top of page

Enter the Chronosphere Preview: A Bullet Ballet in a Magical Roguelike Adventure

When you blend gameplay mechanics reminiscent of The Matrix with an amazing soundtrack and stunning visuals, you get nothing short of magic. That's the essence of Enter the Chronosphere. It's a magical experience. This roguelike may be challenging (and I died a lot) but the thrill of feeling like a badass with every run makes it all worthwhile.

While lacking any narrative elements, the current preview demo for Endless Replayability Steam Fest still delivers a stellar experience. The full version promises a storyline, additional characters, and an expanded arsenal. In the demo, I had the opportunity to choose between two distinct characters: Marcia, whose starting ability is evading bullets, and Urtar, a resilient bear capable of repelling enemies with his starting special ability. Although several characters remain inaccessible in this early version, the available selections provide a solid glimpse into the game's mechanics and what to expect upon its complete release.

Stepping into the Chronosphere for the first time required some getting used to. Navigating my character is done through the right mouse button, while the left is designated for aiming and firing weapons. The game's main mechanic emerges when movement initiates an action in the environment, including enemy movements; conversely, everything freezes when motion ceases, crafting a Matrix-esque experience. This allows for a moment of pause to observe incoming bullets and strategize my subsequent action. Contrary to what it might seem, this mechanic doesn't decelerate the gameplay but rather amplifies the intensity of the encounters. As bullets approach, I calculate my evasion tactics, decide when to shoot, and timing my reloads. This approach ingeniously melds turn-based strategy into the gameplay, offering a fresh experience.

Each level is stocked with a weapon and a piece of equipment; I was impressed with how many different weapons there were in the demo. It appears that the game is designed to offer a diverse arsenal to each character. In my playthrough, I noticed that Urtar was more likely to stumble upon heavier weaponry compared to Marcia. Beyond the conventional shotguns and revolvers, the game introduces an exciting selection of armaments, including guns capable of shooting ammo that penetrates walls and decimates enemies in its path. This particular weapon quickly became my favorite. My character has access to five equipment slots, with each piece of equipment granting either a passive ability or one that requires activation. Among my favorites was a suit that exploded, dealing fire damage to surrounding enemies without causing me any harm.

As is typical in roguelike games, any weapons or equipment I acquire are lost if my run ends with my character's death. Progression in the game is accomplished through completing various achievements. For example, one of Urtar's achievements involves taking 500 points of damage. After successfully completing this challenge (which surprisingly did not take long), I was rewarded with a new ability for Urtar.

Descending into the Chronosphere introduces more enemies and expands the playing area, providing me with more room to maneuver and more area to cover to find the exit. A key aspect of the game is its utilization of various biospheres, each offering distinct enemies and terrain. Drawing inspiration from Hades, Enter the Chronosphere stands out for its stunning artwork. Venturing into different biospheres also means experiencing a diverse range of music. The game's soundtrack is a standout feature, with tracks ranging from the subtle clockwork ticking to a Western-inspired melody, all contributing to the game's immersive atmosphere.

Final Grade: A

I enjoyed my experience with Enter the Chronosphere. The game's turn-based mechanics, which involve freezing time between movements, introduce a strategic depth that feels fresh and innovative. The variety of weapons and equipment available ensures that every playthrough offers a distinct experience. The art and music also play a significant part in the game's ambiance. My sole criticism is the lack of controller support, something I hope will be addressed in the final version.



bottom of page