Creature in the Well, developed and published by Flight School Studio is a new take on pinball. That’s right, pinball. As the last engineer, the player’s job is to face obstacles in the machine where the creature lurks to systematically restore function. After hundreds of years, wake in a wasteland being pummeled by a sandstorm and discover a secluded village. The story gradually unfolds from there, keeping the player drawn in and encouraged to continue. After all, you do want to confront the creature, don’t you?
Headphones will certainly make for an immersive experience. This helped to enhance the sound effects of the orbs bouncing off the bumpers. A different effect is used depending on which weapon the player chooses. The baseball bat sounds different from the frying pan. As insignificant as that may seem, if every weapon sounded the same we would be disappointed. Each style of bumper offers a different sound as well. The background music, while eerie and necessary was not pertinent to the experience of the game.
When picking up a game on PC most gamers suffer the debate of gamepad versus keyboard and mouse. Creature in the Well will be based on preference. The mouse offered better aiming for the direction to send an orb flying, but the controller made for more accurate movement of the character, because instead of fumbling with WASD to move a joystick is used. In game of accuracy and speed, every bit counts. I recommend a gamepad.
The game plays smooth with a fixed camera that only moves when BOT-C goes around corners or turns within the labyrinth of the machine. This can sometimes cause difficulty with visibility, but for the most part fixed camera was the better decision. Some puzzles can be solved just by whacking an orb and watching it bounce around to hit all the bumpers, which can be considered a form of relaxation. Others will really challenge the player with accuracy and speed, and only the most determined will persevere. This will not hold the player back from completing the game. Most of the seemingly impossible puzzles were to unlock secret rooms, which might contain cloaks, cores, and/or weapons. However, these challenges will prove easier if the player remembers to visit Danielle and upgrade their bot core. This will cost the cores located within the machine and increasing amounts of energy, so stock up.
Creature in the Well is overall an enjoyable experience. The labyrinths are color themed and none of them repeat the same layout. The player can always expect to find a pool of health just before fighting the equivalent of a dungeon boss, which is a complicated series of dangerous pinball obstacles. This was a fun game to play, taking a nice twist on the adventure genre with little bits of story sprinkled throughout.