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Rural stealth roguelike Basingstoke lurches out


Speaking as someone who comes from a place that made someone literally grimace and turn away when I named it the other day, I'm in two minds about Basingstoke's running gag about running away from Basingstoke. One mind is firmly on the side of any besmirched Basestokians. The other mind reckons the freshly released stealth/action roguelike from Revenge Of The Titans devs Puppygames is only up to a bit of harmless joshing.

Their version of Hampshire is one where Basingstoke has fallen to an unholy trinity of zombies, monsters and droids, and a single hit from any of them is enough to take you out.

According to the press release: "Your primary motive is to escape Basingstoke alive, like any normal person would want to do, using a careful balance of stealth, distraction, backstabbing, running away, and as a last resort, extreme violence." So, Puppygames advise tactical evasion over straight up combat - which makes sense when one bite is enough to send you back to the dark heart of Basingstoke. At least you might get to come back as a different character though, who each come with special equipment like lockpicks or shiny credit cards. There's crafting in the mix too, involving poisoned kebabs, homemade blowpipes and DIY flamethrowers.

All of that tells you far more about the game than their latest trailer does (and makes this one from the alpha pretty misleading), but at least it provides a thorough and scientifically detailed account of the calamity that befell Basingstoke.

I do like the tension inherent to any game where a tiny misstep can cost you everything. It's central to my love of Devil Daggers, Spelunky and even Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. Provided Basingstoke can make begging anew more exciting than annoying, it could well earn its place on that list.

Basingstoke is available on Steam, GOG and Itch for £20.22/$25.49/€23.79.

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Matt Cox


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