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Going Under Review: Exposure

/ Feb 9th, 2021 No Comments

Going Under Review

Interns are the lifeblood of capitalism. A symbol of end stage capitalism and ruinous economic collapse. Do you want to make $10 an hour at an entry level position? Better have 5 years experience in the industry, a growth mindset, know six CSM programs, photoshop, and how to make a good cup of coffee. The only way to get that experience is the unpaid internship, which you need to fight 60 other desperate graduates with useless degrees to lock down… Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Going Under infuses the roguelite dungeon crawler genre with a lot of humor and catharsis. It draws you in with a brilliant premise, great writing, and satisfying combat.

Duties Include…

In Going Under you play as Jacqueline Fiasco. She is 1 of 100,000 hired in Cubicle’s Intern Initiative A friendly Integrated AI selected her to work at Fizzle, a start up company that created a sparkling water that acts as a meal replacement. On her first day, Jackie’s new boss informs her that she needs to go down into Fizzle’s basement and kill some goblins!

Going Under Review
First days are the worst.

That wasn’t part of the training video! No matter. As an intern, Jackie doesn’t have much choice in what her job duties include or don’t include. So she heads down to the basement armed with nothing but a go getter spirit and nebulous instructions…to kill some goblins.

Fortunately for Jackie, the goblin problem are employees of a failed start up called Joblin. If there is one thing a failed start up has in abundance is random office furniture. While it is a testament to miscalculating scaling, bad business models, and an inflated evaluation, they also make great weapons to whack some goblins, but good!

Going Under Review
Even the loading screens help sell the theme and cut deep.

Using the keyboards, chairs, pencils, coffee mugs, and eclectic electric guitars littered around the Joblin’s office, Jackie must take out rooms and rooms of goblins. Her goal is to reach a micromanaging, productivity obsessed boss and wipe him out. It seems easy, but that may be the overzealous soul of an intern.

After failing the 5th time, Jackie realizes she may need some extra help. What is an internship except for a way to build your resume and experience? Jackie finds herself able to learn new skills inside and outside the failed start up. Some of the skills include weapons turning into giant versions of themselves or electrocuting enemies when you crit. Once a skill is endorsed, Jackie can start off her run with them, which is nifty!

Going Under Review
Unions who needs ’em? (Probably you unless you’re a billionaire).

Mentorship is also a major part of start up culture. Jackie doesn’t have a shortage of paid co-workers looking to impart their wisdom. An unpaid intern who can also do random tasks you need done in a dungeon, so you don’t have to dirty your hands with goblins also helps. Deepening her relationship with her mentor benefits Jackie with some cool perks like being able to use the company card to purchase stuff she can’t afford in the dungeon.

An intern should never be far from their phone. The benefit to Jackie’s dungeon crawling is that she can use apps to confer useful bonuses like summoning a helpful goblin to fight alongside her. If you get in tight with the engineer at Fizzle, you can even use 2 apps at once, how fancy!

Going Under Review
Eliminating bosses of failed start ups is Jackie’s ultimate goal.

Even after Jackie eliminates the Joblin boss, her job isn’t done. An intern’s work is neverending and thankless. Plus, there are many failed start ups that came before Fizzle. Good thing Fizzle replaces breakfast, lunch, and dinner because Jackie has more skills to learn, and things to kill. First, she needs to go to the daily stand up meeting to align her KPIs.

Overall

If you’ve ever worked at a start up then Going Under will hit the right spot. It is chock full of humor that lands just right for those in danger of burnout. Razor sharp writing and satire alone wouldn’t matter much if not for the superb combat. By utilizing common office items, there is an indelible sense of catharsis when you break a keyboard or computer monitor over a baddie’s head! 

Failure is a learning opportunity. Luckily, each learning opportunity in Going Under just makes you want to hop right back into it.

Going Under was reviewed on Nintendo Switch with a code provided by the publisher.

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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GOING UNDER REVIEW: EXPOSURE

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall85%

GAMEPLAY8.5

Combat is easy to jump into with lots of fun weapons to utilize. Combat is deepened by apps, skills, and mentorships.

GRAPHICS8.5

Going Under has a unique art style infused with color that works well against the bleak existential reality of being an intern.

SOUND8

Going Under has an upbeat and fun soundtrack, which is perfect for the start up culture satirization.

STORY9

The satirization of start up culture and internships is brilliant! Tons of laughs to be had!