When I ran a daily video game review show on Twitch, I used to rail against the lazy implementation of “lo-fi” aesthetics. That style is typified by the use of super-low-poly, untextured, and poorly lit 3D game objects, and often represent the game developer’s lack of ability to produce art assets. While this has zero bearing on game play—a facet far more valuable to the gem of game design than visual presentation—it does factor into the ability to sell the game. People tend to prefer shiny things when it comes to paying for them, and any developer asking a player for more than just their time better damn well make sure their offering sparkles.
DREDGE is a masterful example of lo-fi done right. The core game play is compelling and simple, and complimented by just enough sparkle. Is had been a hot minute since a video game had gripped me hard enough to not let go until I’d seen the credits roll, and DREDGE snared me in its horrible, mutated, slimy, eldritch tentacles just so.
I would have priced the game at under $20 USD, though: it’s a rather short experience with no replay value. If it comes to a subscription service near you it should go to the top of your “play next” list. Perhaps there’s room for more through future expansions, or an outright sequel. Whatever happens, this is a rock-solid indie game, and I expect good things to come from these developers.