Larva Mortus

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Larva Mortus on Steam (demo available)

MSRP: $4.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 3/19/09


Since my recent reorganization of my Steam library, I have a couple of categories that have more games in them than they should based on how much interest I have in the genre. For example, I have somehow managed to acquire around 40 platforming games.  The other category – which I have decided to call guns & mayhem for lack of a better descriptor – is full of shoot ’em ups and other games that aren’t first person shooters, but allow you to wreak havoc, usually involving explosives.

So, Larva Mortus hangs out there, in the guns & mayhem category, because it’s a top down shooter (and sword-fighter and dynamite-thrower) – one of those games that requires you to aim with the mouse while you move with the keyboard.  The kind of game that made me give up ever getting 100% achievement completion in Stardew Valley.  I’m horrid at this type of game, and nothing makes me bounce off a game harder than being painfully, embarrassingly bad at it.

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Yeah, I’m not good at this either, but damn if it isn’t still pretty damn fun.

You play as a member of a secret monster-hunting society.  There’s a main quest line, but right off the bat, you’re told that you don’t have enough experience yet to tackle that. Instead you start with smaller missions – ones with goals like “Kill all the Monsters” or “Break the Location’s Curse”. None of the objectives are to die horribly, but I managed that one a couple of times before starting to get a feel for it.

There are three difficulty levels, and for those new to this type of game, there’s no shame in starting with easy – at least, that’s what I tell myself.  Normal is the default, and there’s also a hard for those who like an extra challenge. You can change difficulty from the map between missions.

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Larva Mortus has breakable scenery, some of which will cause explosions that can take out some of the monsters swarming you, some of which will contain power-ups and health packs, and other useful things like extra ammunition. There’s a light RPG element in that you get to choose new perks for your character as you level up.  And the story – at least so far – isn’t half bad.

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For me, Larva Mortus falls squarely in the “far better than I expected” category based on how often it goes on sale for under a dollar, and how many ridiculously low-end bundles its been in. It’s spooky without being scary, it looks pretty good, and sounds even better. I’m not sure how much campaign is here, but considering all the levels are randomly generated, it feels like something that would absolutely be replayable if you enjoyed it the first time around. It even has character improving unlocks in the guise of achievements.  All in all, I feel like this is a pretty solid budget title.

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But you don’t have to take my word for it, since there’s a free demo right on the Steam page. It’s also available as part of a 9 game bundle for $1.99 on OtakuMaker through August 26th. Even if it wasn’t released back in 2009, it wouldn’t be anyone’s game of the year, but it’s a nice little diversion and can be played in short bursts. I would say it’s worthwhile at full price, and the bigger the discount, the closer it gets to being a must play.

One thought on “Larva Mortus

  1. […] as difficult by aficionados of the genre. There are certainly easier ones out there – Larva Mortus comes immediately to mind as one I felt at least semi-competent at – but it’s really […]

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