NecroBouncer is a fun action roguelite developed by Alchemy Sheep and published by Ravenage Games. This game is on the short side, but don’t worry; there’s plenty of replayability.

You play as a nameless skeleton-like character who’s a bouncer at a bar. NecroBouncer is a hack-and-slash fighting title where you need to clear room after room and defeat the boss at the end. There are four bosses total, each having unique patterns of attack. The premise of these fights is to dodge until the boss becomes vulnerable and then spam your attacks. The first two bosses become vulnerable on their own, but the final two bosses have a bit of a puzzle to them. It took me a long time on the third boss to figure out what I needed to do to get him to use a different attack that would tire him out. Overall, though, the bosses weren’t too difficult; not until you figured out how to play, that is.

Being a hack-and-slash style, NecroBouncer has fairly simple controls. You spam Y to attack with your weapon but you can also use special attacks with A and X. These specials use magic, but the game is generous at making sure you never run out. This was a good thing for me because I had far too much fun spawning zombie minions to attack enemies for me. You can press B to roll dodge, which allows you to be invincible for a moment. The controls were fluid and smooth throughout my gameplay experience, which was great since this title is fast-paced.

Yet, there’s still a lot of downtime. The way NecroBouncer works is that you go from one room to another, clearing enemies and solving puzzles. There are four floors total, each having their own unique map every time you begin a playthrough. So, no two playthroughs will ever be alike.

The rooms are laid out like a mind map beginning from the left and moving to the right. You can choose between one of four rooms to start in and then you follow that branch throughout. Sometimes, rooms will branch into two or three others and you can decide. Each room has its own gimmick, and you’ll know what it is ahead of time.

What do I mean by gimmick? Each room, in addition to a horde of enemies, often has a puzzle. For example, there’s a crystal room where you need to break all the crystals. Every few seconds, enemies will spawn from the crystals. Once they’re all broken and no more enemies can spawn, then the room is cleared. There’s another room called King of the Hill where you have to stand on a platform in the middle of the room for a certain amount of time. The thing is, enemies spawn whenever you’re on the platform. Some rooms, on the other hand, are “bouncer” rooms where it’s simply a rush of enemies you have to defeat.

So, I often mapped out the course I’d want to take before choosing the first area so I’d get the most out of it between preferred room styles and rooms that allowed the most rewards. Some rooms give you a treasure chest upon clearing them. The treasure chest contains relics (which are basically power-ups). You’ll have these relics for the rest of the run. The more you play, the more relics you’ll unlock so you can begin a run with some relics, too.

Some of these relics allow you to have more health, do more damage to enemies, spawn more zombie minions, and more. There are a lot of relics. Once you defeat a boss, you’ll have the chance to buy something at the bar. The bar will have relics available, including health. Depending on how much money you have, you can take whatever you want before moving onto the next set of rooms.

NecroBouncer is one of those games where you see how far you can go. With only four bosses, though, and the more powered-up you become, each playthrough gets easier and quicker. The first time I cleared all four bosses, I did so within an hour and a half.

The game also offers stats and extra missions to work toward. For example, defeating each boss without taking any damage. You don’t get anything for these, but it’s nice to have something else to do since the game, despite no two playthroughs being alike, can get repetitive.

I enjoyed my time with NecroBouncer and I’m sure I’ll go back and play it again. However, even though it ran smoothly most of the time, the game did glitch a few times. I once cleared a boss and the reward options froze. The chests were closed, but the outline of the rewards were there. So, I think the game thought the chests were open but I couldn’t select anything. I needed to close the game completely, losing all my progress for that run. I know the nature of the game is to see how far you get in one go, but a quick-save feature would have been nice for those glitch moments. Despite how short a run can be, I did need to abandon a run because I had somewhere to be and couldn’t complete it on time. A quick save would have been really nice at that moment.

Regardless, if you’re looking for a game that’s on the shorter side and a fun roguelite experience, NecroBouncer is a great choice. You may not play it for hours on end, but it’s good to go back to once in a while as a pick-up-and-go type of game.