Downwell Review

Downwell is a remarkably simple, addictive game.

Downwell on PC

I’ve played plenty of platformer games that focus on lateral or upward movement, but it’s rare to find one about diving downward. Downwell, as the name might imply, is one of these rare titles. A simple, straightforward game, Downwell is all about getting as deep as you can, blasting and bouncing your way through scores of enemies and obstacles to reach the depths below. Focused on quick reactions and blinding speed, this action-packed number is a great addition to the arcade-action fan’s mix.

Downwell starts off simply enough, with players jumping down — you guessed it! — a well. From here, it’s up to the player to fight, dodge, and force their way further and further down. Gameplay is incredibly simple, with only movement and a single button to jump and fire your “gunboots.” Reloading is automatic upon landing, be it on solid ground or the heads of your foes. Along the way, powerups can be collected to change the mechanism of your weaponry from the basic machine gun to things like a high-powered laser, crowd-controlling shotgun, or triple-directional shots.

downwell action

While Downwell’s gameplay keeps things simple, there’s still plenty of customization. Scoring enough points will unlock a variety of color palettes that change the look, as well as “styles” that have an impact on play. My personal favorite, Boulder Style, increases your maximum HP in exchange for fewer powerups to choose from between stages. Other styles change what types of powerups you’ll encounter, offer discounts at the game’s shops, and more.

While it’s tough to really describe, Downwell is tons of fun. The relentless stream of enemies and hyper-fast play ensure there’s never a dull moment, and players will need lightning-quick reflexes to survive the downward journey. Weaving between platforms and reacting to the surrounding swarm of baddies may seem impossible at times, but the clever player will find ways to blast their way through and reach the bottom of each progressive stage.

downwell store

The stages in Downwell are broken into three-level areas that feature unique enemies, obstacles, and more. The third area, for instance, is filled with water, meaning that players will have to find sources of oxygen along the way and reach the end before their breath timer runs out. Spike-filled floor traps, player-seeking ghosts, and plenty of other dangers will try and stop you from reaching the goal, so staying on your toes and keeping an endless stream of bullets flying is often the only course.

All in all, Downwell is a remarkably simple, addictive game. The no-nonsense gameplay and furious action make it one that’s easy to jump into over and over, and with numerous styles, powerups, and weapons to use along the way, each plunge through the randomly-generated world is unique. There’s also the fact that this incredibly enjoyable title can be yours for only $2.99 on Steam, making it an easy must-have for all arcade-style action fans and a pretty solid time-killing addition to any gamer’s library.

Score: 4/5


  • Great, fast-paced play
  • Simple and straightforward
  • Great mix of weapons and powerups


  • Can feel repetitive at times

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