One game launched last year that didn’t get the attention is deserved was Synthetik – a roguelike with a focus on methodical gunplay and a really interesting robot / future industrial aesthetic. Now it’s back in 2019 as a free standalone called Synthetik: Arena.
In Arena you and a friend (the original game and the standalone both feature online co-op) can take on five different missions all in a single environment.
These missions range from the standard wave-based, “protect the base” mission known as Core Defensive, to more exotic ideas like Soul Charger where you need to defeat enemies near generators to charge them up.
As Synthetik: Arena is completely free and requires only around 500 MB to download, we had a quick go of Core Defence and liked what we saw. Beating waves earns you credits which you can then spend on all manner of base defences, weapons, skills and upgrades to defeat progressively more difficult enemies.
It’s not groundbreaking but it is fun and gives the original game’s very solid mechanics a chance to shine for those who didn’t want to sit through the random nature of a roguelike to get to the interesting stuff.
It seems that progress from the original game does carry over to Arena as our class progression and unlocks were present here, so there is a reason to try this out even if you were happy with the original.
After a few hours, if you feel like throwing some money at the developers, there are two options to do so and they seem like the only monetisation going on here. The Premium Upgrade unlocks a hard mode, eight weapons, a daily bonus and it adds the Arena mode to the original game.
The Supporter Pack has a new skin for the player’s drone, a special weapon, a unique font colour in the global chat, and a few extra visuals like a wallpaper.
Both the Premium and Supporter packs are currently selling for R42. The base game and all its updates since launch is selling for R189.
We really suggest trying Arena out before spending any money. Both versions of this game have a lot of little problems that add up over time and can make this game a chore to play/ It’s still a fun experience and there’s a lot on offer here for those willing to forgive those little niggles.