Neon Abyss is an action platformer twin-stick shooter with rouge-like elements developed by Veewo Games and published by Team 17. In this game, you will run-n-gun your way through the Abyss on a mission to eliminate the new gods and their minions. This game features an unlimited variety of gun and ability combinations making every run feel unique. Every death brings a new opportunity to alter the ruleset of the game by making choices on what abilities and weapons you will use. The dungeons of this game are procedurally generated so every time you go back into the abyss it will have a different layout than the last. In Neon Abyss you will travel from room to room taking out enemies, finding secrets, buying abilities, and trying to survive.
There is not much of a story in Neon Abyss. You’re hired by Hades to take down the Titan Group, which consists of a variety of Gods. This Titan Group had not only stripped Hades of his powers but destroyed your family as well. Hades grants you the ability to enter the Abyss and seek out your revenge.
After the introduction of the game, you will immediately be dropped into a dungeon. You start with the basic gun and no abilities. Exploring the dungeon, you will find a wide variety of abilities that will not only affect your character (health, shields, movement speed) but that will affect the gun you’re using as well. Some power-ups will increase your fire-rate, size of the bullets, and even put elemental effects on the weapon you’re using. Five main Gods act as the game’s larger bosses and a handful of mini-bosses show up at the end of each level.
One thing I enjoyed about Neon Abyss is all of the fun pop-culture references there are in this game. There are references to films, other video games, anime, and even E-sports. These references come in the form of gun power-ups to even the mini-bosses of the game. For example, one of the gods you fight is named Tik and Tok the God of Mobile Videos.
Once you die in Neon Abyss, because dying is inevitable, you will be sent back to the main hub. This hub takes place in a bar and is how you change the difficulty, use upgrades, change your character, and yes even dance. There are a variety of different characters to choose from, all with their special abilities. You start the game with two characters, but can unlock more using upgrades as you progress through the game.
In Neon Abyss, there are two types of currency – coins and crystals. The coins you can gain by opening chests and defeating enemies are used in the shops to purchase different items. There is always one shop in every level. The other currency is crystals. Crystals can also be found in chests or different areas of the dungeon. Crystals are used to open doors and use gun abilities.
Another important item in this game is eggs. Eggs are found throughout the dungeons and will hatch into a variety of different pets. There is a chance that the egg will fail and not hatch into anything at all. These pets will have a variety of abilities like attacking enemies and supplying you with items. Not all abilities and pets will benefit you. Some pets will grab hearts and turn them into shields. This can be problematic if you are low on hearts. Another pet called the Grabber, takes fallen coins and turns them into random items. The pets and abilities keep things different and always interesting.
As you travel throughout the dungeon you will fill up a bar on the bottom right of your screen. This bar will either fill up with “wisdom” or “violence”. If you go through rooms without dying and use your crystals to open doors you will gain wisdom. If you take damage or end up shooting the doors or crystal shards, your violence meter will increase.
Once you have your wisdom meter filled, a secret room will appear giving you the option to choose between two power-ups. If the violence meter is filled another secret room will appear giving you the option between three power-ups. The catch with the violence meter is you have to sacrifice a heart container to grab the items. Both of these meters play a large role toward the end of the game. Once you grab the items in either the wisdom or violence rooms the bars will reset.
I played Neon Abyss on Nintendo Switch and there were some technical issues. First, at certain levels (especially during the mini-boss fight with Jonny God of Idols), the game lags quite significantly. This is the only mini-boss where I found that much lag. Other than that, it tends to happen when a lot is going on in the game. Other than these occasions, the game seems polished and ran pretty well. I’m not sure if there were similar problems on other platforms. It might just be the Nintendo Switch version.
Another issue I ran into was during the Ares boss run. This run consists of eight levels so it’s one of the longer runs. After you defeat Zeus, one of the game’s main bosses, a portal is supposed to open and allow you to travel to a separate dungeon to fight Ares. Unfortunately, once the portal opens it would not allow me to travel through. I was forced to quit and start over. I tried a second time going through all eight levels and the same thing happened. Usually, once you beat a boss you can take your time to collect any fallen items, but the solution in this situation was to immediately enter the portal once the prompt appears. Doing that worked for me and I was allowed to proceed.
The soundtrack of this game is an upbeat EDM track that plays well to the neon esthetic of the world. While you travel through the dungeons it’s pretty mellow and slow, but once you start fighting enemies the music intensifies to match the action going on. The music is pretty repetitive, but eventually, it just becomes background noise as you are trying to focus on not dying. The visuals of this game are great. The neon aesthetic, even though subtle inside the dungeon is a nice touch. The enemies have a good amount of personality that distinguishes them from each other. The look of dungeons are pretty much the same but start to change a little towards the end.
Overall, Neon Abyss was a fun game to play. The controls of Neon Abyss were interesting to get used to, but I found myself enjoying the twin-stick platformer very much. Having only five main bosses means this game is relatively short, but the length of the game will play into the skill of the player as well. The neon world and almost unlimited variety of weapons and abilities made every run feel different and made me excited to come back.
Unfortunately, the Switch version does suffer from technical issues in some areas, but they did not hinder the experience for me. If you are new to the rouge-like genre I feel like this is a good entry point. The game is short and the ability to change the difficulty at any time means you can shape the game to be something you’re comfortable with. Neon Abyss is out now for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Switch. The game even came day one on Gamepass, so if you haven’t, I would recommend checking this one out. A demo for the game is available now, so you can check out the game before you buy it.