Review: Going Under

If you’ve ever been an intern then you’ll know that being at the bottom of the ladder is the worst. You’ll spend your time doing menial tasks, unable to say no to any requests in fear you may not get hired and be the office’s errand-runner. Now take that job and turn it into a video game: enter Going Under, a new game from Team17 and Aggro Crab Games where you’re the new hire and unable to say anything to your superiors.

Going Under is a rogue-like game, in which you’ll dive into the basement of your place of employment and clear out randomly-generated dungeons packed with failed start-ups, former employees now turned into monsters and generally dealing with the worst internship ever.

I’m Going Under

Playing as Fizzle’s newest intern Jackie, what she thought she was doing is working with the marketing team, instead, she’ll head to the lower levels of the building and clean up the mess left from prior businesses. As Jackie works her way through the various themed dungeons, Jackie will tackle former employees and their bosses, who have turned into monsters and she’ll defeat them using anything she can get her hands on. She’ll also uncover the true motives of Fizzle and deal with their parent company, too.

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What works is the combat in Going Under, and the thing you’d find in a regular office will serve Jackie well as she tried to annihilate the ghouls in the basement. Using pencils, laptops, brooms, chairs, swords to tackle enemies is fun. Essentially, if you think something is a weapon, the rule of thumb in Going Under is that it is. Beating up monsters is a ton of fun and some weapons break, so with limited uses on weapons, you’ll need to be vigilant and keep a spare in case of emergency.

The Key(board) Master

Jackie handles well in battle, dodging and targeting enemies with style. She gains levels by purchasing items and boosts via cash or cryptocurrency. Jackie learns new skills that enhance her cash flow, offer more health, deal area of effect damage, and each skill makes the next run much smoother and offering a real sense of progress. However, these only last until the end of the dungeon and the trade-off is while you lose the skills, your proficiency grows each time.Going Under

Furthermore, Going Under consists of entering three dungeons, each seemingly modelled after a real startup. The first is Joblin, where you’ll clear out each floor before facing off against a boss. And, being a rogue-like title means if you fail, you’ll start all over from scratch. The rewarding gameplay loop holds through right until the end of the game thankfully and offers an assist for players who may struggle with the chaotic world underneath Fizzle.

There are also sidequests and extra content available if you’re looking for it. Jackie can ask her managers to offer up sidequests, and while you can only really have one manager a time, they all provide various perks and bonuses. One might offer better items at the shop, another grants access to Apps, which in turn are used in battle to gain the edge. Learning how to approach each dungeon and equipping the right Apps to help keep the gameplay fresh.

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Going Under is a pleasant surprise and one that succeeds in short-bursts of game time. It’s fast-paced, rewarding, charming, and most importantly, fun to play. Each dungeon’s specific startup theme parodies a real-life business to great success and the core combat delivers a satisfying experience. For a game that’s full of charm, Going Under drops a real-life look at what interning can be at some places and the greed of the senior team is believable having experienced it firsthand. Every chance encounter is a learning experience and instead of being frustrated at my demise, all I want to do is jump back in and keep going.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]