By Chris Picone, 20 November 2022
Impaler is a short but nifty roguelike first person shooter with intense gameplay and a few stand-out features.
Very unusual. Classic Doom-style colours and inspiration, although the monsters are original to the game. What’s unusual is that the although the game’s 3D, all of the monster and object sprites are 2D, although cleverly designed to face you at all times. It’s weird but it works.
Also quite unusual. The whole game is played in a single room but once you kill everything and move to the next level, all the furniture changes, with pillars dropping from the sky. Monsters spawn in periodically. Your job is to blast them all to kingdom come, while also collecting coins to purchase upgrades between levels. Upgrades stack each level but clear with each new run. There’s a decent range of enemies on any given run, but not enough to really encourage replayability across multiple runs. The one aspect of the game that does encourage new playthroughs (other than trying to beat the game or go for higher scores) is that as you progressively rack up a kill count, collect coins, etc., you unlock new weapons. There’s no weapon cycling either – the gun you choose at the start of each run is the gun you finish with. Guns don’t use ammunition but instead overheat but to manage that can also cause giant spikes to rise from the ground to kill your enemies. Like everything else in this game, it’s weird but it works.
I have no hesitation recommending this to any FPS arena fans, as long as you don’t mind the unusual art style. If anything, I feel I was a bit harsh in the review because I found it to be really polished, enjoyable experience and kept forgetting its $3 price tag. Honestly, I’d love to see a few more monsters and a few more levels added for greater replayability and I think it’s worth a lot more.