Dynacore is a free rogue-like shooter game for Windows by developer Prox. In this top-down perspective game, you’re an astronaut stranded on a planet. In this version of what astronauts should do when this happens, you get your guns and start shooting aliens.
Being a rogue-like game like What Lives Below and Blade, you can play on your PC, and it offers procedural generation. In the previously mentioned games, this means that levels are randomly-generated, so no two playthroughs are the same. In the case of Dynacore, the novelty is that it not only has procedurally generated dungeons but also weapons.
Pixel-style design with personality
Dynacore has a very distinctive pixel style. If you ever get the feeling that many indie games with pixelated graphics look the same, you’ll be pleasantly surprised here. Everything in its graphics looks unique, especially given the unlimited weapon combinations.
It looks like a game straight from the Gameboy era, whether in black and white, or even emulating that device’s yellow screen, which makes it extremely charming. The astronauts, enemies and environments all look uniform and fit in well.
Difficult experience with permadeath
Even though it looks fairly innocuous, Dynacore is highly challenging. You have to survive four different procedurally-generated levels, which doesn’t seem like much at first glance. The problem is the overwhelming amount of aliens and traps you must survive. To top it all, if you die, you’ll have to start all over again.
The good news is that you get to carry your weapons and items for the next playthrough, making it a bit less frustrating than starting from scratch. Of course, fans of the genre are used to this, but it could put off a newcomer.
Difficult but rewarding rogue-like in space
With its many weapon combinations and charming graphics, Dynacore is an appealing rogue-like. However, there’s a steep learning curve until you master the game. In a way, it’s almost rewarding to die, because you get to start with your gear and use it at the beginning.
Investing some time and patience will reap its rewards in this retro-inspired game. It has the ability to transport players to a time where game design was simpler but effective, and it was very rewarding to overcome numerous hurdles. Of course, art-wise it might not be for everyone, but the modern elements like the procedural weapons should make things interesting for anyone.