Review – Paranautical Activity

Another day, another roguelike. I’ve just reviewed Survive! Mr. Cube for the PS4 and it took less than a week for another game from the same genre to show up for me to review it. This time around, we’re talking about Paranautical Activity, a game previously released to basically anything that could run it back in 2015, Wii U included.


I should worry about having to fight a flying Moby Dick inside a warehouse, shouldn’t I?

Paranautical Activity tries to fuse various types of genres and gaming styles in order to provide something fresh to its audience. It plays like a retro shooter, heavily inspired by the likes of Doom and Quake, but much slower. It features the same blocky visuals from Minecraft. It features an insanely loud electronic soundtrack, akin to a rave. Finally, as previously mentioned, it’s a roguelike, therefore rooms are randomly generated and each new run is different from the last.

Your objective: survive. Go from room to room, kill a bunch of weirdly designed enemies, hope you won’t get caught in the middle of the fire, earn enough cash to afford a better weapon, rinse and repeat until you eventually die (it won’t take long). It’s not exactly rocket science. It’s a roguelike although it shouldn’t even be one. If you like games from the genre and if you like old-school shooters, you might enjoy Paranautical Activity. If that’s not the case, the game’s myriad of issues will most certainly annoy you.


Just like Doom, right?

For starters, the game’s soundtrack is a nuisance. It’s loud eletronic music. Emphasis on LOUD. Very. LOUD. I don’t want to be considered an old man in a young adult’s body, but that damn thing was too loud and too distracting. For the first time since I have no idea when, I actually went into the settings and shut the music off, that’s how much it was getting on my nerves. Second of all, the graphics: Paranautical Activity follows the irritating trend of using Minecraft-ish visuals for everything and while some of the enemies are actually well-designed (if not a bit off-putting), the environments are borderline tedious.


That doesn’t look fair.

Do you like roguelikes, first-person shooters, Minecraft visuals and rave music? If you like all of those, then Paranautical Activity is a dream come true for you and you should buy it right now. If you like only 3 or less of the above, this game is definitely not for you. Paranautical Activity only caters to a microscopic niche due to its weird design choices. Add in average-at-best controls to the mix and you’ll get a somewhat subpar roguelike experience for the Switch, a console already full of much better choices.



Graphics: 4.0

It borrows the same blocky visuals from games like Minecraft. The character design itself isn’t exactly bad, but the environments are beyond repetitive.

Gameplay: 6.5

The game tries to emulate the gameplay and feel of old-school shooters. It does a fine job for the most part, with the exception of its slower movement and odd button placement.

Sound: 3.0

The game’s soundtrack is comprised of extremely loud rave tunes. I had to turn them off because they were so irritating.

Fun Factor: 5.0

Paranautical Activity can be lots of fun if you specifically love roguelikes, shooters, and loud electronic music. If you don’t, then the experience will be mediocre at the very best.

Final Verdict: 5.0

Reviewed on Switch.

Also available on: PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, PC, Wii U

A copy of Paranautical Activity was provided by the publisher.