Paranautical Activity is a first-person shooter developed by Code Avarice for PC, Mac & Linux. The game uses a roguelike structure in which death is permanent, but players can acquire upgrades and power-ups that will tip the scales in their favor (or not) over the course of each life.
After a long stint in public beta, including a paid version through Steam Early Access, the finished version was released on October 20, 2014. The game is currently available on Desura, but was delisted from Steam due to a death threat issued by one of the developers via Twitter. Those who purchased the Steam version previously can still access it, but it cannot be found on the storefront.
The game is set to be released on GOG.com sometime in the future.
Much like in The Binding of Isaac, the game's levels are a descending series of floors, each composed of separate rooms laid out on a grid. The floors are procedurally generated from a range of preset room layouts. Upon entering a room for the first time, the player is locked inside and enemies appear - kill them all, and the doors open.
Each floor contains a boss who must be killed to exit the level, an optional mini-boss who leaves a valuable item when killed, and a Gift Shop that sells three different items on each floor. These rooms all have distinctive colored doors leading to them, and are marked on the map when found.
As the player descends to lower floors, new enemies and room types begin to appear, along with environmental hazards like arrow launchers and lava.
Items the player finds can affect the character's HP, fire rate, damage, movement, and various other properties. These items are dropped by bosses and can also be purchased at a Gift Shop.
The game currently offers 5 classes:
|Class||Primary Weapon||Superweapon||Stats & Starting HP|
Very high damage, high speed and fire rate, 4 HP
|Dy-No-Mite!||Grenade Launcher||Katana||Very high damage and fire rate, average speed, 6 HP|
|Gilead||Gatling gun||Laser Rifle||High speed and fire rate, average damage, 7 HP|
|Gorton||Sickle||Blow Fish launcher||Very high speed, average damage and fire rate, 3 HP|
|The Tank||Shotgun||None||Very high damage, very low speed and fire rate, 9 HP|
Relationship with Steam
In October 2014, Code Avarice developer Mike Maulbeck, frustrated by Paranautical Activity's awkward transition out of Steam Early Access, threatened to kill Valve co-founder Gabe Newell in a post on Twitter. The tweet resulted in the game's delisting from the Steam marketplace. Maulbeck subsequently wrote a blog post apologizing for his behavior, and briefly left Code Avarice with the hopes that the game would be reinstated to the online service if he distanced himself from the situation. However, co-founder Travis Pfenning disagreed with his decision, and Maulbeck later rejoined the company due to concerns about finding other employment. Code Avarice also announced new company policies on its website, aimed at preventing excessive personal involvement of either developer in the company's operations.