Disc Room Review — What Kills You Makes You Stronger
In Disc Room you will die, die, and die some more by...discs...in a room...all while showcasing fantastic and addicting gameplay.
I have said it once and I will say it again; Disc Room is a frantic hellscape that I can’t get enough of. From the creators of Minit, Sludge Life, and more titles under the Devolver Digital banner, Disc Room is weird, challenging, and addictive to the point where I had to force myself to stop playing it specifically so I could write this review.
You will find yourself dying in seconds only with the immediate want to try again and again in each room you are in. Thanks to its simplistic and tight gameplay, Disc Room is the latest indie title worth your time and money.
Taking place in a giant disc orbiting around Jupiter, Disc Room puts you in the shoes of a yellow astronaut trying to discover its mysteries. It is a simple story through and through with nothing worth highlighting, but alongside it is some of the best pure gameplay that I’ve experienced this year.
At face value, the main task in Disc Room is to simply survive as long as possible, but there are also reasons to die immediately. Each room has a number of locked doors which have a designated objective that must be completed to unlock. These objectives vary between surviving for a certain amount of time and dying by several different discs. Some rooms are so challenging that even the development team seemingly hasn’t completed them. Not only are there objectives in every room, but there is also a leaderboard which shows the best completion time from other players, whether it be worldwide or on your local friends list.
Despite focusing on bringing a challenge to players, there are actually a surprising amount of options to make Disc Room a more lenient experience. By accessing the settings, there are options to lower the speed of discs and other hazards that might show up in each room. Depending on how well you do and what criteria you meet, you may also find a few surprises along the way.
My original thought with being able to play the game early was to try and get the best score in every room, but quickly did I realize that it was near impossible without committing myself to master each level. Not only does Disc Room encourage you to die in scenarios, but there are special discs that will give you abilities once you die. With being able to dash, slow down time, and even clone myself, I found each room to be (slightly) easier, but never giving up on its difficulty. Along with different discs to dodge, there are also several zones throughout the map where rooms have a unique mechanic to move time forward.
While it’s a shorter length title, Disc Room has much more content even after you hit credits, bringing a whole new challenge that’ll make the main story feel like a cakewalk at times. Even with the number of times that I died I immediately wanted to get back into the fray, leading me to countless more deaths before I finally found success. Disc Room always felt great to play; you never feel like you’re not in control, and your deaths are always due to your own errors.
Disc Room provides a difficult experience for those looking for a brutal challenge that you’d be happy to brag to your friends that you’ve accomplished. Even though there aren’t many accessibility features available, as a title that was created by a four-person team, it is still surprising to see the number of options that are there for players who need it. Alongside having dedicated challenges, there is also a speed run timer and more options to make your time with Disc Room even more unforgiving. The demanding level of challenge in Disc Room makes Devolver Digital’s latest title a game that I think most people can and will enjoy, even if there might be some rage-induced screams at the same time.