Vaporum, out now, is not shy about its inspirations: it boasts that it's in the ilk of "old-school games like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and Legend of Grimrock I and II". The Grimrock comparison seems especially apt because Vaporum is a pretty dungeon crawler with grid-based, real-time combat that happens in first person.
But where Grimrock had a party of four characters to control, here you're one man in an exo-suit. You can slot modules in and out of your suit at will, effectively changing play styles whenever you want (although some upgrades are permanent).
The other main point of distinction is the steampunk setting, which is all mechanical spiders and scary men in steam-powered armour. The premise is that you're "stranded on a small islet in the middle of an ocean" and forced to climb through a gigantic mechanical tower packed with monsters. You'll find hidden areas and uncover notes that flesh out the story, which is largely told by the voiced main characters.
The game is dotted with puzzles but that combat will be the focus. If you're not familiar with Grimrock or other similar games, the concept is that you're hot-footing between squares on a grid, trying to line up shots on enemies that are doing the same. It's all about positioning and managing your abilities, and when it works well it's a perfect blend of hectic action and tactical thinking.
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Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.