On Jupiter, Disc Scratch You!

HIGH Mechanically superb with a surprising story.

LOW The low-light rooms.

WTF What am I using to clone myself?

When a giant disc appeared around the planet Jupiter, scientists were concerned it was dangerous, so they sent one of their own to research the secrets within. While inside the disc, the scientist quickly learns that while he’s unable to truly die, he’s going to require a lot of medical help before he finds out the truth.

Disc Room is an action puzzler where players will lead the scientist through room after room filled with spinning blades of death. As players progress, they’ll find special abilities like a dash to go through discs, or a slow-time power letting them move more precisely around discs.

Completing some rooms is as easy as surviving for a set amount of time, but other rooms have other, more varied requirements, and this is where Disc Room truly shines.

The disc orbiting Jupiter is separated into different sections, each with its own gimmick. One forces players to stand in the middle of the room for a certain length of time, while another requires players to pick up orbs while dodging discs. One of my favorites is getting killed by multiple types of discs since some kinds only appear after surviving for a while.

Disc Room definitely falls into the ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’ category. The controls are simple (move and/or use an ability) and each room will push players to their limits — and as soon as I thought it was over, Hard mode unlocked to kill me again.

Players will die often in Disc Room, but it gets them back into the action without wasting any time. In fact, it goes so quick, I didn’t realize how many times I died until I looked at the counter keeping track. As the toll climbed, I felt like I was improving and learning with each death, and it’s hard to argue with design like that.

My only complaint with Disc Room concerns its ‘dark’ sections. While some of the varied gimmicks are interesting, these rooms aren’t quite as good. Lights in these rooms flash off and on. One of the powers the character can earn lights up a room for a few moments, but these areas are still frustrating since time spent using the power doesn’t count towards room goals. For the challenge room where the lights don’t turn on at all, this is even worse.

Disc Room is addicting, precise, and a blast to explore and enjoy. Not every player will enjoy a tough-as-nails title like this one, but there’s a lot to enjoy here for those that do.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Disclosures: This game is developed by Terri, Dose, Kitty, and JW, and published by Devolver Digital.  It is currently available on PC and Switch. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 5 1/2 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. There is no multiplayer mode.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is rated T and contains Blood and Violence. Each disc will dismember the player character into a bloody stain on the floor. The high-set camera perspective doesn’t give a lot of detail and the cartoonish character doesn’t make it too gruesome, but it’s still fairly bloody. While blood can be turned off, probably best to not let younger kids play this.

Colorblind Modes: There is a color setting for the dark rooms, but there are no colorblind modes other than that.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: Dialogue is not resizable. The timer is fairly large and has light text on black background. The hardest thing to read may be some of the goals on how to get to the next room. (Text examples above.)

Remappable controls: Controls are completely remappable.

Eugene Sax
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