I have a soft spot for roguelike games. However, they can annoy me as much as I can love them. It seems that the developers of this genre often confuse the word punishing with challenging. Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Flow Fire Games. Their new release called Synthetik makes the perfect balance between challenge and addictiveness.
Stop the Evil Corporation!
You can’t say that the plotline is complex. You will be playing as an android robot that has human consciousness. The Kaida Corporation is planning to destroy the humankind by activating the so-called Heart of Armageddon. There is not much time, and it is up to you to push through the levels filled with evil robots and stop them.
Synthetik is a roguelike shooter from a top-down perspective. That move might take you to the past and remind you of classics such as Robotron. In essence, you will need to deal with hordes of robots that come in waves with the same desire – to kill you. Fortunately, you have a lot of weapons at your disposal to stop them, including machine guns, grenade launchers, shotguns, and classic pistols.
Outsmart the Robots and Aim Carefully
You also need to consider the environment. Most of the time, you will be running from one cover to another, but don’t neglect the tactics. More often than not, being patient and waiting for opponents to get to you means surviving to the end of the level.
The additional reason to keep tactics in mind is aiming. Just like in real life, it’s much harder to target if you are moving. Your accuracy will be significantly reduced. That is why it is advisable to stay still while you are shooting. That will probably be more useful, and you will have increased chance of inflicting damage.
Power-ups can be significant game changers, too. You will use missiles and lighting blasts among others. My favorite was the one where killing robots increase your health, while not killing them decreases it.
Tailor the Game to Your Taste
The best feature that Synthetik provides is the ability to affect the gameplay for the next session. Each time you die, you can choose a way to modify the challenge next time. For example, if you want to reduce the difficulty, you can turn off the time required for reloading your weapons. However, if you are a masochist, you can also increase the damage when you get hit by an opponent. These changes are called “curses,” but they will make you curse at your screen less because you can tailor the game to your taste thanks to them. Another thing that might help you is to consider calling a friend to play together in co-op mode.
The graphics are adequate, considering that you are playing from a top-down view. However, it’s the sound that takes all the points in this section. The explosions, guns firing and even reloading, genuinely add to the atmosphere.