Noita Is a Wild Spectacle of Elemental Magic and Roguelike Insanity

Noita Is a Wild Spectacle of Elemental Magic and Roguelike Insanity

Noita is finally out of early access and we took the opportunity to see how the roguelike's ridiculous pixel-based physics hold up.

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with the release build of Nolla GamesNoita. The magic-based roguelike puts a big emphasis on randomization and incredible pixel-based physics. If you’re looking for your next roguelike after Hades and Spelunky 2, this one is certainly worth checking out. Below, you can watch me fumble my way through a few levels as I try to decipher some of the craziness that’s in Noita.

Noita is quite unique in the modern-day roguelike landscape. Obviously, plenty of games lack persistent progression. And the pixel graphics hardly make it stand out from the crowd. However, I’ve yet to see any of them go so hard into building such an intense physics system.

Though, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that a team made up of people behind games like Baba Is You, The Swapper, and Crayon Physics Deluxe would do something that feels so different from other games in the genre. That said, some of the hijinks I’ve gotten up to in my early time have been literally jaw-dropping.

I’ve played quite a few roguelikes over the years. One of the things all the best ones have in common is how they let you tell cool stories. I don’t mean the narrative is great. Instead, I’m referring to the game’s systems providing you with memorable moments that you have to tell your friends about immediately.

Noita has that in spades. Via your randomized wands and spells, you have control over all types of elements. However, those same elements are just as likely to murder you as they are your enemies. See, you control the elements well enough to shoot black holes out of your wand, but it’s fleeting. The second you cast the spell, it takes on a mind of its own.

The pixel-based physics are a sight to behold. You’ll see fire engulf wood and open up new areas. You might get empowered by bathing in the literal blood of your enemies. And using your shield spell to repel heat-seeking missiles was always a treat. The pure chaos that erupts once you fling a spell with your magic wand is something that consistently filled me with a sense of childlike glee. Like a kid first discovering you could burn ants with a magnifying glass, Noita turned me into a cackling agent of destruction.

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Now, it’s worth remembering that I’ve only spent a few hours with Noita. It’s highly likely that, as I play more, I’ll become much more comfortable with the elements. However, at my current skill level, I’m just running like a madman from encounter to encounter praying I’ve made the correct choice. More often than not, I just end up dead in a pool of poison, blood, and scrambled television signals.

This mix of randomness and the stunning display of physics has me very excited to keep playing Noita. Personally, this style of roguelike isn’t the one I usually go for. There’s something about games in the genre with a reticule that almost immediately turn me off. I don’t know if it’s just that I could never get into Enter the Gungeon or what, but I’ve never clicked with a game like Noita.

That said, the physics have sold me. I already know I’ll spend a decent chunk of time playing the game in the coming weeks. However, I’ll probably spend even more time watching people play it. There’s something about the beautiful cacophony of elements interacting that I can’t wait to see in the hands of a more skilled player. This a game that I simply must see a speed run for.

Noita is available now on PC. I’m not sure if it’s a game for everyone, but I think it’s absolutely worth giving a look. Some of the things Nolla Games is doing on the technical front are worth the price of admission on their own. Even if I never play it again, I’ll feel like I got my monies worth just from seeing that world go boom-boom in completely unexpected ways.