WASTED: A Post-Apocalyptic Pub Crawler takes you one a gnarly cel-shaded 80s themed FPS dungeon crawler rogue-like adventure that takes inspiration from & parodies the Fallout series. The goal of the game is going deep into Coolers, Vault analogues, & get drunk on ‘Booze’, precious Pre-War alcohol that due to the failing Coolers received that ever-popular radiation treatment. Thus through game-logic conferring beneficial or detrimental effects to these ordinarily harmless liquids… plus they like, get you reaaaaally drunk dude.
World building is surprisingly deep despite its parody like nature. Various Waster factions (an NPC in the hub town will give detail about each one) & the S.O.B, (their goal is to purge the lawless wasteland of mutants & Booze) who are always at war, with you in the middle of it all as expected. Each Cooler you visit will be themed to whichever faction is in command & the ever-present & hard working S.O.B Purifier always on your tail, which plays a part in the dungeon exploration aspect of the game. Story elements are a tad slow to show up as they depend on your progress in the various Coolers but it was reasonably interesting. Your character is not important to all of this, so the initial character customization is moot.
Combat is a very simple affair of aiming & shooting or whacking someone with a crowbar. Much like Fallout with its S.P.E.C.I.A.L system, this one has one of its own, called S.H.O.T.S. Unlike Fallout which involves, fixed stats & leveling up, WASTED’s system is based on the items you are wearing, which of course is part of its roguelike nature. Most if not all items confer some amount to your S.H.O.T.S., so it is up to you to mix & match, oftentimes on the fly, to suit your needs in whatever Cooler you are deep into. ‘Booze’ on the other hand, is more on the permanent side for as long as your current character is alive (there are temporary perks to be found that end once you exit the Cooler). These range from beneficial effects such as being able to carry more ammo or negatives such as slower movement speed, etc. Of course, if you want to get the better ones, you have to go deep into the Coolers for them.
Combat is not without its flaws though. While simple as sin, it can be frustrating at times & laughably easy on others. Enemy AI is not the smartest thing out there, generally rushing at you guns or fists blazing and paying little heed of traps or hazards, meaning they can end up killing themselves by standing in a radiation pool or relentlessly cornering you to a wall. The worst aspect of combat is the knockback. It can be a blessing with the high swing speed of the crowbar but dammit it all if an enemy does it to you, or worst yet, are carrying shotguns as oftentimes you will end up against a wall unable to do much besides hope for that small chance that you can strike back when they are reloading. It is an aspect that definitely needs tweaking.
Coolers make up the majority of the exploration. As mentioned each is themed to the faction that controls it, though don’t expect much amazing variance. Nonetheless, I found some loot to be found easier in one Cooler & not another, so you will have to go back at points. Dungeon are randomly generated and easy to navigate for the most part, as signs point you to the general direction of the exit. As mentioned before, the S.O.B are always on your tail. This serves as your exploratory time limits, akin to the Ghost in Spelunky & the like. You will have a set amount of time to explore the current floor before having to bug out, or else you will be mercilessly chased by the Purifier. Thankfully they can be killed though it is certainly not something you should try on your first run.
The game features quests though don’t expect many of them & often. The third quest I got after beating the first Cooler which is a fair while into the game. Another feature of the game are the ‘daily’ runs. These are predetermined runs that allow you a chance to win some items, but only if you manage to complete them and as expected, they require a fair bit of skill. NPCs are wild & varied, much like the humor which ranges on the crude side. Fair few references abound in the game & were always fun to see.
Overall, WASTED was a decent time waster that certainly had its flaws. Not a game to put all-nighters into lest you go insane with its wonky AI & slow pace. Nonetheless, it proves to be fun in its one right & a whole lot more than I expected out of a parody game. Wasted is one to look out for if you want something on the simple side and if you can manage to stomach its flaws.