Ready to jump on into a decaying steampunk world full of puzzles, platform challenges, and quirky characters? Then Dros might be something for you.
Developed by emergeWorlds, Dros takes us through a decaying steampunk world filled with puzzles, platform challenges, and quirky characters.
In Dros, we embark on an exciting little adventure, assuming the roles of two different characters in a fantasy world. Our goal in Dros is to reach the top of a tower controlled by an evil alchemist. This alchemist has amassed an army of small slimy helpers, called Dros, thanks to his flute. However, for the Dros to act outside of glass and vials, they need a vessel, usually pots, pans, or special armor-like objects.
In the case of our two protagonists, the symbiosis consists of a slimy little creature named Little Dros and their human vessel, the bounty hunter Captain. Together, we navigate through a decaying steampunk universe where our survival depends on solving various puzzles, engaging in small combat encounters, and exploration.
The game revolves around the adventures of the two main characters, who possess different abilities that must be combined effectively. While Little Dros excels in agility and exploration, Captain is better at combat and handling larger objects.
With their complementary abilities, we must cleverly switch between the two characters to progress through the tower and overcome its many challenges. Neither the puzzles nor the battles are particularly difficult, but they sometimes require a good idea or some skill. Forgetting the tricks that Little Dros is capable of can make a puzzle quite tricky. Similarly, battles can quickly become intense if we completely ignore blocking with Captain or engage with multiple enemies simultaneously.
Since each character possesses unique strengths and weaknesses, we must skillfully utilize their abilities to overcome obstacles and uncover the secrets within the tower. Dros offers an intertwined narrative and introduces a diverse cast of strange and interesting characters. As we climb the tower, we engage in many conversations and discover the personal struggles and backstories of these quirky beings controlled and ruled by the alchemist.
The tower itself is a treasure trove of alchemical curiosities, with 40 levels filled with peculiar artifacts waiting to be discovered by us. We unravel the secrets of the tower, unlock diary entries, and expand our understanding of Dros' background story.
Visually, Dros is well-executed. The cute polygonal style and character designs are delightful to watch. This is particularly noticeable during conversations, where the characters are depicted in adorable 2D graphics. However, I find that the overall game graphics and character portraits don't quite match, but that's more a matter of personal taste, I guess. Taken individually, both styles are really appealing.
The game starts with a highly accessible tutorial that quickly familiarizes you with the basic controls and mechanics. It is easy to understand and serves as an introduction to the story as well.
The game gradually introduces some strategic elements. For example, Little Dros is capable of detecting wires and secret paths. Thanks to Little Dros, Captain can also heal using Prima, a kind of currency.
One nice feature of Dros is the compendium. It provides information about enemies and other elements of the game. The graphical presentation of this feature is visually appealing, with cute illustrations that enhance the game’s charm.
At the end of each level, there is a summary of your performance, including the collected Prima, found red gemstones, and the time taken. The game is designed so that each level can be completed in just a few minutes, guaranteeing an entertaining experience and allowing for short sessions.
However, I can't help but feel that Dros missed an opportunity by not including a co-op mode. Considering the different abilities of Little Dros and Captain, this seems like a natural addition for a fun and engaging multiplayer experience. So, it's a bit of a letdown that it's strictly a single-player game, given that the game mechanics lend themselves well to cooperative play.
In the version I played, which included the tutorial and the first chapter, I had flawless performance on Linux Mint 21.1 with Proton Experimental, without requiring any additional adjustments. There were a few minor bugs, which I'll address shortly, but overall, the game ran smoothly.
Although Dros is an enchanting experience overall, there were a few minor issues I encountered. For instance, I accidentally got stuck behind a bucket once and had to restart the game. Likewise, I was also once stuck in the middle of a room. However, aside from those two bugs, there were no significant technical problems, and I’m confident those two can be resolved.
However, there was one small logical issue: in Dros, all the elevators seem to only go downward, despite our mission being to ascend the tower. This peculiar design decision raises some questions, but it doesn't detract from the overall fun of the game.
Dros will initially be released for PC, and the developer also plans to release the game for Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox. The game will be available in multiple languages, including English, French, Italian, German, Spanish (European), Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.
You can follow the game on Steam to get the latest updates.