Unit 4


Unit 4 is a minimal roguelike created for the 7 Day Broughlike Game Jam.

The game contains many aspects of a “Berlin” roguelike : procedurally generated levels, perma-death, polymorphism, turned-based melee combat etc. The design is highly compressed like most Brough games and is easy to pick up and play.

The story is inspired by the 1966 movie “Fantastic Voyage” where a submarine is shrunken to microscopic size and injected into a patient’s blood stream with a small crew. Problems arise almost as soon as they enter the bloodstream. In this case, you’re a single person in a survival suit.

Those problems come in the form of antibodies roaming around looking for foreign invaders (you).

There are also nano-bot remnents scattered around which can be collected and used. Using an item for the first time reveals its properties.



The game is free to play in browser over on itch.io



Fun! But does it get more difficult as you progress? I’ve played to area 33 and it feels the same as area 1 in terms of difficulty. How many areas are there?



Awesome! Got to level 12 or thereabouts on normal difficulty. I think I’ll swallow my pride and try easy next time. Some notes:

  • The game is scary! I genuinely do not want to be near those things. And I have to be.
  • Love the movement patterns of the antibodies. They don’t feel smart. They feel… weird. Biological. Are the patterns different across the various “species” and are those randomized as well? I haven’t taken the time to figure them out just yet. For now I’m enjoying the unpredicatbility.
  • You should let the player know what effect the nanobot they just used had. Sometimes it’s hard to understand if it fizzles (such as using the bomb with no antibodies in range) and the player character has that information (as the next one will be labeled). And at any rate the graphics will let you know what it was once you’re familiar with all the possible outcomes, but it would help new players somewhat.
  • Took me a couple of screens to realize I can attack the antibodies too. Maybe clarify that in the instructions screen?
  • I wish I had a key to pass a turn without moving, but I guess the game is balanced around it not being there? It seems a bit odd that the player character has to move all the time. Maybe he’s secretly a shark.
  • HP doesn’t go down after being hit sometimes. Is that because attacks sometimes miss, or are there hidden half-points?
  • Is the freeze effect permanent? It feels way too powerful, but maybe it’s needed in higher levels.
  • I really like the mechanic of unknown powerups. Good way to prevent players from hoarding them, I think.

Edit: Won the game on easy on first try. On that difficulty it gets boring fast. Around level 75 I stopped caring and pretty much blew through my accumulated powerups, finishing level 99 with just about three left. The game is definitely much more enjoyable on normal (or, shudder, hard).

Oh, and I noticed that multiple antibodies sometimes spawn at the same tile, though it fixes itself on the first move.



It goes up to area 99 before you win. Each area is generated randomly so has it’s own difficulty level. There is no steady difficulty curve as such. Level 99 could end up being easier than level 1. I rather enjoyed throwing out conventional mechanics for this game :smile:

I don’t want to spoil it for you but they all behave in the same manner - randomly until you get close then they will pursue and attack.

Yes I feel you’re right about that. Perhaps display a “discovered power” message somewhere.

Nah. Too much hand-holding bloats out the instructions and leaves less for the player to discover for themselves. Anyone familiar with roguelikes will assume the attack mechanic is present.

This is a feature of “Broughlikes”. You can always move back and forth if you want to wait for an enemy to stop hovering in the way - usually near the exit, why do they always loiter there!?

Player attacks normally inflict 1 damage or instakill if you have the “strong” item enabled. Enemy attacks miss, or hit for 1 damage.

Permanent for that level, yes. Although it feels powerful, the most you can gain is 2-3 HP. The ‘heal’ item is much more powerful with a potential gain of 8 HP.

Thanks for all the feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the game. I’ll be doing a few tweaks before the end of tomorrow (Saturday).



I guess, the levels are somehow auto-tiled, right? :wink: It’s amazing how you mastered pixel art :smiley: Great idea with the story background! :wink:



Yes the levels are generated with a simple algorithm that uses overlapping corridors. This way you never end up with an impossible layout.