• Developer: Graybeard Games
  • Publisher: Graybeard Games
  • Platform: PC

It Lurks Below really lends itself to its namesake. Diablo creator David Brevik’s self produced title seems like quite a few 8-bit mining adventure games such as Terraria and Starbound at first glance. It’s only when you take the time to check beyond the familiarly styled screenshots that you’ll discover the uniqueness offered by It Lurks Below (ILB).

ILB_003For starters ILB is a tougher game than most of the 8-bit competition. Due to features like limited storage and survival elements there is a near constant concern for something other than combat. As you play, your character will start to go hungry and get tired along with normal health concerns. While you will have ample tools such as potions and craftables to manage your character there is a very real concern with having the right amount of space to keep everything you want. Even after buying the additional bank tabs through the ingame vendor you’ll still be wondering how you’ll ever fit everything in the bank.

ILB_007Combat is a bit different from the standard fare. Even at the toughest parts of Terraria you’re just trying to make sure you don’t miss and with certain weapons it wouldn’t even matter. In ILB the combat is more frantic and evolves in a way that other 8-bit games don’t. You’re kind of led through an experience that gets harder the deeper you go, not by simply ramping up mob damage but by changing the rules of combat as you go. The RPG elements of ILB help change the way you adventure in return. First you will have a variety of character classes to choose from and as you progress to higher character levels, you will get the chance to upgrade to multiple styles of wands and craft some higher tier gear through recipes. You can even mix and match some rare artifact drops as well.

ILB_006All in all, It Lurks Below is a unique and sometimes unforgiving game experience. Brevik did a great job incorporating Diablo-esque mob style combat in a 2D environment. You’ve got to pay attention to what you’re doing or you will die. Even when you are paying attention you will get cocky and it will punish you for thinking you’re better than you are. Even so, get your feet wet in normal then transition to hardcore mode and see how far you can make it before it’s game over.

Quick and Dirty Verdict

“I’ve spent 40 hours playing this week alone. At this rate I’ll beat my Terraria play time in 2 more weeks.”

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