April 11, 2015 1:30 PM | Luca Colosso
I remember playing CUCARACHA back when it was first created as an Indie3 Jam entry. At that time, it was messy and a little unresponsive. I couldn't even tell what it was all about despite being attracted by its bright colors and what really looked like a legitimately fun gameplay. Now, almost after a whole year, Tnerb released a completely overhauled version of the game, introducing more defined goals and rules while maintaining the chaotic spirit that made its initial prototype so fascinating.
It's a fast paced top-down action roguelike, and its only goal is as simple as clearing twenty consecutive levels. That's sarcasm, of course, even because the difficulty of the randomly generated arenas where you'll find yourself increases at an insane rate. To move on, you're required to find the exit of every level rather than killing all the enemies on the floor. However, a good amount of exploration is also needed so that you can acquire upgrades and important stats boosts hidden in little cabins that are difficult to distinguish when put close to the multicolored walls.
Ammo is a valuable resource besides your HP, because as you move forward the basic melee attack will slowly become ineffective. There are too many creatures that you can't really get close to, or you'll most likely get crushed in one or two hits. The player, after all, takes on the role of a roach in CUCARACHA. These hideous insects aren't really made to fight their way through peril, but instead, are great at running and avoiding any recognizable danger.
Another feature that makes this game so difficult is also the limited time you have to actually get out of a level. I don't think it's more than thirty seconds, and as soon as the hidden countdown ends an alarm will notice the player that the roach is not safe anymore. Two eyes will start to patrol the area at that point, and upon being spotted heavy stomps and deadly insecticide sprays will be unleashed with extreme fury.
It's advisable that you get a friend to join you if you really wish to give CUCARACHA a try. The single player mode is indeed fun, but at the same time it feels like the difficulty has been calibrated specifically for the local co-op mode.
CUCARACHA is available for free on itch.io (Windows only).