These impressions were written in October:
Between Paranautical Activity, Tower of Guns, and Fancy Skulls, it seems like the roguelike first person shooter is in vogue right now. While Paranautical Activity and Tower of Guns embrace over-the-top white-knuckle mayhem, Fancy Skulls stands out due to its abstract style and measured, more strategic gameplay.
The first aspect that stands out is the game's surreal visuals. Activate one of its randomized rooms and deformed multi-eyed...things emerge from their spawn points to attack: flying projectile-firing skulls, red-clawed melee chargers, bomb-spewing white stalks that aimlessly lurch around, spindly cyclopean turrets, and more. Each new enemy is a new learning experience: how does it behave, does it move or is it stationary, and most importantly, where is its weak point. Every enemy has a weak point somewhere on its body, some obvious, some more concealed or only visible at certain intervals; a few shots in this vulnerable area will kill an enemy and this element, combined with your limited ammo, totally alters the pacing compared to other FPS roguelikes. While in other games, you can fire wildly at enemies, here you'll survive longer by making your shots count and taking the time to aim carefully.
Further adding to Fancy Skull's strategic gameplay are the items and upgrades you can acquire. Like the enemies, you won't know what an item will do until you use it. From allowing you to hover and double jump to performing a fiery melee slam to slowing time, items are varied and completely change your strategy. Items require mana to use, so you can't spam these special abilities. Weapon upgrades can be bought from vendors found on each floor and imbue your guns with game changing abilities such as fire or explosive rounds to making ammo not count while airborne. The game's seven weapons range from your starting revolver to a shotgun and raygun to a rocket launcher and each feels different. (And yes you can rocket-jump.) You can only carry four guns at a time so choose wisely.
Fancy Skulls combines the FPS roguelike genre with mystery, strategy, and minimalist visuals.
Since then, the game has been updated with new enemies, new items, new weapon mods, new level layouts, unlockable playstyle modifiers, in-game achievements/challenges, with more to come