This endless, twisted cycle must continue. I must keep diving down in order to survive, must fight off these monsters to learn better skills. But in order to do that, I have to keep going down. And then I die.
This is how Droqen’s Probability 0 starts, ends, and starts again.
Probablity 0 could be best described as a roguelike in the traditional sense. It’s a platformer, not unlike Spelunky, but it doesn’t wear its references like an overcoat. Familiar elements are there, but it goes in a different direction. It feels harrowing – like descending into the unknown with only your wits to defend yourself.
As you begin, your character has a small-yet-substantial list of moves. You can jump, you can punch, and you can throw downward stars while in midair. The level starts to scroll downward, forcing you to keep up so you don’t die. But don’t go too far, since you’ll still end up dying.
Enemies will be all around, ranging from simple flying puffs to stationery enemies that you have no reason not to punch. Each enemy gives you a power-up; one that either will help you upgrade or give you some much needed life back.
Once you hit a certain depth in this bottomless level, the game will pause and allow you to upgrade your character. These range from stronger punches, to the ability to throw stars in different directions, to being able to withstand more damage from falls or enemies.
You’ll need them for when you travel into different difficulties. Beginner is a good way of getting to know the action and figuring out what you should and shouldn’t do. Expert is much harder, but the most interesting mode is Karma.
Karma allows you to have only four upgrades, and that’s all you’ll deal with for your run. Additional upgrades will be completely unavailable, as you’re set with the ones you’ve chosen.
This little indie game may not look like much, but once you’ve finished one playthrough, you’ll want another. Similar to other modern roguelikes (Spelunky, Binding of Isaac), once you get the itch, you can’t stop scratching. It might end up looking like a scar but it’ll be worth it.
You can pick up the game for $5 or grab it with three additional games for $10 on Droqen’s website, including the chaotic multiplayer survival game Pirattitude, Starseed Pilgrim and Fishbane. It’s also on Steam Greenlight, if you want to give it your votes.