(Cue the old-timey voice and the black and white slideshow reel) Welcome to Percepolis, the city where all your dreams can come true. This future city is home to the Hyde Corporation, the most advanced facility for all the modern-day steam-powered mechanisms that are leading us to the ‘World of Tomorrow’. Journey to this luxurious city to experience the world of tomorrow, today!
Wells is a 3D side-scrolling Run and Gun action game developed and published by Tower Up Studios. It tells a story of George Wells, a notorious smuggler that treks through the city of Percepolis using his skills to deal with individuals that tried to murder him. Wells is quick to denote his nemesis, Hyde, an evil monopolist that is trying to stop Wells at any means necessary. This title is comprised of ten levels that task you with fighting waves of enemies and defeat a boss at the end. Throughout the game, Wells runs into four different chests that contain different weapon variants to aid his arsenal, with each providing their own special use. The starting weapon is a semi-automatic pistol that has the ability to ricochet bullets and hit enemies around corners. The second weapon will shoot spiked cannonballs that kill smaller enemies on impact and can roll after touching the ground and can hit multiple enemies. The spike balls also can be used to hit certain targets to move elements in the environment. There is a typical rocket launcher too, but the fourth item, my personal favorite, in his arsenal is an automatic machine gun. It is the best weapon to eliminate large waves of combatants with ease. The final and most unique tool is an acid dispenser. The mechanism can be used to apply rust to any piece of metal denoted by a glistening sheen, which will poison human enemies that stand in the cloud of smoke that it leaves behind. The mechanics of this game are rather simple – you run, you shoot enemies, you defeat bosses, rinse and repeat from level one to ten. However, that doesn’t make it boring…the levels are so fast paced that it stays engaging. There are also a couple levels that give a different aspect of gameplay to give a bit of variety. For example, one of the stages gives you a motorcycle and gives the extra challenge of keeping up with the enemies while you are constantly moving.
The visual aesthetics featured in Wells is very interesting and one of the best characteristics that it has to offer. The style gives a steampunk inspired vibe as the environment displays a Victorian elegance with the blend of steam-powered machinery. The characters, and more importantly the bosses pair elegantly with this stylization. On the other hand, the soundtrack is not as impressive as the visuals. While the music is interesting, it is nothing spectacular and the other audio cues can get quite annoying. One that always comes to mind is the sound Wells makes when he jumps. He makes an annoying grunting noise that plays every single time he jumps with no stopping. Another issue that I found was with the voice acting. While there was not a large amount throughout the game, every time there would be some it would sound muffled and hard to understand. This made it hard to follow the dialogue and found myself looking at the atmosphere for the story.
Being a fan of the steampunk style, Wells intrigued me from the beginning and I hoped that it would live up to my expectations. I felt that the game was enjoyable and would find myself playing stage after stage without noticing how much time had passed. The levels were action-packed with enemies galore. The game is very short (I beat it in about four to five hours), but I don’t find that to be a downside. The simplistic nature paired with the shortness of title provide a nice little experience that can be achieved without a large time commitment. Any longer and I feel that this game would have gotten old and just too repetitive. The game was very easy and I found it was rather difficult to die even in later levels. That is until fighting some of the later bosses. The bosses were straightforward – shoot the glowing bits until the monster dies or moves on to the next stage, but some of the later ones had heavy hitting attacks that would just obliterate me. However, they were not impossible and once I learn their pattern of attack, they were easier to overcome.
Wells is an interesting little title that I would recommend playing. It was not the best game, but it was enjoyable and I feel that it is a title that more people should check out.
Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 7/10
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