Niche Spotlight – Underhero: Twisted and Turn-Based Side-Scroller

This is Niche Spotlight. In this column, we regularly introduce new games to our fans, so please leave feedback and let us know if there’s a game you want us to cover!

In today’s Spotlight I’d like to cover Underhero, a quirky 2D side-scrolling RPG by Paper Castle Games that is heavily inspired by Paper Mario.

Underhero is set in a darkly comedic world where the chosen hero failed in his quest to defeat the Big Bad. You play as a mysterious masked underling of the nefarious Mr. Stitches, who decides to take the hero’s place on a quest to save the kingdom from evil.

The game’s combat is based on rhythm and timing instead of turns. Hit block or dodge at the right moment to avoid damage, and time attacks in tune with the battle music to score critical hits.

Since you are still technically one of Mr. Stitches’ minions, then you can avoid combat altogether, or discover valuable information, by negotiating with your former allies. More traditional platforming and puzzle elements make up the majority of the game’s non-combat gameplay. You can find the launch trailer for Underhero above.

Underhero is out now on Windows PC via Steam for $14.99. In a rare occurrence for the modern game industry, Underhero has a playable demo available on the Steam store page.

Here’s a rundown of the game:

Underhero is a 2D side-scroller RPG adventure game with timing-based combat. It tells an intriguing and mysterious story, full of silly characters brimming with personality, quirky dialogue, and lots of weird humor.

Inspired by Paper Mario games and RPGs in general, it tells the story of a world where the chosen hero has failed and an underling of the main villain takes his place as the new “hero”.
Join Elizabeth IV and a little Masked kid in a journey across the Chestnut Kingdom to once again, defeat the evil Mr. Stitches! Meet friends, foes and other weird characters in the mysterious world of Underhero. …Wait, once again!?

Key Features:

  • A sidescrolling RPG adventure full of beautiful pixel art and cartoony aesthetics.
  • Turn-based combat with a twist: there are no turns! Use your reflexes to evade, and your timing to attack or parry! We call it timing-based combat.
  • Level ups let you choose between three options! HP, attack and stamina! Choose wisely…
  • Enemies consider you their ally, so talk to them in-battles!
  • Critical hits occur when you hit an enemy with the beat of the music, not randomly! Groovy~
  • You want to escape a tough battle? Bribe your enemies!
  • A wonderful original soundtrack composed by Stijn van Wakeren.
  • Explorable worlds sprinkled with many hidden secrets.
  • Mini games!
  • Puzzle elements.
  • Some good old platforming.
  • Fun and intense boss battles!
  • A satire of RPG tropes.
  • A story shrouded in mystery, with many twists and turns…

If you’re a developer and want your game showcased on Niche Spotlight, please contact us!



Frank was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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