You'll die in Disc Room. You'll die a lot.
The latest title from developers Terri, Dose, Kitty, and JW is simple. The year is 2089. You're a space explorer. But instead of finding a space station, you only find rooms. Endless rooms filled with deadly, spinning blades. If you want to survive, you'll have to run, and run fast. You might not live long enough to see the game to its end.
Disc Room is one of the most stressful games I've ever played. To avoid the threat of certain death as blades slash around the tiny, enclosed rooms you're trapped in, you'll need to keep moving at an increasingly rapid pace. There's big blades and small blades, blades that can dash, blades that are fast, blades that are slow.
You can't avoid the blades.
You can only survive.
Rooms advance based on set challenges. Some require multiple deaths via different shaped blades, and others require survival time of 5 seconds or more. Some rooms are fairly simple to survive, while others feature blades shooting across the screen at lightning speeds.
I lost count of the times that I died, but death is an important part of advancing through the game. To live, you must die. I never stopped feeling bad about sending that tiny space cowboy to their death.
The demo I played through was relatively short — there were around five levels in total, all with increasing difficulty. One room, filled with giant spinning blades was a giant pain in my arse, largely because the gaps you needed to travel through to avoid death were minuscule. Like many of the levels, it required precision, patience and good timing. I failed the challenge multiple times.
The last level in the demo was a 'boss' blade.
Rather than the usual panicked run-for-your-life situation, this room contained more of a puzzle. To defeat the 'boss' blade, players are required to pick up orbs which inflict damage on the spinning death wheel. It's a neat little challenge, and one that effectively breaks up the panic of Disc Room.
The snippet of Disc Room that I played was frantic, and definitely got my heart going. There was enough differentiation between the levels in the demo to make it fun and constantly challenging, but that said — it was only a short snippet. How a full-length game will keep the formula fresh will be interesting to see.
Disc Room feels like a great little puzzle game, but those with a tendency to rage quit or give up easily may find themselves facing an insurmountable task. You'll need your wits about you to survive this dungeon.
Disc Room releases in some time this year. Keep your eyes on Steam for its full release.