Noita is an action-adventure roguelite game in development by Nolla Games. Players control a witch that can create and cast spells in order to defeat enemies named after Finnish mythological creatures. The game takes place in a procedurally generated world where every pixel is physically simulated. It was released in early access for Microsoft Windows on 24 September 2019. Noita left early access as the 1.0 version was released on 15 October 2020.
User Score: 8.6 / 10
Metascore: 77 / 100
I don’t like roguelikes. I hate dying over and over again. I hate the randomness of it all.
And yet, I have 20 hours in Noita after buying it a few days ago! The game is so addictive; the physics of fire and acid never gets old; I am always looking forward to trying out new wand combos. I have put 20 hours in and feel like I am just beginning to learn interesting new skills / tricks. It is a game that makes you want to be a better player.
If you LOVE roguelikes you presumably already own it (or you are forbidden from using a computer by the FBI). If you don’t love roguelikes I am willing to bet money you will love this one. There is a reason the reviews at the time of writing are “Overwhelmingly positive”
The only thing negative I can say about this game is the lack of physics. I think the claim “Every pixel simulated” is a bit misleading - liquids and gasses are dynamic and simulated, but terrain is almost always static.
Terrain is modifiable; but because separated sections of it do not fall, you often end up with a bunch of floating specs by the time you clear an area. I can understand not wanting the entire level to collapse into rubble; but it seems like there still could be room for more terrain that is simulated. Static parts of the terrain might be needed to hold the level together, but don’t have to make up most of the level.
Just my thoughts; other than that one aspect it’s definitely one of the better games out there. Can’t wait for the full release!
At first I was kind of frustrated with this game’s difficulty; the hard resets made me feel like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I would rush through in an attempt to get as far as I did last time, only to die to a trash enemy or a falling rock. But after a while I realized this is a game of patience and discovery more than straight progression. The fun comes from experimenting with different wands and spells, spending an hour in the “safe"zone/shop crafting the perfect wand to annihilate all who stand against you, then firing that wand for the first time and instantly killing yourself in a glorious blast of saw blades and lightning.
This is a Maybe rating, or like “Ok”
If you like games that randomly punish you for no reason, or kill you unexpectedly in a way you can neither learn from nor prepare for on the next playthrough then this game is for you.
Each playthrough does not benefit you at all on your next run, so each run is completely independent.
You can kind of learn the enemies, but since the environment is random, you could be doing everything correct and offscreen something blows up and then electrocutes you because of some random item that was over there.
Maybe a worm randomly appears and digs through the safe zone which spawns a nearly impossibly to kill minion in the safe zone, so you die as soon as you pass the first area.
Most of the time you get a wand that seems alright and then it just blows up because of some spell interactions you weren’t aware of.
You can get 1 perk after beating each area, but you get to choose from 3 random perks 90% of which are totally useless, and the other 10% is divided between extremely niche builds, and mildly useful.
For example: there is a perk that makes you immune to melee damage which sounds awesome, until you realize that 95% of the enemies will shoot some **** at you, and the only enemies that use melee are dungeon fodder anyways.
The gameplay is fun, but I just find that when I die most of the time it’s to some weird ********, or some way overpowered enemy that hits you for like 300% of you max health in one hit.
Doesn’t feel like there is any good consistent way to learn the game without looking up everything ahead of time. eg: Every perk in game has no description except for it’s name, which means some of them are quite clear (Melee Immunity: makes you immune to melee), and most of them will make you tab out to see what the hell they do (Lukki Mutation: you lose you levitation but get some weird tentacle legs that let you move up walls, but you can’t move up into the air without walls anymore.)…like what
I dunno…I would watch some videos, or maybe someones stream of it befor eyou buy so you know what you are getting into.
