DRAW CHILLY for PC is a peculiar, indie, 2D arcade game from developer and publisher AZAMATIKA. If you couldn’t glean anything about the game from the title, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I couldn’t either. Nothing about the name DRAW CHILLY gave me any indication as to what I was in store for. I was fairly surprised to discover that the game has nothing to do with freezing elements, but actually revolves around Purgatory and Hell. This is our DRAW CHILLY for PC review.
AZAMATIKA has developed another similar game that you might have stumbled across before on Steam: Peace, Death!, In fact, many of the characters that appeared in Peace, Death! also, appear in DRAW CHILLY. In Peace, Death! You played as a Reaper whose job it was to send clients to Hell, Heaven, or Purgatory. In DRAW CHILLY, however, you play as a newly perished soul, Vladimir, who must earn his spot in Purgatory by exacting justice on all the wayward souls who made their way there by accident. Along the way, you are granted powers by the Four Horsemen to help you in your hellish journey and are even assisted at times in battle by calling upon their skills.
DRAW CHILLY drops you right into the action after a brief introduction to the story. At first, I didn’t care too much or question the history of Vladimir. This didn’t seem like that kind of game. However, as I progressed further in DRAW CHILLY new cutscenes played, giving you background information about Vladimir and his enemies’ past. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to get to the end of a boss fight to learn more about the character I was playing. One thing was certain, Vladimir, was not a good man in life.
Navigating your way through Purgatory is as simple as running left and right and allowing your summoned underlings (mechanics) to raise the chains of the platform city. Standing next to them raises the platform rather quickly, but your ascent is almost always halted by a wave of calamitous monkeys. That’s right, monkeys. And leveling up rewards you with…baby chickens that give you experience. Whenever you complete a stage you also earn VladCoins that can be used to upgrade Vlads skills and abilities. Hell knows he needs it.
There are three difficulties and three modes to choose from in DRAW CHILLY for PC. Difficulties range from Forgiving to Hard, to Excruciating. The three play-modes are Story, Adventure, and Survival. For this playthrough, I chose to go the Forgiving Story route, and I have begun to wonder if the developers of these games have developed any sadistic tendencies of their own. Are we sure they didn’t swap Forgiving with Excruciating just to screw with the player? After the first dozen stages or so, the stages become increasingly harder, with boss fights that feel nearly impossible. If you can somehow power through and defeat a boss, the Four Horsemen reward you with a power specifically related to the boss you just defeated and brought to justice.
Giant chickens frequently drop resource crates with supercharged power-ups to help you take out the hordes of monkeys. However, when your screen is covered with dozens of them, and the little pink health orbs they drop give you only a whisper of health back, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. You have an awesome motorcycle dash ability, but it doesn’t seem to do much in the way of a traditional dodge mechanic and instead just propels you a short distance away. Another strange choice was the lack of a jump button feature. Even more infuriating is it seems like your enemies can jump around, but you can’t. Nothing is worse than dozens of monkeys jumping around and taunting you while they throw various objects at your head. There are also various platforms behind you just begging to be jumped on, but they’re only there to show your upgrades.
I will absolutely give credit where it’s due. The dialogue is effortlessly witty and entertaining. The bosses are extremely creative, and their powers are fun to use. Nevertheless, something feels missing from DRAW CHILLY. It feels like it was on the verge of greatness, but just didn’t quite touch it. While the 2D pixel art is gorgeous and the music is fantastic, the game needs to be fun to play.
After several stages, the shiny wrapper started to dull, and DRAW CHILLY felt more like a tiresome grind. It didn’t feel like there was enough diversity in the stages until you arrived at the boss platform, so each journey felt like a long stretch that I just wanted to push through so I could get to the end and see the next cutscene. Though frustrating at times, altogether DRAW CHILLY ended up being a rather enjoyable experience due to its art, witty dialogue, and creative characters.
DRAW CHILLY was reviewed on PC using a copy supplied by PR.