Larva Mortus is a typical example of a isometric budget shooter with semi-cartoonish graphics. The interesting in it is the extremly low price due the constant 90%-off price label, which puts it into the bellow 50 cents category. And for that it offers quite a few good things.Gameplay
We are controlling a monster hunter looking guy from a birds perspective, which gives us a quite good overview trough combat. Our hero is easy to work with, which is definitely welcomed as combat always happens in cramped rooms. The mechanics is exactly this - you basically go from room to room and clean them out from monsters. Levels are generated randomly so you never know into what you go, but as long the level design regardless of the environment serves the same purprose, it doesn't really requires you some change in tactics or would surprise you in any way. The enemies vary from basic undead, flying bats to spiders and poison spitting fat zombies. Except the boss level templars, they don't really represent any serious force and usually are trying to make up for the lack of their power with rather high numbers. Very importantly - try not leave the room until is not cleared out entirely, cause the room will reset even if only one enemy remains and you need fight the horde once again. Exceptions might be missions where you need to rescue a certain number of civilians, blasting trough the rooms and just focusing on the rescue can save some time and nerves.
Sometimes you need to find a key in order to continue, but it means cleaning a few more rooms into a other direction, until you eventually find what you searched for. Except the enemies the room also contain "furniture" like coffins and crates, which I recommend to destroy, cause you might get stuck in them in middle of combat and enemies can corner you, plus there is a chance that they might drop ammo or powerups. (see bellow) Unfortunately the game gets eventually a bit dull after some hours spent in it and you usually keep going only to raise your level and find some new item. It simply lacks the depth, but I think it's forgiveable by such a budget title.Story
While it might sound weird, it actually features a working story. It's your typical "find missing ancient artefacts and beat some evil monsters trying to take over the world" B (or C?) class movie type of story, already the fact that there is actually one and with animations/voicing included, is quite surprising (and very welcomed) which might raise it slightly above other games of this category. What I noticed the doing random levels while being in middle of the story can cause some bugs. Is highly recommended complete it first.Leveling, weapons, artefacts, powerups
Leveling - And yet another surprise for your cents, the game has actually a RPG system. Each level you get a point which you might use for raising you stats. Personally I found some more useful as others. I highly recommend to put many points as possible into Endurance and Regeneration, (6+ recommended) First raises your HP and the other speeds up healing which might be crucial on more difficult levels. I also recommend to raise your walking speed and luck to get more drops from destroyed enemies of crates. Other abilities doesn't have such influence and are okay with 2-3 points.
Weapons - plenty of them and they are rather balanced. Is always the best to switch whatever has the most ammo in it. Of course certain weapons are better into certain situations, like the machinegun is best against weak huge groups, while the shotgun is better against individual strong enemies. Don't worry, as you play, would fill eventually figure out all of them.
Artefacts - pretty much the alpha and omega of this game. While many of them adds only points to your score, other give you huge advantages, which will change your game dramatically. I highly recommend to get the backpack, extended clips and enchanted scroll so fast as is possible. Backpack raises the carried ammo by a huge ammount, extended clips raise the magazine to 120 by one of the most used weapons and the scroll doubles the time duration of all powerups.Artefacts can be found randomly in dungeon, but the game doesn't excludes the already found ones. so it depends on pure luck. But assuming in certain levels you can find 3 at once, you will eventually get 100%. On sidenote, you most succefully complete the level to keep the artefact. If you die, it gets lost. Can be quite the bummer.
Powerups - unlike artefacts, they are only temporary. However they can change the tide of the battle dramatically, especially if you have a good luck (more powerups) and the scroll, which doubles the duration. Unlimited ammo with the machinegun and double damage can literally make you to a walking terminator.Graphics
One of the biggest cons of the game is the low resolution. Is quite noticable that is a ported mobile game. While the graphics aren't bad and objects stay sharp even on my full HD screen, the devs could have added a option of standard desktop resolutions even if it would be achieved with simple stretching.Music and sounds
Modern/organ combo which gives away a creepy cemetery feeling. Few and repetitive, but suits the game rather well. I cannot say anything else as I really liked it. If there would be more tracks, I would ask the devs for a OST. Really.Achievements
Basically all of the achievements are connected to finding the artefacts. As I mentioned, there is a high chance that you find the pieces same over and over, but you will eventually find all of them, even if means a bit of grinding. One of the easiest games on Steam to get a 100%.Conclusion
Do I recommend this game? Definitely yes, if you find that 90%-off price tag on it. While this game will not cause a panic in the game stores, it offers quite a fun for a few cents.
My rating: 6/10