So Noita has a lot to unpack in terms of gameplay. It’s extremely simple on the surface, but it relies a lot on emergent gameplay, where just about anything can happen assuming the right setting is in place. Everything follows extremely simple rules: Wood burns, acid melts, smoke rises and can suffocate you, water douses fire, and you are extremely, extremely susceptible to everything. Catching fire hurts, standing in acid hurts, you can drown in water or smoke, electricity almost instantly kills you, etc etc.
By far the most complex part about this game is the wand system. It’s a little hard to understand at first, but once you get it, you can start crafting godlike wands with the power to completely destroy the entire tileset around you (not even joking). While a lot of the wand spells are RNG based when you find them, mixing and matching the spells on a good wand can carry you the entire game, assuming you don’t get yourself killed, because chances are, you are to blame for your mistakes and impatience.
This game heavily relies on you being patient and taking in what you can see. I have had multiple runs end because I didn’t notice a propane canister, which I promptly shot and got myself blown to bits. Rushing into this game is not an option, it needs careful consideration, because almost everything you see can kill you. Mobs are deadly accurate with their attacks, and the environment is constantly changing as elements react with each other naturally, from the entire mineshaft catching on fire, to icicles falling from the ceiling, to barrels of oil and acid exploding because an enemy missed another mob, because yes, the mobs that aren’t part of each other’s “factions” tend to attack each other, and break everything around them in the process.
I’ve played this game for 25 hours as of this review, and have only beaten the game a single time. It is an unforgiving experience, because you are extremely vulnerable to just about everything on the map. Even in the intermission areas, the “Holy Mountains”, you have to be careful because you can and your run by means I won’t spoil. But one thing that remains mostly constant is that you dying is almost always exclusively your fault. Dying unexpectedly does happen, but usually it’s through something you caused. I’ve died a couple times due to something dumb, like getting stuck on a singular pixel that I couldn’t possibly have seen, but that’s the exception, and honestly my only gripe with the game, the little pixels that you can’t walk through but are still somehow there and you get stuck on them.
Overall, a really fantastic game, I recommend it to anyone who loves roguelites, and especially to those who lvoe really, really hard ones.
The point of a roguelike game is to die over and over and learn more about the world and game mechanics.
You are going to die many times in seemingly unfair ways. If you pay attention to things you will eventually find out that it’s not that unfair, you just weren’t paying attention to the right thing or were not aware of a game mechanic or whatever.
You also do not gain anything from dying, aside from knowledge. When you die, you start the game anew. You do not get to slowly upgrade things to make yourself more powerful. There is no difficulty slider.
Be aware of this before you buy, as some people seem to be expecting a different game than what is advertised here.
I’m having a great time exploring and dying over and over.
I love it. The pixel graphics are beautiful. The physics interactions make the early stages interesting to redo and so the twenty minutes after you die don’t feel like a waste. Wandcrafting mechanics are reasonably complex but have significant depth to them, it’s a lot of fun.
The game has a good amount to remember, so if you’re not interested in spending minutes optimising your weapon Noita probably isn’t for you. Obviously it’s also a roguelike with lots of easy ways to die so that could throw you off too.
Extremely challenging, unlimited combinations. Each run is unique in its own way. Can’t get enough!
Progression: Too many wands, spells and perks that yield to a pool of virtually unlimited possibilities.
Skill or RNG? Both. You need to learn the movement mechanics, the enemies, the traps, and once you master the game itself, you have to rely a little bit on luck to get the right perks.
Gamebreakers: The game can be broken in so many ways, if you’re lucky enough. A few highly effective synergy examples:
– unlimited spells + bomb wand + explosions immunity = godlike firepower
– vampirism + blood cloud = endless hp regen
– stainless armor + repelling cape + fire immunity = tanky as hell
– Homing shots + crystal bomb wand
– Projectile Repulsion Field + Permanent Shield = invencibility
– Always Cast perk + Wand with Always Cast passive
– All Seeing Eye (broken by itself) = you become a sniper and heart hunter
Replayability: Surprisingly, the game isn’t over when it’s over. You’ll find yourself in many secrets, unsolved mysteries and questions once you “finish the game” for the first time, making you come back for more!
