Euclidean
Gameplay 3
Graphics 5
Sound 6

Euclidean is a game of geometric horror that tries very hard to make use of Lovecraftian elements to inspire dread, but only manages frustration instead. Not only is it hard to see what is going on around you, but the controls are also sluggish to the point of feeling useless. Instant death is very common, forcing players to restart the level, but mercifully the levels are short and there are only nine of them. Unless you are a huge fan of Lovecraft, can handle frustration and can find this game on sale, it is not really recommended.

Gameplay: Fall down very slowly while battling sluggish controls in order to avoid enemies.

Graphics: Enemies are far from scary and the whole thing is just too dark and foggy for its own good.

Sound: The ambient soundtrack is good, but the taunting voice can become repetitive

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Euclidean

Developer: Alpha Wave Entertainment | Publisher: AAD Productions | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Action / Casual / Indie | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

There have been countless games that have tried to capture the horror and madness of the Cthulhu Mythos, but very few ever manage to succeed in doing so. After all, it is a little tricky to accurately depict the kind of monstrous beings that can induce madness just by gazing at them. Euclidean is another attempt at portraying what happens when mortals are given a glimpse beyond their perceived reality and behold the cosmic indifference to their existence. However, it attempts to do so in a manner that very few, if any, other games have done.

Euclidean is described as a game of “geometric horror” by the developers, but even if you are very easily startled, there is very little actual horror to be found. Instead, what you have is a game where your character somehow managed to fall behind the curtain of reality and is slowly sinking down into a seemingly bottomless abyss of cosmic horrors. This does sound rather creepy on paper, but in reality it simply means that you are moving at the speed of a snail that got caught in molasses while attempting to “dodge” enemies that are made out of simple geometric shapes. We use the term “dodge” very lightly here as well because the speed at which you can move your character is so slow, we had to check a couple of times to make sure that there is any movement at all. This doesn’t help when your enemies are very fast and the slightest contact with them or any solid objects for that matter spells instant death and having to restart the level from scratch.

Your character does have one trick up his sleeve, which is the ability to phase through moving enemies. This power takes a while to recharge and doesn’t on solid objects, but it does give you a slight chance. The heartbeat of your character serves as a warning of imminent danger, but many of the enemies are so quick that you will have collided with them before you hear anything. Phasing also changes the visuals, which gives you a better view of your surroundings, which is quite vital considering how the game normally looks.

Euclidean is clearly a game that was designed with VR headsets in mind and while using one of these definitely makes for a more immersive experience, it doesn’t help much when it comes to seeing what is going on around you. Not only is the game extremely dark, but everything is also very foggy, so most of the time it feels like you are surrounded by darkness. The occasional flash of light reveals more of the obstacles and enemies in your path, but it is still very frustrating not being able to see what is going on. I can understand why the developers took this approach, though, as getting a clear view of your enemies reveals that they are not scary or creepy in the least. Some levels offer a clearer view than others, but overall the visuals are more headache inducing than atmospheric.

With only nine levels on offer Euclidean is not a very long game, but you can still expect to die many, many times before you will reach the end. That is if you have the patience to even make it to the end. In addition to the default “Nightmarish” difficulty level, you can also bump things up to “Impossible” or down to “Hard” if you wish, but this only influences how long it takes for your phasing ability to recharge. If, for some reason you hate yourself and revel in frustration, you can also enable permadeath in the game.

Your overall goal in Euclidean is to simply survive all the obstacles in your path and make it to the bottom of the level in order to move on to the next one. Accompanying on your journey is an ambient soundtrack, which isn’t too bad and a rumbling voice that taunts you all the way down. These taunts could have been cool if they didn’t become so repetitive due to the frequency at which you have to restart a level. There are only so many times you can listen to a voice mocking you for how insignificant you are before it starts to grate on the nerves.

Overall, Euclidean could have been a good game and the idea behind it is pretty good, but the execution just leaves a lot to be desired. In the end, it is just another short and frustrating game that probably won’t appeal to the majority of players. Even with the Lovecraftian horror elements, this game is very hard to recommend. It might be worth a look if you can find it on sale for very cheap, but once the novelty wears off there is very little to keep you coming back.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP
  • Processor: 2 GHZ
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: SM 3.0 capable
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: For VR Mode: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 (or equivalent) and Oculus Rift DK2 headset – 0.8 runtime required
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3770k (or equivalent)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (or equivalent)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 500 MB available space
  • Additional Notes: For VR Mode: Oculus Rift DK2 / Crescent Bay / Vive headset – 0.8 runtime required

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