Vaporum: Lockdown – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG, Puzzle
Developer: Fatbot Games
Publisher: Fatbot Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Vaporum: Lockdown – Review

Site Score
Good: Really immersive for a grid-style RPG, challenging combat and puzzles, lots of options for character builds
Bad: Story is not that original and very linear which decreases replay interest, no option to change your build during a playthrough
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Vaporum: Lockdown is a classic style grid-based dungeon crawler RPG, where you explore an interesting steampunk setting from the viewpoint of a young scientist. This game is a prequel to Vaporum, and tells the story of a mysterious scientific endeavor deep underwater. This game has been developed and published by Fatbot Games.


The story takes a center stage in this game. Vaporum: Lockdown is the successor of Vaporum, but Vaporum: Lockdown is a prequel of the first game. The story is very accessible, even if you haven’t played Vaporum. You play as a scientist who works in a secretive research facility, located in the middle of the ocean. The purpose of this facility is to research a mysterious substance that is brought to this world by an asteroid, that crashed on the ocean floor.

After the introduction animation where your character and her personal history is introduced, you’ll start on a simple mission where you’ll slowly learn that things around you are going very wrong. As you go, you get a great introduction to both fighting and to gear, and a fitting explanation about the enemies you encounter.

You’ll also be able to find notes and recordings as you explore, which explain what happened in the world from the viewpoints of multiple characters. The personal touches to each story item are very nice, and slowly piece together the story of what happened in the research facility. The story is pretty linear as you play through it, but it is being told at a nice pace and it’s interesting enough to keep you playing.


The graphics are very good and fitting for both the type of game and the setting. You’ll move through an oceanic research facility, which is reflected well by the mechanical and damp looking, somber environments with atmospheric light effects.

You see the world from the first-person view of your character, but you still move around on a grid-like map. In the main menu you can choose whether you want walking to be continuous, or tile-by-tile to reflect the game mechanics. The default option is tile-by-tile. Still, even when moving tile-by-tile, the walking animation and sounds are fitting, and your character’s view moves naturally. You can also look around with your mouse freely to see the rest of the room and the ceilings, so the environment feels very immersive.

The introduction of the game has a simple but beautiful black-and-white animated style. After the introduction, you’ll get some cutscenes during your playthrough which tell more of the story. These cutscenes are seamlessly integrated with the gameplay graphics.

The UI is simple and accessible. You’ll see your health bar, equipped weapon, shield & gadgets, your energy bar and some items you’ll be able to quickly use, on your screen at all times. You’ll be able to select the menu with a small button, and control the speed of combat. Next to that, your screen is free from clutter.

The menus are easy to navigate. In the in-game character menu, you have a tab for gear, your skill tree, and notes providing you with information on both enemies and gear and the scattered story notes and recordings you’ll encounter while exploring. There’s also a map to keep track of your location in the quite extensive maze of the facility you’re in.


All characters are fully voiced, and the voice acting is very good. The environmental sounds are very nice and help to get immersed in the setting. You can clearly hear enemies approaching when you’ll be attacked, and you can identify the type of enemy by the sounds they make.

The music you’ll hear when playing is mostly atmospheric, and it works great to give the game a really dark and mysterious feel. The music playing during the introduction animation is an orchestral tune, sounding adventurous and impressive, fitting to the story.


Vaporum: Lockdown is a classic style grid-based dungeon crawler RPG, which you experience from a first-person view. You won’t have a whole party to worry about; you’ll play the game with just your character. You can choose between many different difficulty levels, depending on whether you want a very challenging experience, or rather play through the game to experience the story. You can adjust difficulty throughout the game, if you run into trouble beating troublesome enemies.

As you finish the first mission, you will be able to choose between four different exo-suits, which basically come down to: tank, two different fighter-like suits, and mage. In this game, instead of magic, you’ll make use of gadgets, which damage. Of the two ‘fighter’ classes, one improves damage overall, while the other greatly increases damage as your health gets lower. The tank is useful in staying alive, and blocking damage. You won’t be able to choose another suit during a playthrough, so choose wisely!

The skill tree is quite extensive, with many skills to choose from, which could work nicely with the exo-suit of your choosing. For instance, you’ll be able to boost your weapons, armor and gadgets with your skills, or even reflect damage back to enemies. Instead of experience, you’ll receive Fumium from killing enemies. Accumulating Fumium will result in gaining levels and ‘circuit points’, which can be used to unlock skills in the skill tree, so Fumium works very similar to experience.

There are many different weapons to find, both ranged and melee. Ranged weapons use ammunition, so you’ll have to be mindful not to use too much ammo, despite the convenience of ranged weapons. There are also powerful energy weapons in the game.

Both combat and puzzles take the center stage in this game. During combat, you can use your movement and the environment to your advantage. Enemies move one ‘tile’ at a time, just like your character. This means you’ll be able to line enemies up in a small corridor, so you won’t be attacked from all sides at once. However, you’ll also be able to dodge attacks if you move timely, so it’s useful if you leave enough room to be able to attack and then quickly move away.

In some more difficult fights, you’ll really need to think about a good strategy to move around a room in order to effectively fight enemies, without taking too much damage. You’ll need to be able to move around, while avoiding getting hit from all sides. Besides that, you’ll need to take the method of attack from your gadgets into account, and how you’ll use that to your advantage in the situation you’re in. To effectively think about that, you’ll be able to pause combat at any time. When you stop real-time combat, you’ll be able to select skills or move around, and the combat will play out move-by-move.

During the game, you’ll slowly get familiar with puzzle elements, so that you’ll recognize breakable objects, and objects you’ll be able to push or pull around the map. The puzzles generally aren’t very hard, but sometimes it takes time figuring out what you’ll exactly need to do, and it’s easy to overlook puzzle elements at the beginning of the game. As you advance, puzzles will noticeably get harder, and you’ll really need to think hard to find a solution. There are also many secrets to find in this game, which you can find by mousing over them. They are easy to miss, so you’ll need to keep an eye out.


Vaporum: Lockdown is a nice modern adaptation of the classic grid-based dungeon crawler RPG. The steampunk setting really works well for this type of game, and the first-person view makes this game really immersive, more so than a top-down isometric view. The graphics and music are nice and fitting, and both the combat and puzzles are challenging and fun. You’ll be able to choose only one class and won’t be able to reset your skills, but this means you can enjoy another playthrough with a whole different skillset. If you enjoy strategic, grid-based RPGs, and you like puzzles, then you’ll surely enjoy this game!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Vaporum: Lockdown - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

I'm a LARP writer, freelance teacher and everlasting PhD student, and an avid gamer. Nowadays I game mostly on PC, but I love my retro playstation 1 & 2 as well :) I like watching anime, movies and series, and read books & comics whenever I have time!

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