Don’t spoil the fun: Resist as much as you can the urge to “Google it” and spoil everything.
This is a memorable game: the learning process will be painful… but once the learning curve is beaten, the rewards for victory will be without measure. Buy it, play it, master it! I keep coming back just to see if RNG smiles upon me and grants me one of the gamebreaking combinations.
Story: It’s hidden, but it’s intriguing
Music: Incredibly atmospheric, makes you really fear what could be around the next corner
Graphics: Great style, filled with small touches that enhance the experience a lot
Movement: Mostly great, my only complaint is that taking damage takes you out of hovering, so you can enter an infinite chain of taking damage and falling without being able to get to safety
Combat: Very fun (if you have a good wand)
Performance: Great unless you cause a lot of physics to happen real fast, but the game has almost never crashed even when put to it’s limits
Biggest Pro: Literally everything is simulated, yes everything
Biggest Con: I have ragequit this game more times than I can count
Final Verdict: Super fun roguelike, get it if you like being god sometimes and true pain other times
Post nut clarity
Incredible game! It’s insanely fun just tinkering with spell combinations, watching how the environment reacts to things you or enemy’s do. The physics are a real treat to watch in action. The first few hours you WILL get wrecked but even this is very fun as you will learn quickly about interactions from spells, flasks, enemy’s etc.
This game is great. Just be warned that it takes a lot of experimentation to figure out how things work. I recommend mods to make the game more forgiving at first and to learn how the various spells work, before trying the unadulterated experience. Otherwise you will die in a lot of stupid ways. Past level three new wands become death traps.
I love the concept of this game… but it’s just too unforgiving. There are minimal ways of recovering health, and everything is RNG. I’ve spent most of my time on the first level or two, and it’s just too frustrating. The few times I’ve managed to luck into a good build, the game then throws a ‘curveball’ of ******** enemies who can shoot you from beyond line of sight, or an insta-kill trap.
The game wants to be like Binding of Isaac or other RNG-rogue-likes like Risk of Rain. Like those games, there are minimal explanations of what to do or how to do it. I don’t know why games have started doing this - it isn’t good design to force players to trial-and-error into working out what items do, when a single mistake can destroy a run.
A great rogue-like with interesting mechanics. Each run is challenging in different ways, and adapting your play-style to the wands you’re first given is great fun. Adapting those wands (or picking up new ones) is very rewarding, and there’s loads of spells to experiment with. The levels are beautifully destructible, and the stains you acquire add further levels of complexity to the game-play (where the hell is that water I found, now that I’m on fire?!). I’ve barely scratched the surface, but it’s definitely got its hooks in me, drawing me back for another run…
The customisation is incredible… so many ludicrous options for killing things and getting yourself killed. Starts off as a cool exploration dungeon delve with some puzzles thrown in. If I had one gripe it’s that after about 3 levels it stops being and exploration game and becomes more bullet hell.
There are so many enemies that explode or summon more enemies or just murder you in seconds flat that to kill them you need to bring your weapons of mass destruction, which co-incidentally are the ones most likely to get yourself killed. It’s just too unlikely that you’ll luck into a combo that is both lethal to your enemies but relatively safe to you and when the bullets start flying everywhere and you’re on fire and poisoned at the same time? Argh it’s just a bit too manic.
You might love this bit though. For me, I find it funny a few times and then it gets kind of frustrating. But at least you can play again and create some more weird wands.
Noita has come out of Early Access but it doesn’t feel like a fully released game. There is no story to get you going, no context for anything you do. I can tell that there are secrets to be uncovered, doubtless hidden areas and perhaps some lore but without any sort of background I am hardly interested in digging them up.
