Now normally I really detest dying in video games, but it is only natural for it to happen in Don’t Die, Minerva! and I am here for it. Xaviant Games rogue-lite action RPG introduces a Halloween theme and highly replayable haunted mansion to explore. The game was released on PC through Steam‘s early access and has players fending off the haunting inhabitants left and right. While it still has some bugs and balancing that needs to take place, it is a great game to spend hours grinding through.

Storyline

While rogue-light games might be short on storyline, we do have one within Don’t Die, Minerva! We don’t know how she has found her way here or why she cannot leave, but what we do know is that this is a fight for her life. Of the several characters you will meet along the way, my favorite is by far the butler, Mr. Buttersworth. He is whom you will upgrade Minerva’s abilities and who will teach you how to fend for your life among the halls. The story line seems to unlock as you progress to higher levels, so it is not a major part of the game, but still enjoyable none the less.

Mechanics

The mechanics are simple, clear a room of all the enemies by using your flashlight and your companion filled backpack. Everything from your flashlight to your boots can be upgraded by finding items in chests and purchasing them from the little shop. Items such as your companion and flashlight can be upgraded using gems as well that will change its attributes  or give buffs to health and damage. Now it is important to state, that upon death in any level all items are lost and Minerva will enter into level one with her base items. 

The second collectable and currency found throughout the levels are coins and essences that can be spent on items or upgrading Minerva’s abilities. The real challenge in Don’t Die, Minerva is deciding when to head back to the fountain and spend your currency or when to try and tough it out for a another room. The elevator fountain can only be used once per a level so make sure you are smart about using it. If you risk opening another room you might just lose all your progress.

While this can feel a bit rough, it actually adds to the challenge of the game and enjoyability. The high risk high reward pays off. In the beginning, I would suggest focusing more on collecting as many essence as possible and heading down to spend them as soon as you find the elevator room. This way you can work towards unlock abilities such as holding on to a set amount of coins even after death.

Overall

The real charm is the replay-ability. Since every level is randomly generated with room tiles and all monsters are randomly generated, each run through is going to be different. Of course, as you progress through the levels the monsters and rooms become more of a challenge. It is important to stay on top of all upgrades and items throughout to make sure you are being effiecient. 

Don’t Die, Minerva early access is available now on PC through Steam and the Xbox One for $19.99.

RELATED: Decade in Review: 10 Packed Years of Indie Video Games

 

 

Julia Roth
Catch Me