In a world where roguelike/roguelite games are thriving—such as Hades and Returnal—Collapsed is like a simplified version of these titles. I love the mystery behind the game because there is not a linear story set. The tutorial was helpful for learning the combat system, which is simple 2D side-scrolling shooting that many fans of Dead Cells can appreciate. If you have not played that either, think back to the old Super Mario or Mega Man games—it is like that.
I really liked the fact that the lobby area and menus are easy to understand and mostly intuitive for casual gamers. I have to admit, the main menu is very plain, and it feels most like an Indie-game bordering a free online game like Snake.io. What separates Collapsed from free-to-play games is the depth of the levelling system and the complexity of random spawning in the dungeons.
To delve more into the complexity of Collapsed, there are four different classes to this shoot-and-slash dungeon crawler. The four options of characters are meant to mimic the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Reaper, Devourer, Warrior and Pest. I noticed the classes are suited for different levels of playstyle—not sure if this was intentional. For example, Reaper seems to be the most balanced character, in terms of ranged and melee attacks, so playing as this class character would be the easiest.
But when I switched to the Warrior class, the gameplay got a little more difficult as short-range and melee attacks allow players to get closer to killing more monsters, but at the risk of getting hit more. The various traps found in each random map or level also add to the stressful situation when I had to dodge and weave through laser gunfire, swirling death traps and sticking to walls to prevent myself from getting impaled on spikes.
“What separates Collapsed from free-to-play games is the depth of the levelling system and the complexity of random spawning in the dungeons.”
The main objective of Collapsed (even though it does not tell you) is to clear portals in various side-scrolling stages by clicking on them and clearing out the enemy waves that prevent the player from advancing. The number of enemies varies, but typically spamming the shoot button at the intended spawn areas helps whittle their numbers down.
One of the features of Collapsed I really appreciated was the crafting and skill tree. Enemies, loot boxes and cleared portals all drop loot. I believe this is where the addictiveness and replayability of the game excels. The branching upgrades and plethora of weapon modifiers and crating were very eye-catching. I will say, my only pet peeve with the skill tree is that the menu is a bit annoying to navigate as it has a weird scrolling system when you use the right joystick to move around the menu.
As a small indie game, I felt like Collapsed was a second-rate roguelike game that had cool elements in its learn-as-you-play gameplay style. It is no Metroid Dread or The Binding of Isaac, but it does try to implement some of the great characteristics of those games in this one. I think the best way to describe this game is that if you enjoy a simple roguelike game that focuses more on shooting and looting, this is a great game. However, if you think there is going to be a captivating, original story with a hyperactive soundtrack, you will be disappointed.