Considering that we start off every single run with a basic control tutorial I find it very odd that there isn’t one for wand customization. There are many wands with varying stats, many spells and many spell altering effects. Spells and effects go into slots on the wands. The order in which you place them into the slots changes how the wand functions. The problem is that there is no intuitive way to discern effective order placement. Do I place spell effects on the left or the right? If I have several, do I put them next to each other or between the spells? Again, a tutorial would be immensely beneficial. It is entirely possible to play the game for any amount of time without even realizing that you CAN customize and this is especially egregious because making effective wands is the reliable key to success in this game, the reason being that if your damage output is too low you will inevitably be cornered and killed by droves of angry mobs.
The majority of times that I’ve died so far is due to being completely overwhelmed by progressively more resilient enemies in the levels beyond the snow area. Making fights with multiple enemies fair to the player can be a significant game design challenge. In games like Noita and Spelunky 2 (another difficult 2D roguelite that just released) this challenge is left to chance because the number, composition and location of enemies is randomized. It simply isn’t reasonable to drop into the next level, immediately face 12 threats from the left and right and be made to dodge 5 projectiles simultaneously coming from various directions while juggling spell interactions and considering the very ground that you stand on. The moments where you will have no option but to receive damage from one source while avoiding another are far more prevalent than devotees of these games will have you believe.
Another issue compounding the previous is that Noita has a fog of war mechanic which makes it so that areas are pitch black and become uncovered as you move into them. Enemies hiding in this darkness can become aggressive and attack from a position where you cannot see them. They can also cast run-ending spells at you from off-screen. What baffles me is that the very first enemy in the game has red eyes that shine through the darkness showing you where it is but for some reason they didn’t care to keep this trend going.
It seems to me that the game is a couple of patches away from being enjoyable. Make the enemies either not attack you when you can’t see them or give clear visual and audio queues. Let the player know to customize their wand and add a tutorial for slots. Add a skippable introductory cutscene that plays on startup to give context to your actions. Maybe give us a slider for enemy count so we can decide what we think is fair. I can see smaller changes like these doing wonders for the game.
But as it stands Noita is more concerned with brutalizing the player rather than enabling them to engage with its novel systems.
This game is exceedingly hard for me to review properly, but I’m going to take a stab at it.
Firstly, I recommended this game because I love this game. It has the right amount of challenge, can be played at whatever pace you feel like, and when you get that itch to go exploring, well this game’s got that covered, too. I personally have taken on the challenge of becoming consistent at the game, having held the early access world record for most consecutive wins with 11 (and, I did it by doing only 11 orb runs). But know before getting into it that there are some clear downsides to Noita, especially with the 1.0 release, that I would like to speak to first. These changes made it very difficult for a casual player to get into the world of Noita, unfortunately. However, if you are seeking out a challenge, Noita is definitely for you.
My main point of contention is that 1.0 added forced randomized starting loadouts (previously they were opt-in by way of doing the daily instead of a normal game) that sometimes give you different spells and a different flask to work with. These cause needless suffering for new players for 3 reasons:
1 . You can get a primary wand with a single spitter bolt on it. This single spitter bolt wand will have low range, poor accuracy, and poor speed, and can leave players vulnerable to enemy attacks. Even veterans can become overwhelmed if they suddenly find themselves surrounded by enemies, but new players are especially susceptible because they won’t know what the correct enemy prioritization is, resulting in heavy damage or death. There are other bad primary wands as well, but the spitter bolt is the worst, and my hope is that spitter bolt - and anything with short range, really - gets removed from the initial primary wand pool. Great alternatives are spark bolt, bouncing burst, summon arrow, or magic arrow.
2 . You can get a secondary wand with no explosives on it. While a rain cloud has its use (see the next point), the ability to get out of potential soft locked situations with an explosion is invaluable for new players, and not having an explosive spell to do so hurts new player progression.
