Review: Vaporum – Lockdown – SENSES

Nice, well-made and challenging – but some retro grips do not work as well today as then.

Vaporum: Lockdown is another prequel Vaporum, which was released in 2017. We are stuck in the underworld and must try to get out. In the way stand many enemies and lots of puzzling puzzles. Explore, plunder and develop your avatar in this role-playing dungeon crawler.

Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com - Vaporum Lockdown - Copyright 2021 - Sledgehammer Enemy.
Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com

Vaporum: Lockdown looks at first glance like so many other games in the genre until you take your first step. We do not move as usual FPS (First Person Shooter)-game but in a grid pattern. We can not move diagonally and only one section at a time. Herein lies the retro aspect of Vaporum-Lockdown. The problem for me is that this game mechanics does not feel like something that translates well into a modern game. In the past, this whole concept was created as a solution to the problem that the technology was simply too small for you to move as you wanted. Therefore, the game creators solved it by saying that you could only move in sections. Some retro grips should stay as they are – history.

Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com - Vaporum: Lockdown - Copyright 2021 - Ozing enemy.
Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com

I have played several games like this for a number of decades now and then it was shitty to explore the world one section at a time. But for me, this works poorly in a modern game. The biggest problem is that the challenge is not that you are only allowed to move in a checkerboard pattern. There are games that handle restrictions much better as in for example Darq, where you use 3D to your advantage – when needed.

Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com - Vaporum: Lockdown - Copyright 2021 - Inventory screen.
Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com

Whether I like the layout or not, it is Vaporum: Lockdown a great and advanced game, which you can easily get lost in and explore. The graphics are nice and the atmosphere is oppressive. Most of the characters you meet have recorded voices and overall, this is really a skillfully constructed game. It works perfectly Switch then you can have it with you wherever you are and there are no problems with your small screen, that something would be too small in the graphics.

Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com - Vaporum: Lockdown - Copyright 2021 - Glowing enemy.
Press image: Fatbot Games / Nintendo.com

The big smolt for me is that I remember my frustration from the past that, when I not could turn around the way I wanted without being forced to move around the marked path… it’s more frustrating than nostalgic fun. But, as the game is still very well done and extensive, the rating will still be good, although no clear recommendation.