Noita Review

One of Noita‘s best spells is the ability to summon a torrential downpour from thin air. A heavy, magical cloud bursts open above you, extinguishing damaging flames or washing away toxic poisons. Having this ability on one of my many runs always reassured me that I could be a little more reckless with my navigation through Noita’s dangerous biomes–at least it did, until I discovered that I could just as easily drown myself in many of its narrow and twisting procedurally-generated mazes.

A big part of Noita’s appeal is watching how all its physics-based systems interact with each other. This 2D roguelike’s dynamic world is brought to life with vibrant pixels, each one reactive to the world and circumstances around it. Fires will spread and engulf nearby wooden structures, slowly burning them away. Those wooden structures might support a giant vat of toxic sludge, which will quickly pour through the tunnels of a mine once its supports are gone. This sludge, in turn, can erode enemies, infect life-giving pools of water, and melt away the ground. But it can also just as easily kill you. The simple act of knocking down a lantern creates a deadly domino effect, and part of Noita’s appeal is learning to spin that into an advantage.

Noita doesn’t give you the means to control this chaos, but with a variety of wands and spells you can learn how to nudge it in advantageous directions. It’s easiest to think of wands in Noita as weapons, while spells are the ammunition loaded into them. Each wand features slots for spells, as well as attributes determining casting speeds, delays, and whether spells are shuffled when cast. Spells, on the other hand, determine your overall damage output and effects. This can range from the expected arcane fireballs and small jolts of electricity to the more absurd, such as combining specific spells to summon terrain-consuming black holes that spit out explosives or create magnificent electrical storms that spew out toxins.

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