3 . You can get a random flask. This is the most inexplicable decision to me, because water is EXCEEDINGLY valuable at all levels of play: it can be used to put out fires, neutralize toxic sludge, make the player not take fire damage while stained with water, and kill one of the more challenging first zone enemies, the stendari. My recommendation is to ditch whatever flask it gives you when you start - even if beneficial - and replace it immediately with water. Water can be found to the left of start under the tree (you may have to dig, and you may not have the tools necessary to do it, but sometimes it’s free), to the right if you’re willing to climb the mountain with an appropriate explosive in the wall (ie: anything but a bomb) and find the lake, or if you start with the rain cloud wand.
Honestly, it is my opinion that Nolla should revert this change and make it opt-in for the daily only, or even enable it as an option for full runs. Why I find this important enough to bring up first is because there’s literally a whole WORLD of things to explore and learn about this game to have to also deal with the frustrations of a randomized, and sometimes underwhelming starting loadout. Players are going to have their hands FULL tackling every challenge this game throws at it, and as you get deeper into the game those challenges grow bigger and more difficult. And THAT is what I LOVE about this game.
This game pulls no punches. You WILL get shot by the shotgunner. Repeatedly. You WILL die to enemies with a freeze wand, or a nuke wand, or machine gun concentrated light wand. You WILL kill yourself experimenting with wand building. You WILL find enemies you have absolutely no idea what they do, even after the 50th or 100th time you kill them, because, darn it, that enemy is going to die before you find out what kind of terror it will inflict on you! You WILL be running about panicked or scared because you know you can’t deal with that one particular enemy, and now you’re running headlong into a bunch of other enemies and… well, game over.
There’s a REASON win streaks in this game are hard to come by, and that’s because the game is HARD. It makes you stop and think about what you’re about to do. Is going down this hallway without checking above and below a safe bet? Is there a propane tank lurking in the snow you’re about to dig in that you can’t see? Is that underwater chest going to have a thunderstone? Did I just hear Ukko or is that the wind? Often, second-guessing yourself and staying as safe as possible is the key to victory in Noita.
If you’re a speedrunning type, Noita has got you covered. Runs of this game can be as short as 2 minutes, and involve absolute chaos, tight dodges, teleporting blindly into new territory, and trying to find that one boss-killing wand to finish the game as quickly as possible.
If you’re an exploration type, ignore the usual seven zones and explore the world around you! Find out what’s at the bottom of the pit to the right of the lava lake, what’s outside to the left of the tree, or to the right of the mountain. Journey into the sky, or fight your way beneath the temple of the art to see what my lurk there. Traverse impossibly thick walls on either side of the map and see what might be on the other side. Fight optional bosses with unique mechanics and rewards. Discover strange quest items and try to figure out what to do with them. Learn the secrets of alchemy and be blessed with endless health and wealth.
If you’re a completionist type, you’ll be interested in what’s at the top of the tree - pillars of meta-progress that grow as you unlock more endings, more spells, and more challenges. I myself plan on doing a NG+28 33-orb run at some point. I expect that run to take weeks, and to think that one drop of polymorphine can end that run is a scary but exciting prospect that will keep me on my toes the entire time!
If you’re a mad scientist type, wand building is where it’s at. There are so many spells with so many spell combinations in the game that you will be hard pressed to get a win with the same wand twice. Sure, there are repeating themes: homing mist wand, trigger chainsaw wands, speedy bouncing burst wands… but in the end, you get to craft your own tools of destruction from what you find in the game, and that’s one of the most rewarding things about this game.
So overall, my recommendation for new players is to expect the game to be challenging and hard. If you’re going into this blind you are going to die, quite possibly hundreds of times, before you get a win. If this is not your style, this game may not be for you. But if you’re willing to learn everything the game has to offer, you will be rewarded with a rich world of mystery worth exploring, satisfying wands of mass destruction, fulfilling victories against challenging bosses, and the thrill of winning the game on your terms.
That is, in between bouts of stepping in polymorphine and getting one-shot.
Best of luck, noidat!
This game is fantastic on it’s own, but I absolutely love MODS and how much variety you can add to your worlds.
