You should play Neon Abyss

JULY 18, 2020

Daily Gaming Update

TGO Daily
TGO After-Show
How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer for Saturday , July 18th. Today, I’m here to tell you that you should play a game called Neon Abyss.
My friends, over the past week I’ve been obsessively playing an indie game called Neon Abyss, which released a few days ago. I was provided an early copy of the game by Team17, so thanks to them for sending that my way. Folks, if you are a fan of the roguelike genre, then you absolutely need to check out this game. I myself am someone who has put thousands of hours into various roguelike games, it’s probably my favourite genre, and Neon Abyss is now up there in the ranks. What it is is a shoot-em-up platformer, so it has gunplay and uses a lot of verticality in its movement. What I’ve been saying ever since I got my hands on it is that it takes the best elements and removes the worst elements of the Binding of Isaac, and Enter the Gungeon. From Isaac it has the item synergies and the same general flow of a given run, and one of the things it does better than Isaac is that everything is absolutely clear. You know in Isaac you might pick up an item and have no idea what it does, or how to progress in the game, etc. With Neon Abyss, you know what’s going on all the time, and in my opinion that’s a great thing. From Enter the Gungeon, it has the same charm and uniqueness to the various guns and items that you can pick up. And what it does better is that it isn’t extremely chaotic. I find Gungeon pretty hard to handle sometimes, it often felt like there was too much going on, whereas Neon Abyss manages to keep the feeling of chaos while maintaining a level of stability.
If you take a look at the game, you’ll immediately tell that the audio and graphics are tremendous. I often find myself bopping along with the beats they have playing, and while a little more variety would be nice, the repetition never bothered me. Same with the graphics, I think they really figured something out there to be visually appealing, but the whole run tends to just look the same. You know in Isaac all of the floors have this very distinct visual layouts, with themes and enemies to go along with them, and in this case it tends to stay very static. Again though, the style is put together so well that I didn’t feel like this was a major negative, and that’s something I found to be true throughout the entire game, to be honest.
And that brings me to the gameplay, of course probably the most important thing when it comes to roguelikes. And what I have to say about it is that the core gameplay loop is incredibly fun. Fighting enemies, upgrading your weapons, getting new synergies, hatching eggs so that you can get pet familiars following you around, all of it satisfying and extremely well executed. I definitely see myself playing much more of this game thanks to how fun it is just to go through a run. However, this brings me to my biggest complaint with the game which is progression. So the game has this overarching unlock system, where you can get new items, new minigames, and new characters. In order to unlock those you spend tokens, and you get tokens by defeating bosses, it’s a fairly simple system. The issue is that the things you unlock cost way too many tokens. I have put 20 hours into Neon Abyss, and I’ve only unlocked 1 of the 6 unlockable characters. Not only that but I know there is a lot of content to the game, considering how much there is to unlock, but it feels as though I’ve already seen everything the game has to offer within the 20 hours that I spent. This could have been easily offset if progression happened faster, because I would see new things more often. Thankfully, like I said before, the gameplay is so fun that I actually don’t mind putting in the hours. So really what you need to know going into this is that at this moment, if you want to see everything the game has to offer, it’s a big time sink. Now I’ve heard that the primary developer has gotten this feedback, and will be updating the game in the future to improve that, so maybe keep an eye out if that’s a dealbreaker for you. And certainly I’ll be talking more about the game as time goes on, because I am probably going to play it through to the end and unlock everything.
Folks, if you would like to purchase Neon Abyss it is currently 20 American dollars on Steam and GOG. It’s also available on the PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, as well as the Xbox Game Pass. And I think this game is actually the perfect game for Game Pass, especially if the developer is going to be updating it over time. My friends, this is just the cliffnotes of my thoughts on the game, if you would like to hear me go in-depth on all the mechanics of the game, make sure you head over to I’ve posted a video there going through all aspects of the game and my thoughts on it, that video will be especially useful if you are a roguelike fan or if you have played the game and just want to hear more detailed thoughts. Anyway folks, that’ll do it for today thank you so much for joining me, and until next time…Happy Gaming everyone.