Disc Room Review – Punishingly Fun

Featured image on Disc Room Review.

Punishingly difficult games often walk a fine design line balancing fun and rage. This fine line pushes players to continue trying even when they are leaning more towards the rage side of the balancing act. Many beloved titles have nailed this balance perfectly producing gameplay that continually punishes players yet leaves them coming back for more. Developers Terri, Dose, Kitty, and JW have created their own punishingly difficult, top-down, disc-dodging survival game called Disc Room. Does this game hit the sweet spot between the fun and the rage? Check out our thoughts in our Disc Room review below.

Discs of Fun and Destruction

Disc Room has a fairly basic story. One day in the year 2089 a giant disc appears in the orbit of Jupiter. A group of brave scientists enter the disc to explore it. What they find are rooms filled with discs in what the developers call a “sprawling intergalactic slaughterhouse.” That’s really all you need to know on the story front. That’s not to say there isn’t an overarching story told through minor cutscenes presented in a comic-book aesthetic it’s just the core of this game is in its gameplay.

Gameplay in Disc Room is surprisingly simple. You start a room either filled with discs or that will have discs spawn in. These discs violent spin round the room ricocheting crazily in an effort to kill you. One touch of a disc results in the gory death your scientist who explodes into a million bloody pieces. When you die (and you will) in a room you instantly respawn to try again creating the classic masochistic feedback loop fans of these types of games will immediately recognize.

Rooms of Death and Destruction

Outside of avoiding disc-related mishaps, your primary aim in each room is to endure until you’ve fulfilled room-specific objectives. These tasks start off easy, such as surviving for a set duration, but swiftly escalate to more challenging endeavors like conquering boss battles. Each objective you accomplish is linked to a locked door within that room. Upon completion, the door unlocks, granting access to paths that lead deeper into the colossal disc, where more formidable challenges await.

Image showing the Dash Ability from Disc Room.

As you delve deeper into giant disc rooms, difficulty rises. Abilities play a vital role here. Exploring grants abilities to enhance room survival. These abilities vary, apply before each room, and can be crucial. Smart ability usage can buy you extra seconds. Some are more useful than others; I mainly used Dash.

Exploration is surprisingly rich, offering secrets, new discs, and glitch rooms. All tracked conveniently on the accessible start screen, extending the game’s life. The developers have impressively expanded on this simple concept, delivering a wealth of content.

Surprising Difficulty Accessibility

If trying the same rooms over and over again is not your style there is a surprising amount of control over the game’s difficulty players can tinker with. In the options you can change things like game speed, disc speed, set spawn indicators and more. This means you can tailor the experience to your liking making the experience as easy or hard as you would like it to be. Having this much control over elements of the game is an interesting idea that allows almost anyone interested in Disc Room to get through it how they want.

Judgement

Disc Room is an incredibly well made and well presented indie title. While playing I found myself comparing it to something like a Super Meat Boy in terms of the core gameplay loop and quality. You initially start off dying often but the fun is in the progression in skill and knowledge you get as you complete each room and delve deeper into the great disc. This rock-solid gameplay loop coupled with a tremendous amount of accessibility options on how difficult the game is makes it an easy to pick up and play title for almost anyone.

9/10

Thoughts on our Disc Room Review? Drop them in the comments below.

 

enricofairme

A lifelong gamer who has devoted the last six years to the creation and development of "Hold To Reset," a website tailored by gamers for gamers. Yell your hot takes at him on X.

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