Want to be Megumin and cast EXPLOSION? Theres a mod for that.
Want to be a Gunmage and shoot your enemies in the head after throwing a Fireball? Be my guest.
Want a casual run in this unforgiving world? Add higher resistances, extra hp or free perks at the start of your game.
Want some chaos with frequent runs? Play as a Doomsayer, Slime Wizard and more with Random Classes at start.
There is truly Limitless fun to be had with Noita and I recommend this game to EVERYONE.
Love the game, easily one of the most interesting rougelikes. But it really needs some sort of progression system to keep me coming back, something like ETG where you can unlock better items because it would be nice if when you lose that great fantastic run if there was a least some benefit to it.
Also sometimes you just die and you cant find out why, a replay feature would be handy. Had a fantastic run and was just walking and died for no apparent reason, lost 185 health to an “explosion”, would love to know where it came from, you know?
Still though, great game, confusing as hell, but real neat.
PS - Get the mod that lets you modify wands anywhere, feels much better playing like that and lets you experiment with builds much more. Definitely makes the game easier, but it also much more enjoyable. IMO it should have been that way from the beginning.
Plant a Butterfly
The game is fun basically, with a crazy sandbox system, but the dev should show some mercy by making 3 level difficulties.
After reaching the area beyond the 3rd warp, I find myself don’t like the following things:
– Basically no healing in a level. COME ON! Even Dark Soul has portions to heal…
– AI is too good at aiming, you feels like playing against some bots, all with 100% accuracy, and some snipers even can shot you to death in a miles away.
– The area after going thought the warp should be a safe zone, so that allowing the player safely try out the wand spell combination without actually dying. The game should reward the player by trying out various wand spell combination, not discouraging the player from trying. If the player will die in that area, who will try out crazy things after farming golds and wands for >2 hours????
– Some pixels will avoid the player from moving, or even stuck the players between pixels. I occasionally find myself cannot move on a flat floor, and it turns out there are some pixels here.
– UI is quite terrible. E.g. all the bars are on the top right corner, but not show next to my character.
– The game give me 3 upgrades to choose, but not showing the details? How do I make a choice without knowing what that upgrade is about?
I’ve barely scraped the surface with just 2.9 hours played but I’ve seen enough to say,
in Noita, every pixel counts. the art and gameplay are synonymous in this way. what you see is what you get. Hitbox? There is no concept of a hitbox, what you see is what you get.
in Noita, things happen fast. Death comes instantly, unexpectedly, and without apology. A lost duel, or a tsunami of flaming deadly acid that came from god knows where.
in Noita, the player who is not only wise and well studied, but quick to adapt, quick to embrace change, quick to ditch the old and switch to a better technique, quick to react to surprises, eager to exploit every advantage, wary of risky and foolish decisions, will come out better.
Noita benefits from a strong foundation and pixel type system that allows the RNG to naturally create breathtaking scenarios and opportunities for triumph. Great overall aesthetic, sound design, presentation. And a seemingly deep and rewarding system with the Wands for those willing to put the time in. And I’m sure there’s much more than I’m yet to see.
Noita is an interesting enough concept, but not a fun game to play. The game feels as though it actively resents you for playing it, and punishes you severely with numerous systems and quirks. Its seminal features – spell crafting and fully simulated world – are also not quite as impressive as you might be lead to believe.
In Noita you do not “craft spells”. What you do is slot spells and effects you find around the world and in randomly generated wands, into said wands that mostly limit what you can do with only the end-game wands allowing for interesting combos to be generated. And without a perk, you only get to tinker with wands in between level transitions. You are entirely at the mercy of RNGesus when it comes to finding a wand you can work with. More often than not the wands will not work very well, or they might actively work against you. Most spells that are actually somewhat powerful also have the capacity to blow you up in some manner in a blink of an eye or come with a stupid quirk.
