Impaler PC Review

Impaler is a fun, fast-paced, movement-oriented boomer shooter with an entertaining impaling mechanic that is definitely worth the price tag.

By LCLupus, Posted 06 Dec 2022

Impaler is the first game by Apptivus, a small indie that has managed to put together a very fun, if slightly repetitive game. Impaler is a boomer shooter that takes inspiration from old-school shooters like Doom, Duke Nukem, and Dark Forces. Basically, it’s inspired by things from back before things went all 3D polygon, and it is a delight to see.

The central mechanic that sets Impaler apart is that you can impale people with an ever-present spike gun that sends a spike out of the ground and impales whoever gets hit with it. It’s a bit of a silly thing, but when it works, it works, and it works marvelously in this game as you spike enemy after enemy and watch them slowly slide down the pillar you have created for them. The game is obviously bloody and violent, but because of its heavily pixelated quality of it, it doesn’t come off as gratuitous by today’s standards. Had this released in 1995, things would have been different though!

Impaler, PC, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, Boomer Shooter, Arena Shooter, NoobFeed

The game uses that old-school early 3D shooter method of having enemies that are 2D sprites on a 3D playing field. However, when most of these games did this back in the day, they tried to hide it. You can’t get around an enemy in Doom. You can only ever see them coming for you. But Impaler combines that old-school graphical sensibility with later movement-oriented shooters like Unreal Tournament and Quake. This means that you can jump over enemies that are, from above, flat. They are not 3D, and they are not pretending to be either.

The complete lack of care for pretending to be truly 3D is fantastic, and it feels like a 90s shooter that wanted you to know that it wasn’t going to lie to you and pretend it was true 3D. However, if you’re someone who cares a lot about graphical fidelity, then this game won’t be for you anyway. But for those who do care, stick around.

Impaler is focused on its impaling mechanic, but there are also a number of weapons that can be unlocked. Each of these weapons stays with you for an entire run because Impaler is a roguelite game. You enter each run and get thrown into a room that shifts between each level until you beat the boss, and then you’re done and redo it. It’s not a long roguelite, and you are instead focused on trying to get all the weapons and upgrades on display.

Impaler, PC, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, Boomer Shooter, Arena Shooter, NoobFeed

Each weapon is unlocked by doing something, such as a certain number of kills or getting a large amount of gold. Then, you replay with the new weapon. So, if you want standard progression and a story, you’re not going to get it. This is a very simple, streamlined gaming experience. If you’re not here for the central combat loop, then this won’t be for you.

The guns are all suitably low-poly things, but they’re fun to use and don’t have ammo. Instead of ammo, Impaler uses a cool-down system. You shoot until your weapon needs to cool down and then keep firing, but when you’re in a cool-down period, you can switch to the impaler weapon and use that instead. You’re constantly switching between the two while you play.

Furthermore, the impaling weapon allows you to do all manner of other things. You see, because the single room you’re in simply realigns itself each time, it creates new walls and barriers between each level, and the impaler is a good weapon for getting rid of these walls and barriers. However, sometimes you don’t want to destroy a wall and you instead want to go over it. Well, Impaler has you covered.

Impaler, PC, Review, Screenshots, Gameplay, Boomer Shooter, Arena Shooter, NoobFeed

The impaling weapon can be aimed at the ground and fired to launch you into the air. It does not harm you, only enemies. This is basically Impaler’s version of the rocket jump. However, unlike the rocket jump, this game wants to do more with it. So, yes, you can shoot or impale your enemies, but you can also stomp them. You can fly out of the sky, land on their heads, and kill them. Or you could aim for the ground instead, and if you do, you’ll then do a ground pound attack that deals AOE damage to everyone around you.

You are constantly jumping around the map, either by using the impaler or the various jumping pads around the map while shooting in every direction. At the end of every level, you get the chance to choose an upgrade if you have the gold for it. These upgrades are unknown until you take them, and there are quite a number of upgrades to find, but not quite on the level of other roguelite like Hades. Remember, this is a much smaller game with a comparably small budget.

The upgrades lend some variety to a game that is otherwise lacking in it. Impaler is a fun game with some great combat and movement mechanics, but it only has six guns for you to unlock, one room that simply resets itself with some walls, ten enemies, and one boss. It could do with a lot more content if developers really wanted to make it big, and it is more than capable of doing just that if there was some extra stuff in it.



Impaler is a boomer shooter that’s a ton of fun to play; it has an interesting mechanic in the gun and spike dual system, the movement is fluid and engaging, the ability to stomp and deal damage by jumping, and the occasional, somewhat random, activation of bullet time that, to be honest, doesn’t add much but does give the game something extra, all make this game engaging to play.

This is a great little game and a great little experience for a very small price tag. It will keep you entertained for a few hours at most, but it was designed to be replayed a few times for some quick fun. Just don’t go in there expecting hours upon hours of content. It’s a short, fun romp that would do great in a larger, more content-heavy future release. So, hopefully that eventually happens.

Justin van Huyssteen (@LC_Lupus)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Apptivus, Retrovibe
Developer(s): Apptivus
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Arena Shooter, Boomer Shooter
Release Date: 2022-12-06

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