Big stakes.

Damsel is the kind of game that is plenty of fun while playing, but easy to forget the second I put it down. It has a cool look and sharp game play with an addictive loop that kept me entertained throughout. With that said it is also completely forgettable. It doesn’t do anything to bring me back into its action and instead seems to focus on a speed run mentality. Still I loved my time with it, even if it didn’t leave a lasting impression among the sea of games available on a weekly basis.

Amazingly, there is a story here. The world is filled with both humans and vampires that live among each other with several caveats in place. Instead of feeding on humans the vampires instead survive on a drink called Red Mist. The plot revolves around a number of humans going missing suspiciously, and Damsel is called in to figure out why.

MSRP: $16.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), Switch, PC
Price I’d Pay: $9.99

Damsel is built out as an arcade platformer. Each level is small and compact with a specific set of goals in mind. These vary from simply eliminating every enemy to saving humans, hacking computer terminals, and more. Each level has a timer and a counter for objectives and the idea is to complete them as quickly and efficiently as possible. What I did like about Damsel was that it doesn’t require 100% completion to move forward. There are even cheats that make players invincible if they just want to mow through the levels. It is nice to see games offer these things for players of all skills.

The game works because of its spot-on game play and simple objectives. It feels great moving from platform to platform and mowing down hordes of enemies. There is a real flow to both the combat and the movement. Damsel moves around the level with ease and moves are easy to execute and hard to master. It feels good. This is what keeps the monotonous objectives from becoming too boring. This is what makes me keep coming back to levels to perfect my runs. Nothing feels too long and it just works. I only wish it was something that compelled me to come back after putting it down.

Visually Damsel delivers a unique comic book style that really pops. It reminds me of earlier games from Klei, with unique characters overdrawn and just wacky enough to stand out. I really loved the set design, although it does repeat more often than I cared for. The sound doesn’t fare as well, with some generic sound effects and forgettable music. The audio simply does not stack up to the visual design on any level.

There are a few modes outside of the main that offer up some variety, including the aforementioned chill mode which takes away the challenge and let me just mow down enemies. There is a daily challenge and even a mode that uses lives to see how far players can reach. It is a solid package and one worth checking out if titles like Super Meat Boy and Spelunky are your jam.

Damsel is a solid, if not forgettable title that really stands on its visual presentation and tight game play. I had fun with my time, but never felt the need to boot it back up after a few hours. Still at the low price it is worth checking out if the genre interests you. I certainly had plenty of fun digging into it.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great art style
  • Solid controls
  • Repetitive objectives
  • Not as compelling as it should be
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.