One of the standout indie games I previewed during E3 2019 was Creature in the Well. First revealed during the Nindies Spring 2019 Showcase earlier this year, Creature In The Well is a pinball-inspired action RPG being developed by Dallas-based developers, Flight School. The team is headed by Adam Volker and Bohdom Sayre, who both serve very different roles for this title. Adam handles the creative duties, from conceptualizing the gorgeous flat art style to drawing everything out. Bohdom, on the other hand, handles engineering, effects, and animation duties, as well as laying down code for the game.
Creature in the Well is a unique game that blends a traditional isometric action RPG with pinball elements that are incorporated throughout each level. Adam has lovingly referred to this mashup of genres as a “Pinbrawler,” truly the first of its kind. During the hands-on demo at E3, I was able to get a good feel for what the game has to offer. There will be eight dungeons to explore in the final game, each offering deep lore that can be discovered, giving context to the overall narrative. During exploration, there are a number of secret areas that can be discovered, depending on how keen you are on exploring.
In Creature in the Well, you control the last BOT-C unit who is on a mission to restore power to an ancient facility and save the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm. Gameplay revolves around your two weapon types—a strike and a charge weapon. As you progress through each dungeon, you’ll encounter rooms that have traditional pinball bumpers, as well as a small pedestal holding a pinball. These rooms require hitting the pinball around the room, knocking into the bumpers to generate power, which can be used to charge up devices or open doors. There are also enemies that must be accounted for, and can be taken down by hitting them with the pinball any number of times. There are cleverly designed puzzles, too, that feature timing-based mechanics, hitting multiple pinballs, and more. Your charge shot allows you to store energy from multiple pinballs and precisely aim your shot, firing a powerful burst of energy in the process.
Throughout the game there will be more than fifteen different weapons to unlock, each with different abilities to assist you during your journey. An axe, for instance, can cut a single pinball into multiple balls, while a time-slowing hammer can give you those extra few seconds to time your shot properly. Other weapons can curve the pinball, or deal AOE damage to the bumpers, allowing you to progress more quickly. At the end of each dungeon is a monolith—a fearsome creature that must be taken down to move forward. After defeating each monolith, you’ll be rewarded with a special cape that can be equipped to showcase your success.
Creature in the Well will be releasing on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, and Steam later this Summer. The game will also be coming to Xbox Game Pass the same day as the release. Adam and the team have not announced whether or not the game will be coming to PlayStation 4, but they are currently “looking into it.” Regardless, I can’t wait to dive back into this world once it’s finally released.
What upcoming indie games are you looking forward to? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and for all your E3 news and more, stay tuned to Mammoth Gamers!