icon Author: [OP] BubblesUK
The Black Pool Review

The Black Pool Review

Developer and Publisher - Smug Marmot Studios

In the forest outside of town, four friends discover a mysterious black pool that transports them to an unknown world. 

To fight their way home, they must unlock and master supernatural abilities. 

Play cooperative or solo in this high-paced action game of skill that varies each session.

Awakening from travelling to a whole new world, as you step out of the Black Pool.

Proceed through various worlds, searching for a way home in this action-packed roguelike adventure.

Cruise through countless enemy mechs and bosses, and bag yourself that one-way ticket back home, facing almost impossible challenges.

Will you make it back? Or will The Black Pool make you bend to your knees?


There isn't a "tutorial" of sorts, as it throws you into the game, I was a little lost for words trying to figure out buttons, one thing I can say for sure though is that this game is so graphically appealing that it is mind-blowing, what an experience.

It does provide helpful tips and advice when first approaching a new area, for example selecting skills and using Jump pads, or finding optional areas inside the game, the rest is up to you to figure out.

At the beginning, you'll rise from a pool of Black sludge, neck deep and head towards your first 2 skill pickups.

Skills can vary from AoE, Weak attack, Strong attack, upwards jump or Dodge ability, while possessing a random element, like Void, Decay, Fire, Ice, Lightning and Earth. There may be more, but these are the ones that I discovered.

You'll then navigate towards the end, passing by a ball you can't use right now, following a rocky ledge, and jumping into the abyss at the end of a long corridor.

The whole journey is long, but at least you have some movement speed to do it quickly.

The roguelike elements come in when you first enter a level, you fight your way through the hordes of different enemies, encounter different paths and do sub-objectives, you might even come across special one-time-only events, those are rare.

Before fighting the boss at every 3rd stage of that world, you'll encounter a power-up which can be used for the entirety of the run.

Each world will have specific enemies and a specific boss, you may end up getting the same boss 2 times in 1 run, at the end of the battle, you'll be transported to the starting area and can select a new move from the podium area.

Final Thoughts

Graphically speaking, this game has some intense graphics with move quality, beautiful scenery and some good sound effects.

I have to say, it was generally pleasing and eye-appealing to play, visually speaking, this game is pretty perfect in the graphics, and smooth in controls and transitions.

Be as it may, a Roguelike experience like none other, you'll get sucked into the atmosphere of the game, just like I did, be advised though, try not to explore too much, you may find yourself stuck behind a wall, with no way out.



I would rate this a solid 4, for its ease into the game. If I could make 2 suggestions for improvements, it would be these;

Include a directional marker in words, as you can very easily lose track of the objective, a simple waypoint would suffice, in one world I was aimlessly walking around, just lost to find out that I had to destroy a tower...

Include the shortcut to always be open after collecting the first skill, in the beginning, that passageway is just too long, even with the movement speed bonus...



If you want to check out the official website, it can be found HERE.

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