For example, take an early-game wand that casts a razor disk at an enemy. The projectile bounces around, and if you touch it while it’s in motion, it will do full 20 damage to you. For context, you have a health pool of 100 at the start of the game. Another example of a handy wand that’s actually just another trap is a rapid-firing spark wand that has a chance to make an enemy shoot out fireballs around itself. Very handy, as the explosive and fire damage from the fireballs can kill the enemy and take out other enemies around it. However, the fireballs might also hit you. Those fireballs also travel at such insane speeds that they might as well be hitscan projectiles. Kiss goodbye to your health. Or what about a decent wand that has an obtuse modifier that suddenly makes you fire an explosive bolt under your own feet or behind yourself, knocking you off a ledge and damaging you? Or an “improved” version of the basic razor disk projectile that now boomerangs back at you and can instagib you – which it probably will the first time you are using such a spell.
But you will need the wands against the increasingly overpowered enemies. The only ways to find wands are through exploring the game’s levels and world or by buying them from the shops. The game revolves around the former of the two options as well as discovering secrets around the game world. However, everything in Noita is out to kill you. From the swarming enemies that get progressively more lethal to the environmental hazards that litter every single level to even your own spells.
You’ll find yourself playing more and more cautiously, paranoid about what will cause your next death. As though the insane number of damage sources and hazards was not quite enough, you also have no i-frames without mods and taking damage kills your momentum, so you can and will get stunlocked to death in the mid-game. You also might just die to a few random pixels you didn’t think would kill you. Maybe you step in a tiny bright puddle you then discover was lava, or perhaps you bumble into something that freezes you solid.
Your health can only be replenished through a couple of perks, an extremely rare and completely ass-backwards healing spell and in the shop areas between levels. You will find max health upgrades, but counter-intuitively they only increase your maximum health pool without also increasing your current health by the same amount. And that previous max health needs to last you the entire next level.
Noita also has permadeath. If you die, all your progress is lost and you get to start the same, frustrating journey downwards all over again. Nothing except the knowledge of what you have discovered in previous runs carries over to your next run without mods. I never got to the end boss and quite frankly I don’t care to do that anymore. Noita is a supremely frustrating experience, and unless you are the kind of masochist who enjoys seemingly senseless punishment, you will most likely be in a worse mood after playing the game than when you started. Very rarely you will get to enjoy the game and find satisfaction within it.
The touted “simulated pixels” feature is impressive for the first half an hour. Watching wooden structures burn, fluids flow and mix, gases waft around and terrain deform and crumble is impressive enough, but not much of it serves a gameplay purpose. Most of the time all it does is hinder your progress, or if you are lucky enough to find a wand/spell combination that allows you to take advantage of the terrain deformation and destruction, you may even get to play with the system to a degree.
The level generation in Noita is broadly speaking random, with the general areas being set in stone. However, the generated areas are more often than not cramped with terrain that is difficult to navigate with your limited levitation and slow movement speed, with hazards, dead ends and obstacles aplenty. After going through the same starting mines for the fiftieth time, one can be forgiven for getting sick of the place. In the later levels you are afforded some more space to breathe, generally, but you’ll find that it’s not much of an improvement because then the enemies can start sniping you and firing rockets at you from off-screen.
The game feels as though it’s supposed to played in the most hypervigilant and excessively cautious way possible just to be able to progress forward. Risks are extreme and deadly, mistakes cumulate rapidly and rewards tend to be pitiful, underwhelming or just outright traps designed to end your run until you learn the few spells that are moderately powerful and safe enough to use, while disregarding all the more situational and quirky options.
Maybe the game could be enjoyable if only one were to ‘git gud’ at it, but I find little about the game that compels me to play it for long enough to get better at it. Whenever I play Noita, I feel a sense of futility and frustration. I had hoped the 1.0 release would fix some of the things that grated me about the game, but I’m frankly not sure what appreciably changed between the early access version and the full release. I wish I had done more research before getting this game.