By Jack O’Dwyer
Do you ever feel like all role-playing games are the same? You are not the only one, and your assessment is not that far from correct. RPGs seem to follow the same cookie-cutter pattern of gear-up, kill a monster, gain experience, upgrade—albeit with a twinge of story thrown in for flavor.
It can get pretty monotonous going from one game to a clone game where the only change is the enemy’s name (sorry, Pokémon, but you know you are guilty). Fortunately, every few years, we get games that break the mold and reignite our interest.
“Undertale” is such a game. Created completely by “Homestuck” contributing composer Toby Fox, “Undertale” is a single-player, indie role-playing game that was released on Sept 15, 2015. It gained an overwhelming amount of positive reviews upon release, including a 10/10 rating from IGN and Destructoid and 5 stars from USgamer. It won the Audience Award from the Independent Games Festival Awards, Game of the Year from The Jimquisition and Zero Punctuation, and Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game award from SXSW Gaming.
As with most RPGs, this game focuses on you (represented by gender-neutral human child avatar) and your journey through the underground world of monsters. Along the way you encounter a plethora of unique characters of which you can choose to befriend…or kill.
Just be aware that the choices you make carry significant weight—the characters you encounter sure are. In fact, it appears this game has something of a mind of its own. Between seemingly self-aware acknowledgment of your resets and reloads to randomly generated Easter eggs, “Undertale” has new quirks every time you play. There are numerous endings depending on how you navigate the game, making for a high replay value—even if you don’t play for the warm-fuzzies.
“Undertale” is available on Windows, OS, and Linux for $10 through Steam and its website. This is definitely a game you won’t have a bad time playing.