Danmakus meet roguelikes with Wurrad’s new shmup Manaya. It’s world of brightly colored bullets and permadeath might seem unique, but the bare amount of effort went into this title.
Manaya is all about surviving and creating the perfect build. The ultimate goal of each level is to clear the screen of enemies, avoiding damage and collecting coins along the way. There’s not much strategy to this game – players navigate with the WASD keys and shoot with the mouse, and outside of avoiding bullets, there’s not much to speak of. No power-ups, moving enemies, or even music are in this game – rather, the whole thing comes across as static. Not much effort went into its design either – the entirety of the game takes place in caves, and enemies are either rocks or sentient animal heads. It feels like you’re fighting clip art rather than anything that could be a threat.
The game’s roguelike elements do add a bit to the game, but these features come across as unnecessary. Each area is broken up into one of four different areas on a map: “Monsters,” “Treasure,” “Merchant,” and “Boss.” Monster areas are the most common, and require players to take out groups of enemies at the bottom of the screen. Treasure areas have players shooting treasure chests a number of times and claiming the perk that comes from it. Merchant allows players to buy things with the coins earned on the battlefield. Finally, Boss has you taking on a different sort of enemy at the bottom of the screen.
This is a pretty basic setup, though the paths are all random and do offer a chance to break things up a little bit. Each of the perks you can unlock changes things up as well – some may offer a faster firing speed, while another may have you automatically fire off bullets. It can be interesting to see what you can unlock next, but these changes won’t greatly affect how you approach the game.
Those who lose will see how they did in each area with a grading system. In addition, things like the movement speed and bullet speed are tracked by the game. While it is nice to see these features, there is no leaderboard to speak of.
Manaya tries something new with its roguelike elements, but the lack of depth and effort that went into the game is apparent. It just feels too one dimensional, and it is hard to get invested in the game when repetition sets in early on.