If 2020 were a video game, it would be Disc Room. The dual team of Jan Willem Nijman & Kitty Calis (MINIT) and Terri Vellmann & Doseone (SLUDGE LIFE and HIGH HELL) have put together something that seems easy on paper, only for it to rain anarchy at the drop of a hat. In some ways, I can commend these four for concocting something so simple yet exciting. On the other hand, my anxiety’s through the roof now after playing it!
Disc Room has you traveling to the distant planet of Jupiter, where a secret lies on its surface. You enter a room, only to be greeted with buzz saws and other discs that aim to kill you. As you go through each room, new challenges await, with more traps lying in secret to end your progress. Oh, and did I mention the sand worm?
As you play though Disc Room, you’ll be able to learn new powers to aid in your survival. From cloning yourself to better your chances to slowing down time to evade close calls, these abilities will come in handy when dealing with tougher areas. However, these skills do come at a price, such as clones only counting for half a second when in usage or the clock stopping completely as you slow time down.
Each room has their own set of guidelines to move on, but seeing as this is a Devolver Digital title, said guidelines like to screw you over! Case in point, one challenge is to survive for ten seconds. What it doesn’t tell you is that each second isn’t added on unless you collect gold orbs that appear throughout the room. Ergo, you’ll find yourself maybe going two whole minutes before you collect those ten seconds! (Or, if you’re like me, you go for two minutes and die after only “nine seconds”!)
Somewhere, Nijman, Calis, Vellmann and Doseone are laughing at you as you try to survive this crazy nightmare. Just when you think you are okay, another trap opens under your feet, forcing you to start again! The level of insanity that these sentient discs have within themselves will certainly raise your blood pressure up to dangerous numbers. It’s even more frustrating when said discs decide to throw themselves into your direction out of the blue, even if they’re going the other way!
And yet, I can’t help but be happy with a game like Disc Room. This is the sort of game that’s quick to pitch in an elevator, but the minds of these four developers have thrown every sort of idea, concept, and violent death into the overall mix. It’s fast-paced, challenging, and — above all — loads of fun! Even if there are rooms that feel impossible to complete, there’s something about its presentation that keeps me wanting to try again and again.
Your first play-through of Disc Room may take you about 3-4 hours, but the mayhem doesn’t stop there. There are other challenges that players can try for during each experience. Can you beat each room on your first try, or can you be killed by each kind of disc only once? How about completing the entire game in under 15 minutes?! (Lord knows I probably can’t!)
- Simple gameplay, fun execution
- Cool powers to unlock
- Very challenging...
- ...but also frustrating in places
On the surface, Disc Room doesn’t seem like nothing special. However, one play-through, and you’ll realize that it’s beyond out of the ordinary. With a few dozen rooms to explore and die countless times in, Disc Room is a worthy challenger that’ll make you sweat and cheer throughout its madness!
Promotional consideration provided by Thomas Schulenberg of Tinsley PR. Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch.