This game makes me think of Hexen/Heretic in many ways while still carving out it's own unique take.
Essentially, you play as one of a selection of characters with their own initial strengths/weaknesses and navigate through a randomly generated dungeon, proceeding further when you have defeated the boss of that level. The weapons you begin with (outside of the basic wand) are random as well. Through numerous playthroughs you will unlock a variety of different weapons, amulets and character abilities (of which you choose from a selection of at least 2 upon each level up) making sure that no two games will play the same.
For some, the luck-based nature of the randomly generated layouts, abilities and weapons may be a turn off, but I consider it to be one of this game's strengths. While you only get one life to navigate the Ziggurat, the randomness keeps a constant freshness to the game.
The basic game is only 5 levels, which makes my approach to this as an old-school arcade game with one life and enough variety in each playthrough to make it worthwhile to revisit.
If you wish to play a longer version, there is a setting among the difficulties to play it up until your character finally perishes, which I have not yet tried, but I imagine is like a survivial mode.
Most of the randomized skills you earn are at least not harmful, and a few are rather helpful. You may run across a shrine wih punishes you and some monster combinations are brutally efficient, but I do find that the longer you are able to survive, the easier more things are to deal with.
The variety of characters to choose from is nice since you can play to their strengths if you are given the right choices at a level up...or at the least, you can minimize their weaknesses to a degree.
Overall the game is challenging and addicting. If you approach it with the mentality of a randomly generated arcade style game rather than an RPG or other longer game, you should be very pleased with it.
Graphically, I'm fine with the art direction. There are times that enemies may have attacks that obscure your view with the special effects, but I consider that a part of the natural hazard the game is built on. In a larger room, you can at least maneuver around it. Getting trapped in a smaller room with enemies that attack with lots of special-effect laden attacks can be tough.
The music is just the right amount of background atmosphere needed to fill the game. The distinctive sounds of various enemies is very helpful in identification of what you are up against.
The controls are responsive (I'm using a 360 controller to play this) and I have not personally had any difficulty in gettnig my character to perform actions, nor dealt with any slow response time, except insofar as it is built into the character itself, such as a slow firing rate with a particular weapon. So I am very satisfied with the tight and intuitive control of the game.
Milkstone Studios has done a fantastic job on this and I recommend it to anyone looking for a game that is simple enough to pick up and play, but challenging enough to keep them engaged. Another nice touch is the ability to create a save point between stages in case you only have a little bit of time to play and want to get back to your game later.