VoYD is a minimalistic game in control and presentation. The mantra feels to be that sometimes less is more. As an arcade game you must hack and slash through level after progressively harder level of enemies. Going to be upfront, the game is difficult. I have not managed to move beyond Level 4 as of this writing. Will there be another attempt to do so? You bet because the game begs for me to come back and try. You are gifted with the ability to take five hits which will not stay with you for long. Each level is randomly generated which can lead to some tougher than expected early couple of levels. If the enemies are spread out there will be no problems just take out the feeble warriors with your blade. Grouped together though is like running through a field of bees and not expecting to get stung. Should note that I never felt cheated in these situations. I just stunk too much to find my way out. The fact that the only controls are your mouse in the spacebar adds to the craziness. And it is tight! Adds to the minimalistic feel in my eyes.
Lets talk about the presentation. As a 2D, pixel art, top-down arcade game it still manages to stick out as a gorgeous looking game. The pixel art only really comes from the characters but they look so gorgeous flying around the “map”. The pixels filling the background brought an even more abstractness to the design. The action feels anime-like in a way with the blade strikes giving you a splash of blackness exploding against the enemy. Even getting hit looks pretty. The screen goes to red tinted static for a brief moment that fits into this pixely world. The music, apparently the developer’s first crack at it, is smashing. Adds to the whole atmosphere.
The game almost feels like an incredibly well put together test of a mechanic, or in this case the combat. You almost want to see it brought into an even grander scheme. As a standalone game it works. Easy to load up and lose a few minutes. Or maybe an hour, don’t judge me. Even knowing I might not be able to make it passed Level 4 there is the chance of surpassing my score even within that length. And I shall be victorious.
Hard to beat something like this intense action for free. Now go get a highscore that taunts you.