Review – Going Under

If you have ever worked for a shady startup or tech company, then Going Under will be one of the most relatable games you’ll ever play in your life. Want to relive the times when you were an underpaid intern having to deal with lots of chores that weren’t the things you were originally supposed to take part in? How about having to once again deal with a tech company’s phoney vision and mission while dealing with arrogant co-workers? You’ll do that in here, with the added benefit of partaking in a very creative roguelike in the meantime.

Going Under

Cryptocurrency. At the very least, zombies don’t buy GPUs.

In Going Under, you play as Jacqueline “Jackie” Fiasco, a marketing graduate who has just been hired as an intern for a energy drink startup called Fizzle (a clear jab at Red Bull). Fizzle has just been purchased by the gigantic tech and retail conglomerate called Cubicle (literally just Amazon). Upon meeting her shady supervisor, she finds out she’s not actually going to work as a marketing intern, but actually as someone tasked with killing hordes of zombies and monsters working for other startups located in the same office building as yours. All of them are also satirised versions of famous tech companies and startups. Somehow, your job sounds less aggravating than a real-life internship.

It’s impressive how the folks at Aggro Crab managed to create a fun roguelike out of office spaces. You fight hordes of enemies with the most ridiculous assortment of weapons you can imagine, ranging from computer keyboards and oversized staplers, to toy swords and a potted cactus. Considering the fact that nothing in Going Under was created with the intention of being a weapon, you can only use these utensils for a few hits, as they all break as quickly as the most fragile of weapons in Breath of the Wild. That did not infuriate me at all, though, as each room is absolutely scattered with items you can use to bash enemies with. You can also lock on enemies and throw said items on them, which is really helpful whenever the camera starts acting against your will.

Going Under

Every single logistics employee’s biggest dream…

Just like in any other roguelike, you are constantly showered with lots of powerups throughout your runs in order to make things a bit less aggravating to your poor intern. You can get money from your fallen enemies and spend them on items in a hipster café located in each floor of the office dungeon you’re exploring. At the end of each floor, you have to fight a small horde of much more difficult enemies and upon defeating them you’ll be rewarded with a care package delivered by a Cubicle delivery drone.

Every now and then, upon killing an enemy, you’re able to collect an icon that makes fun of a famous mobile app, like YouTube, Tinder, or Whatsapp. These apps act as limited use buffs, such as a temporary boost to your speed or a momentary discount at that floor’s hipster café.

Going Under

Skelecaster… genius…

You can also find small storage rooms or bathrooms that contain Skills you can equip. These can either be active or passive buffs, such as extra hearts or the ability to deploy a bomb whenever you perform a dodge roll. The longer you equip this skill, or the more often you decide to pick it up throughout your runs, the more experience you’ll acquire for it, eventually allowing you to equip them right before entering an office dungeon. Finally, you can befriend some of your coworkers by completing small objectives for them. They’ll provide you with some additional ability as well.

Even though this is no Hades, I really enjoyed Going Under‘s overall gameplay. It gives you a lot of freedom to experiment with different weapons, builds, and perks. That being said, what really made me love the game wasn’t exactly its gameplay loop, but actually its humor and setting.

Going Under

The decor might look ridiculous, but I can totally imagine a tech company having a similar room like this one.

I’ve previously worked for startups and smaller tech companies that acted painfully similar to the companies showcased in Going Under, after removing the demon iconography, of course. From phoney “we’re not a company, we’re a family” monologues to slides and graffiti on the office walls to try to showcase an image of being hip and forward-thinking, when you’re actually just as close-minded as any other accounting firm out there. Everything you (dis)like the most about startup culture is satirized in some way in here.

In terms of its presentation, Going Under isn’t as exciting. It does have a unique art style, sure, with every single character looking and moving like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. It’s also very colorful, but it is let down by a subpar framerate and the aforementioned camera issues. The sound design is good, but it isn’t very memorable either. The only instances of voice acting in here are in the game’s introductory cutscene, with the previously mentioned phoney startup monologue, and whenever you get a parcel inside a dungeon, with the drone’s voice sounding like Amazon’s Alexa.

Going Under

Do you know why this level has minecarts? Because you’re fighting against cryptocurrency miners…

More than just a unique roguelike with a nice combat system and tons of customization options, Going Under is also a great piece of satire. Anyone who has ever worked for a tech company or startup, or has ever had an annoying boss who forced them to do chores that were completely unrelated to what they had been hired for, will definitely relate to our protagonist’s struggles. It might not be the best roguelike released this year (it’s almost unfair, considering the fact that Hades exists), but if you’re into the genre, go for it. It’s one of the best titles released in recent months.


Graphics: 7.0

Despite the framerate hiccups, I do appreciate Going Under‘s very unique and colorful art style.

Gameplay: 8.0

The combat itself is pretty simple and straightforward, though I appreciate the inclusion of a lock-on system, as the game suffers from some camera issues. The framerate is also a bit wonky.

Sound: 6.5

The soundtrack is simply passable, the sound effects are underwhelming, but I can’t help but love the intentionally phoney voice acting from the introductory cutscene, as well as the Alexa-esque voice clips scattered throughout the game.

Fun Factor: 8.5

Not only is Going Under a great roguelike with a simple yet interesting combat system, but it’s also a fantastic piece of satire. Anyone who has ever worked in a tech company or a startup will instantly relate to Jackie’s struggles.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Going Under is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Going Under was provided by the publisher.