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The Void Rains Upon Her Heart review
Exceptional
by Imban

(Disclaimer: I'm friends with the publisher of this game but I insisted on buying a key because of how much I liked the demo. This review was written based on Early Access version 1.0 and is a repost of my Steam review from that time - the current version as of this repost is 1.3.)

The Void Rains Upon Her Heart is a side-scrolling boss-rush shoot-'em-up roguelite. Which sounds like it could be a questionable mix of genres, but the roguelite elements are handled quite well, providing a bit of spice to its surprisingly robust shoot-'em-up gameplay by making each run somewhat different, rather than dominating the design.

As a boss-rush game, Void lives or dies by its boss design, so it's reassuring that the 14 bosses in the current version range from excellent to, at worst, somewhat uninspiring, with at least 11 of them being very entertaining to face off against. Likewise, they're almost all very different from each other, with only two feeling too closely related. I hope the developer can keep this up for the final version, with an intended 36 bosses. Likewise, the graphic and sound design is very well-executed, so fighting them also looks and sounds great.

The roguelite elements, as I mentioned, are more of a spice than a main attraction. A lot of the available powerups have fairly minor effects rather than game-changing ones, and (as a shoot-'em-up) it's generally possible to beat every boss without powerups regardless of difficulty. Likewise, while the enemies are randomized, later in the game you are often given a pretty wide choice to fight mostly the enemies you want, so that also mostly acts to vary things up rather than force the player out of their comfort zone. That said, it's not as though the choices are wholly uninteresting - I find the boss Syncron quite difficult still, and some of the major powerups - such as ones that allow you to shoot while charging shots, or give you triple shots - do change my strategy significantly.

About the only major downside for me is that I'd class the game as relatively easy, but I'm fairly good at the genre and, due to the selectable boss difficulty, this also means that it's fairly approachable for players who are new to the genre, or just not very good at it. Later versions claim that they will fix this, however, by adding a third, even harder difficulty mode, and there's still hard challenges in the game's "Quickplay" mode for me to accomplish - the highest scores require you to beat each boss with as close to never getting hit and never ending your combo chain on the boss as possible, which can be fairly hard even against the easier bosses.

In any case, I'd recommend The Void Rains Upon Her Heart to most fans of shoot-'em-ups, and due to the lower and generally player-selectable difficulty, for aspiring fans of shoot-'em-ups as well. The current Early Access version already has a good amount of content and feels like a full game - heck, the demo version also did, and could have come across as a highly-rated free game by itself - and I'm expecting it to only get better as the developer adds more bosses and powerups.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Liked before it became a hit»