Descenders is out now on PS4, the game with a strange mix of Rogue-like mechanics with downhill mountain biking from developer RageSquid. Although the two concepts are bizarrely smashed together, what’s leftover is a pretty fun time-wasting experience.
The game has been available on Steam since way back in May 2019, where it has received over 3,000 very positive reviews. This is all down to its fast-paced gameplay, procedurally generated biomes, and the addictive rogue-like gameplay mechanics.
The concept behind Descenders is a simple one. You careen violently – but with control – down a series of hills that get more and more difficult. Each level is procedurally generated, and if you crash too many times, you’re sent back to the start.
In terms of rogue-like gameplay, after you complete the first level you’ll enter a world map. There are different levels to choose from which you can pick based on the difficulty level. This is determined by the steepness and trickiness of the map.
You progress through the levels, aiming for a final “boss jump.” If you complete this jump you’ll get a shortcut on your next run into the trickier – and more interesting biomes – later in the game. Although you’re not exactly collecting swords or leveling your character, you can earn unique cosmetics as you play.
The first biome you encounter is a very generic hilly region, but the more you play the more interesting the biomes become. There are forests, mountains, and later in the game, favelas and even a volcanic region.
These later biomes are significantly harder, and the quality of the rewards match the effort you’ll need to put in. More cosmetics will tumble into your lap, and while there is no one to see them but you, it still feels pretty good changing up your rider.
Overall, Descenders is a simple game with simple mechanics. It leans towards the sort of game you might spend an hour or two playing at a time, getting stuck in a loop of different tracks as the rogue-like mechanics give you that “one more turn” mentality.
Everything is pretty slick, from the controls to the presentation. The graphics aren’t exactly jaw-dropping and there is some screen-tearing at points, but the game is still a lot of fun to play. If you want to find out more you can check out some gameplay trailers on YouTube – the game has already been out on other platforms for a couple of years.