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Gamers test their skills with Undertale


     Undertale is a meta-style video game that was released in 2015 and became an instant classic for many serious gamers and kids alike. It is a story based game in a pixel art style that takes you through a world of monsters that are trapped underground. After you fall into a hole in a mountain, you progress through the game and learn more about why the monsters are trapped underground, and try to find a way to escape.


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What is most interesting about the game, however, is how you do so.

     In-game, you can travel through all sorts of towns full of snow, caves, lakes and lava. You also get to interact with all sorts of characters, whether they are important to the plot or just funny side characters. There are also shopkeepers you can talk to and buy items from them with coins which you get from battling other characters… or being nice to them. Alongside all the things you do in game is a wonderful soundtrack that is both catchy and emotional, bringing you into the world.

     One of Undertale’s most attractive features is the replayability of the game. It is designed to remember what you do through each play of the game and subtly hints at past decisions while you replay it. A single playthrough is designed to be relatively short. It took me around 200 minutes for my first one, and the second playthrough has been much faster. The reason the game is replayable is directly tied with the moral of the game: being kind to those treated like monsters. 

     After the first playthrough of the game, you will be directed to replay it, but make the kindest decisions you can. The characters that you fought might not have been spared the first time around, but Undertale nudges you to do so the second time and every playthrough after that.. Each character in the game has a personality behind any “evil” behavior, and the monsters can support you on your journey to go home, as long as you are kind. 

     The second character you will meet, Toriel, is a prime example of the game’s message. She will force you to make a decision that could result in her death, if you wanted to. Being kind and sparing her life changes your journey throughout the rest of the game. The same concept applies to the biggest and smallest creatures you will meet, be it Muffet the spider queen or the ghost who possesses a dummy. Being kind to all of them makes your journey more worth it in the end. 

     Overall, I strongly recommend Undertale as a game for anyone. It has simple controls and only uses the direction arrows X and C keys. The dialogue with the monsters is really fun and entertaining, smoothly breaking the fourth wall to remind you that the game knows everything you’ve done on other plays. You can buy it on Steam, a game store and service, where they often have sales on popular games like Stardew Valley, and Omori. 

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