon clearing a room, and there are even a whole bunch of weapons that all have randomized stats, allowing you to hunt for the best weapon out there. It’s an incredible amount of effort for an indie game, and we greatly enjoyed it. Nightmare Reaper is addictive because of the randomized gameplay. It then adds some challenges where you can get extra loot, but also old school elements such as colored keys and colored doors that you need to match up to continue, making it a total blast.

The only thing that’s bothering us slightly about the gameplay is that for the mini-games you also have three different currencies to unlock stuff. The Mario-styled game uses gold coins that you get for just playing the game. You’ll get a bigger payout if you are a bit of a completionist at each level, as you get a bonus depending on how well you perform. The Pokémon-styled game just gives you a tiny bit of currency each time you complete a level. The galaxy-exploration game requires you to play the arena mode, which is a tedious wave defense mode if you just want to continue playing the regular level. To get all the coins required for the galaxy unlockables you would have to spend tens of hours in the arena mode at least. This truly is a grind that does not feel balanced compared to the rest. Other than that though, the game deserves all the praise it can get.

Conclusion

Nightmare Reaper is a retro-FPS enthusiast’s wet dream. The game offers a large amount of replayability with great programming and a big variety of enemies, levels, and weaponry. This title is original with many secrets and a cool upgrade system, it has a great soundtrack, and there’s more to do than you would expect. This is a game that easily takes up twenty hours of your time, if not more, and that’s great value for your buck.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Nightmare Reaper - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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