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PAX East 2019: Jupiter Hell

Want to play DOOM, but you’re not good at first person shooters? Wish Pokemon Mystery Dungeon had more guns, and was also in space? You might be interested in Jupiter Hell, a Mystery-Dungeon style turn-based roguelike that pays homage to DOOM. Created by Chaos Forge, Jupiter Hell has you stranded on a base near Jupiter and forces you to fight your way to freedom. Unlike the frantic FPS frenzies we’re used to, though, enemies only move when you do. If you move or shoot, enemies can take their turn to move or shoot. If you stay still, they’ll wait for you to take your turn.

This makes the game much more tactical, which is exactly what these turn-based roguelikes should be. Instead of running in guns blazing, you can take your time to size up the enemies, look for items or cover, pick which weapon you should use, and make your strategy to get through the room. The cover system is an integral part of the game, you should always try to be behind cover and bait enemies out to minimize the amount of damage they can do to you. The developer I talked to compared it to XCOM, which I haven’t played, but he assured me that if you like XCOM, you’ll like Jupiter Hell.

When I asked if there’d be progression between lives, so any progress you made on one could be carried over to the next, I got a “hell no” in response (not in those exact words). The devs didn’t like how other games would force you to grind in earlier lives in order to power yourself up to have a shot at beating the game, so Jupiter Hell both makes you and allows you to beat the game in a single shot. On top of that, beating certain challenges will unlock more challenges, allowing for more and more gameplay even as you start dominating the game.

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