Skip to main content

Black Future '88 gives you 18 minutes until your heart explodes, out next month

Black Future '88 is a cyberpunk roguelike in a sea of cyberpunk roguelikes, but it caught our eye back in 2017 thanks to its pretty explosions and bite-sized playthroughs that give you a mere 18 minutes before your heart explodes. You'll be able to race your body to the top of a robot-infested tower when it launches next month. 

As you'd expect from a roguelike, you will probably die quite a bit—maybe because a robot shot you, or maybe just because you took too long—but even if you manage to get all the way up to the top of the tower, you're still heading towards death. You've got a single objective, and that's to kill the dude who ended the world—yes, it's also post-apocalyptic—and avenge humanity before you die. Cheery!

You'll be able to get your hands on 50 unique weapons and 30 buffs with unusual properties. There's the Money Shot, for instance, which uses your cash as ammunition, and the Kinetic Lance, which you need to charge up by dashing. Some of the weapons are cursed, too, and you'll need to manage your curse stat to stop the tower from sending powerful enemies against you. 

The tower itself is procedurally generated, of course, and you'll be able to climb it with a pal in co-op—or just leave them in the dust—and return every day to take on daily challenges with special twists. While it's couch co-op, Black Future '88 will fully support Steam Remote Play Together, which lets you play local multiplayer games online, at launch. 

So there's a lot of familiar stuff, but the weapons and upgrades still look extremely nifty, and the 18-minute deadline is sure to create some entertaining speedruns. And it's perfect for me, someone who doesn't typically last much longer than 18 minutes in a platforming roguelike. 

Black Future '88 is due out on November 21.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.