Capsule Review: Undertale

A retro RPG heavily influenced by Earthbound and other SNES-era RPGs that deconstructs many of their traditions. Most notably (and apparently most acceptable to spoil) it’s possible to get through the game without making a single kill. Combat is active and engaging, though once you’ve figured out how to spare a particular type of enemy going through it again is just rote. The pacing is a little bit strange, with some extended comic-relief bits placed at times when the player is likely to want answers to serious questions about the game world and backstory, but most of the comedy and other mood-setting works well. There are a lot of secrets, surprises, and developer foresight, but it all feels interesting and valuable in its own right rather than existing solely to fuel an internet scavenger hunt. The soundtrack is standout wonderful, the important characters feel very real and lovable, and the game’s best ending is very satisfying. It’s not hard to see why there’s such a devoted community around this game.

I Stopped Playing When: I played it on PC and got the best ending. Now that it’s out on PlayStation, I wouldn’t be surprised if I eventually pick it up and play it again there.

Docprof's Rating:

Five Stars: Favorite. This is one of my all-time favorite games that made a significant impact on me or that I've returned to time and again.

You can get it or learn more here.