Dap dap? Ohhhh dap dap dap. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you need to go and look into the new psychedelic horror action adventure game called Dap. Developed by Melting Parrot, a Melbourne-based husband and wife team, Dap released on Steam on September 30, 2021 and throws you into a pixelated corrupt world full of daps to save and secrets to uncover. Your job as the light dap is to traverse the corrupted forest whilst collecting and protecting a pack of fragile daps along the way. They initially start off as spirits, and upon speaking to them in the Dap language, they seem to agree to follow and help you cleanse the forest.
Your main goal is to explore what has taken hold of the forest and attempt to cleanse it of the corruption. Corrupted daps are ever present, attempting to hinder your progress. Through the use of an intuitive and enjoyable combat experience, you fight off these terrifying threats in three main ways; a standard melee swipe, a charged up ranged attack (does a lot of damage when you have many daps following) and a charged up close-range attack which is essentially a big area of effect (aoe) knockback. I personally found myself using the aoe knockback more often as it seemed the most effective.
During your travels through the forest you also encounter puzzles which generally require your dap companions to help solve. Whether it is standing on squares to open up doors, or explosively sacrificing one of your willing followers to blow open some spikes. The puzzle aspect of this game is very subtle but also very rewarding. The boss fights are pseudo puzzles as well, as they are generally an escape gauntlet. Think Crash Bandicoot and running from the big rolling balls! Definitely gave me those vibes, yet more haunting. The main antagonist of the game is what I can only refer to as a Demonic Pagen Goat Man. Every cutscene and chase scene he is in within the game really freaks you out. The audio that goes along with it by itself is freaky. I definitely recommend playing this game at night for full immersion.
Graphically, Dap is a blend of pixelated beauty and a haunting colour palette. The entirety of the game is very dark and creepy, with the only source of light generally coming from yourself or fires you create to survive the corruption. It had me captivated from the first moment I saw the trailer. Granted, I tend to enjoy well-done pixelated graphics more than new-gen graphics.
During my first two hours of playing the game, I was crippled with what one could only describe as delayed gameplay. Very low FPS, audio lag and input lag. It made the game practically unplayable. I managed to narrow it down to my 8-Bit-Do bluetooth controller, which is very weird. The moment I swapped over to a USB wired controller, the issue was fixed. This was passed onto the developers who watched the vod of my gameplay. They also took note of comments I made about one of the graphical features, which was the moment you lose any health no matter how large or small, the screen turns dark and has a red outline. I thought this should only happen when you are on low health as opposed to all the time, and the developers are looking to implement this into the game.
Overall, Dap is a beautiful, trippy wild ride into a world of terror and corruption. Whether you have a knack for horror games or not, this should most definitely be on your must play list and there’s a free prologue for the game available to dip your toes in the water before buying the game.
This review utilised a key provided by Future Friends Games and Dap is available now on Steam.
Written by: @Menthonso