Undertale brings the fantasy back into fantasy gaming. This surprisingly pleasant game has the kind of quirkiness that has gotten players talking, and for good reason! You're a human child that has wandered underground. Here, there be monsters! Monsters and humans once lived together but have since had a “falling away” that left the monsters banished to the bowels of the Earth.
Developer: Toby Fox
Mode: Single Player
Genre: Indie, RPG, Pixel
Platforms: Browser, Mobile
You may be thinking that you have to fight these monsters off in order to win the game. You might think you must upgrade your skills in battle to defeat an uber boss to make your way out of the cave you've fallen into. Well, you could do it that way, but Undertale isn't just another Zelda clone. Players have two other options when faced with an enemy: Act or Mercy.
Rather than battle, players can choose an action from the “Act” menu. This can be anything from stepping out of a monster's way to giving it a compliment to ease the tension. Complimenting a monster? It sounds like a weird way to play, right? Well, not everything has to end in violence when it comes to Undertale. Once you've put the monster at ease and convinced it to come to a peaceful solution, you can choose the Mercy option to end the confrontation.
You can fight your way through the game, avoid all fights and walk through unharmed, or you can mix it up and do a little of both. Each choice you make has a consequence. Depending on what you choose, the game's ending may change. Either of the actions you can choose will sometimes involve puzzles. They're nothing to write home about, but they still provide an interesting element that engages players and doesn't simply follow a monotonous storyline.
There's quite a bit of humor used in the game's dialog, so prepare your funny bones. Players without a sense of humor need not bother with Undertale, but for those who can take a joke and appreciate silly puns, the game is highly enjoyable.
Undertale is very much a feel good game if that's what you want it to be. Of course, you can always go with the Fight option and engage in typical videogame warfare, but that's not what makes this game endearing. Before you start calling us hippies, the game really does become more interesting when you try a variety of options that include Mercy or other actions that aren't typically found in RPGs. The characters are charming, including the monsters, and the story leads players along at a leisurely pace. We recommend this to anyone looking for a game that makes players think outside of the box in order to resolve conflict.