Disc Room Review – Incredibly Tough Gameplay That Feels Very Rewarding

Developed By: Terri, Dose, Kitty, JW

Published: Devolver Digital

Genres: Action/Survival

Disc Room is an interesting game because it’s the first entry into its own genre of game. The best way to describe Disk Room is a survival room game and that’s the best description I got for it. Despite this short description, I can honestly say Disc Room is a very enjoyable experience, more so for those who enjoy nail-biting difficulty

Pros

  • Disc room has a brief narrative that involves our fellow astronaut traversing across a giant disc in space with his crew mates
  • The narrative is told through multiple comic panels as the astronaut attempts to survive his perilous journey across the disc
  • Disc room is all about survival and what you have to survive is not aliens like you would expect, but instead giant sawblades
  • Every room locks you inside with a variety of different sawblades all bouncing across the room, waiting to slice you up.
  • Your sole goal is to survive becoming minced meat for as long as possible. That statement however, is much easier said then done.
  • Sawblades come in all different shapes and sizes each one with its own movement patterns.
  • Rooms are procedurally generated to an extent where each room will only spawn specific sawblades, but the direction in which they move around is always random.
  • This means that memorizing a sawblades movement will only get you so far. So you’re going to need quick fingers and quick reflexes.
  • To make your journey slightly more manageable you unlock different abilities that you can use to help you survive.
  • The different abilities are a dash, clone, teleport, slow time, and repulsion. You can only equip one at a time and depending on the situation it can be useful to switch between them. During my time with Disc Room I mostly used the dash, clone and slow time ability.
  • The giant disc that you traverse across is broken into four different sections each containing a set of levels
  • In the first set of levels time is always moving and your goal is just to dodge and avoid being hit by the spinning deathblades. However, once you reach the next area time will only move while you’re standing inside the circle in the middle of each room. One set of levels obscures your vision only allowing you to see a small chunk of the room at a time, and the last section has levels where time only moves as you step on each unique tile on the floor.
  • Having each set of levels contain their own unique method’s to cause time to flow is an essential mechanic and without it I think the game would have lost a larger part of what made it unique.
  • As far as collectibles go Disc Room doesn’t have any collectibles in the traditional sense of the word. However, Disc Room does keep track of every disc you have been killed by and makes it a mission to be killed by all of them.
  • Some rooms have secret disks that will only appear once you survived in the room for a specific period of time.
  • Most of the rooms have no required time’s to achieve, but Disc Room constantly gates your progress behind achieving a certain amount of time survived across all rooms or by how many different disks you have been killed by.
  • Essentially, Disc Room was made for replayability because you’ll rarely conquer a room on your first try. There’s often a disc you still have to be cut in two by or maybe another second or two that you’ll want to try to add to your personal best record.
  • The most memorable gameplay element in Disc Room are the bosses. The bosses are giant spinning sawblades that act unlike any others you will face. You think it would be difficult to make a sawblade resemble a boss after seeing so many of them but trust me they do.
  • Every boss fight will involve you collecting golden pellets that appear around the room. The golden pellets will cause the timer to move and eventually, will bring down the boss. Be warned however, the farther into the boss fight you get the more treacherous the difficulty becomes.
  • Disc Room is very player friendly however, because in each room it keeps track of how many of the rooms discs you have been killed by and what your best record for survival is in that room.
  • Should you really want to challenge yourself there are developer times that you can try to beat in each room, and there’s also a second harder set of levels that become available after you have beaten the game.
  • Disc Room has an interesting visual design that reminds me distinctly of older flash games I used to play on Newgrounds. It’s a charming quirky visual design that only adds more to the game’s charm.
  • Players that are worried about accessibility will be happy to know that Disc Room features multiple modifiers that can be sued to turn down the game’s difficulty. This includes changing the speed of discs moving and various others.
  • For the achievement hunters Disc Room has multiple achievements with many of them being locked away behind secret rooms. These secret rooms add almost puzzle like elements to the game and will force you to deduce the actions you must take to unlock the room’s secret.

Neutral

  • Disc Room is about replaying rooms over and over again trying to perfect your time. It can be considered very frustrating game design to some and is why Disc Room will not appeal to all players.

Cons

  • There’s a certain level of procedural generation to each room that determines which way the disc move and how they spawn. Sometimes the RNG makes it almost impossible to win around. Luckily each attempt at a room only really lasts at most a minute or two, but the RNG can be quite frustrating at times.
  • Besides abilities and achievements there isn’t much more to unlock. Some cosmetic options to unlock for disc and for your character would give some more incentive to complete optional parts of the game.
  • Bosses while very unique feel like you’re more likely to win because of luck then skill.

Summary

Story
Gameplay
Visuals & Sound
Accessibility
Bang For Your Buck
Unique Game Design

8/10

As far as intergalactic survival games go Disc Room is a pretty good one. In all seriousness, Disc Room takes a simple concept and refines it into a tough-as-nails experience that feels so rewarding to master. Nothing was more satisfying than adding a few seconds to my time on a room or beating a boss who I had attempted for the 50th try. The different abilities were entertaining to try and I especially like the game’s challenge of getting killed by each of the different discs/sawblades. RNG can play a significant factor in winning or losing sometimes, that part is true, but luckily because each attempt isn’t very long it’s super quick to give each room another try. I hope others attempt to replicate what Disc Room has done and maybe we can get a whole new genre of non-combat survival room games. Either way, I’ll gladly purchase a sequel to Disc Room should it ever come out.

Steam Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1229580

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