Doomsday Vault

Doomsday Vault Review

The seeds of an excellent puzzler

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on 🌱

Doomsday Vault is rated Everyone by the ESRB

Preserving Earth's plant life is crucial, especially when cities become flooded so put on your robotic suit and let's play Doomsday Vault.

Doomsday Vault screenshot 1
Oh noes; someone left the faucet running again...

Doomsday Vault has you play as a little fellow who wears a bulky robot suit. It's your job to traverse various areas within a flooded city, spaceport, corporate complex, and pyramids in the hopes of retrieving seedlings to fill your vault with crops. The core gameplay simply involves moving your chum in 4 directions within the grid-based levels and you can also climb, rotate on the spot, use tools, and perform actions such as lifting and dropping boxes. Meanwhile, you have an energy gauge that depletes when you fall too far, are submerged in water, and such so you need to collect batteries to remain alive. Considering Doomsday Vault is so simple to play, it makes for a great game to wind down with. Plus, it all culminates in rewarding puzzles and noodle-scratching scenarios that'll keep you hooked.

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Doomsday Vault's elaborate and lengthy stages which feature lovely stylish environments that are quite unique with their subtle details and everything. On top of this, your character has very cute animations and the walking sound effects are adorable, too. Throw in a mysterious sci-fi soundtrack and you're left with one beautiful and distinct gaming experience.

Doomsday Vault screenshot 2
Excuse me; can anyone help me find the way back?

The core campaign has you completing stages with each one's main goal being to retrieve a seed. Along the way, you may also discover nutrients and carbon eaters which act as Doomsday Vault's collectibles. As you acquire such things, you'll unlock customization items such as suit patterns and accessories like helmets, belts, backpacks, and arms. Even though unlocking these items is rewarding, I found replaying levels to discover missing collectibles to be quite tedious because they're so lengthy and redoing puzzles simply isn't fun.

Fun fact: a real-world Doomsday Vault

There's an actual Doomsday Vault in Norway called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault which stores seeds just like in this game. So, if you're ever wandering around the Arctic and want to hang out with some Nordmenn while talking about seeds, give it a visit.

In addition to the campaign, there's a challenge mode that contains races as well as survival, maze, and collect challenges. These extra endeavours are an excellent way to expand on Doomsday Vault's core gameplay and climbing the leaderboards for each one is quite satisfying. In fact, I found challenge mode's excitement to be a perfect counterbalance to the campaign's laidback levels.

Finally, although Doomsday Vault has simple controls, I found climbing to be unintuitive and occasionally irritating. For example, when you hang from a ledge, you'd expect pushing in the opposite direction to make you fall down but instead, you push down. Considering tapping right makes you move up-right by default, it's odd having the same direction make your character move down-right while shimmying along a ledge. Thankfully, there are touchscreen controls that help with this a bit but they're still not fully intuitive. Oh, and some of the puzzles are a bit too long-drawn-out and repetitive for my tastes but most of them are still fairly enjoyable.

Doomsday Vault screenshot 3
I'm going to make one delicious smoothie once these seedlings mature

Doomsday Vault is a lovely puzzler that wonderfully combines the laidback fun of its campaign with exciting leaderboard-based challenges. However, it can also be a bit awkward to control at times and re-playing levels to master them is rather tedious.

  • + Casual grid-based puzzle-filled stages with some rather clever scenarios
  • + Cute graphics and sound effects
  • + Challenge mode is pretty nifty
  • - Climbing controls are fairly awkward
  • - Some puzzles aren't all that fun
  • - Missing collectibles is frustrating
7.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Doomsday Vault thumbnail
Gameplay video for Doomsday Vault 4:41
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