Downwell is one of those games that are hard to be replicated. It originally released on mobile and later on made its way to PC and consoles. I’ve played the iOS version to death, but wanted to give Downwell a try on the good old Switch.
Downwell is a vertical platformer/shooter that was released at the end of January on the eShop by indie developer, Moppin under the umbrella of Devolver Digital. You play as an unknown character that ventures down an old well in surcharge of untold treasures with only his “gunboots” for protection. (Sometimes I like to go out on adventures with only my boots on, but it usually end up in me getting arrested for indecent exposure.)
As you proceed further into the darkness of the well, you’ll be met will all sorts of creatures and rocky platforms. You’ll need to use your gunboots to shoot from above. Shooting is also your jump and can only be used 4 times before needing to reload. This can usually be done by just landing on a platform somewhere and varies by equipment and upgrades.
Speaking of upgrading. As you kill enemies, search hidden caves, and blast rocks away, you’ll collect gems. These are used as currency and also experience. As far as currency, gems can be used in stores scattered throughout the levels with items to help you along your way. Any gems leftover after a run will be used to help you level up. Gaining experience grants you new color palettes and game modes.
Downwell is a lot deeper than it looks. (Is that a well pun?) Besides everything I’ve already mentioned, there’s also power-ups. Power-ups play a HUGE part in the game. Each run is its own little roguelike game. The levels are randomly generated and feel totally different each run. As you pass each level, you’ll get to pick random power-ups that can be stacked which changes up each run. Even the weapons can change how you play the game.
Downwell on the Switch is definitely the definitive version of the game in my opinion. The whole game is played with just a joystick and a single button. So, it’s great to play in handheld mode. I will say that the images feel a bit small with the Switch playing horizontally and although, the game can can be played vertically, it’s a bit tough to hold the console if you have bigger hands. Regardless, Downwell is an absolute gem and should be played by everyone who owns a Nintendo Switch and 3 dollars!!