The Doom Beneath is a gamebook that’s styed much like a graphic novel, which takes the player on a mysterious journey down into the depths of a cave somewhere in the unknown wilderness. While its look is quite appealing, the rest of this game is pretty thin and short, which is a disappointment.
The core gameplay of The Doom Beneath revolves around players making decisions for an unnamed protagonist who starts his journey out in the woods, but quickly finds himself in a mysterious cavern full of mysterious beings and happenings. To describe what happens in any more detail could verge on spoiler territory, so I’ll just say this: there’s some random-feeling turn-based combat and things in this game get weird and they don’t always make sense, which makes the whole thing not work too well.
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By things “not making sense” I don’t mean that anything is unrealistic. Rather, some of the story logic presents weird narrative holes that aren’t apparent until playing sections in a different order (which will happen a lot, as player death and starting over are a common occurrence here). And, even after combing through the various sections, none of the endings feel particularly enlightening or satisfying.
Cool looks aside, The Doom Beneath is a pretty skippable experience. Perhaps if it spent more time developing lore and characters – you know, the things that narrative-based games are mostly propped up by – there would be something more here. Sadly, though, it’s mostly just some style and painfully little substance.