May 24, 2013 12:36 AM | John Polson
Innovative RPGs aren't unearthed often enough. When they do come along, as in the case of Toby Fox's UnderTale, they are such a joy to share. Sharp writing, engaging puzzles, and fresh battle systems makes UnderTale a triple threat, even in its demo state.
I'll save the puzzles (leaf patterns, switches, and stubborn rocks are just the beginning) and human-monster story (told initially with some stunningly drawn cinematics) for a post about the completed version. I want to dive into the combat, because you'll be doing that a lot. You're given the chance to fight enemies with a timing based skill, show them mercy, or do enemy-specific acts such as "compliment" to change their dispositions.
While showing them mercy yields no XP, it can avoid sometimes difficult offensive and defensive bouts. Along with timing-based attacks for the offense, players control a tiny heart that must dodge enemies' various attacks in an enclosed rectangular arena for the defense. This arena becomes more crowded when multiple enemies attack you simultaneously.
I've scratched the surface with UnderTale, and hopefully you'll have fun digging deeper. Spotted on Twitter, UnderTale deserves more than a casual whisper. Enjoy the Windows demo (or wait for Leon Arnott's Mac demo, which he just started), listen to and purchase the soothing OST, and then share it with your friends.