Original Developer: FatBot Games
Ported by: Cypronia
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Reviewed by: Mike Lynch (beldryn)
Vaporum is a port of 2017 PC Grid based dungeon crawler akin to the old school D&D games such as Eye of the beholder and Dungeon hack, and the more recent Legend of Grimrock series, in which you spend your time exploring a dungeon fighting monsters and solving puzzles.
Immediately the game gives off a distinct Bioshock vibe, as rather than blank stone walls of a dungeon you are exploring a claustrophobic maze of pipe work corridors and machinery fighting clockwork machines and the like rather than orcs and goblins. The visuals of the game are very Impressive and decidedly steam punk and present a very dark and creepy atmosphere as you explore the 12 levels of dungeon the game has to offer, Fighting, and solving the many puzzles contained within ranging from simple button puzzles, to complex box moving puzzles that bar your way throughout the game in your “Rig”. Which is what the loosely based class system is in the game.
Shortly after starting the game you get to choose one of four different Exo Rigs which determine what type of attributes your character has, ranging from a defensive based rig, to one that gives you bonus to your abilities that your obtain along your quest. After choosing your Exo rig you are all set to begin your exploration of the Ark Vaporum armed with only a trusty crowbar to start with, (Previously owned by a man named Gordon no less) Obtaining a myriad of new weapons ranging from melee weapons to different types of firearms.
As you fight your way through the Ark Vaporum you level up your character and gain points which you can assign to your different skills increasing your skill with certain types of weapons or gaining the ability to dual weild weapons without penalty. further fleshing out your character to fit your preferred play style.
The game has a very steep learning curve to it, While it has many tutorials and tool tips for literally every option in the game, It does not hold your hand at all. You will die. Save early, Save often. Thankfully the game gives you a button combo for quick saving and loading. With very quick load time. Fans of the old school dungeon crawlers will feel right at home here. More challenging games like this are always a welcome addition.
Now for the negatives, the game is not without its faults, Most obvious being the controls. as it is a port from PC it is designed for mouse and keyboard, The scheme the devs gave for the game feels very clunky, and with an odd button layout that you are sadly unable to change at all. The turning sensitivity is also set WAY too high, With no way to lower it. Often I would find myself turning a complete 180 rather than just a simple 90 degree turn. Which in combat, can often turn into a death sentence.
All in all, I had fun with Vaporum. It brought back many childhood memories of sitting at my pc with a pen and pad mapping out my progress as I explored the dungeons beneath Waterdeep. (an option which they included to turn off auto mapping so you have to do just that. so bonus point there!
Overall I would rate Vaporum a solid
or as the phrase has been coined, Beldryn didn’t hate it.