Below (video game)

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Below (video game) poster.jpg
Developer(s)Capybara Games
Publisher(s)Capybara Games
Composer(s)Jim Guthrie
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Xbox One
ReleaseDecember 14, 2018

Below is an action-adventure roguelike video game developed by Capybara Games. It was initially to be published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One but later was published by the developer Capybara Games. The game was announced during Microsoft's E3 2013 press event, and was indefinitely delayed in mid-2016 when Capybara pivoted to polish the game instead of rushing it out.[1] It was released on December 14, 2018.


Below is an action-adventure game viewed from a top-down perspective.[2] The player-character is a "tiny warrior exploring the depths of a remote island".[3] The game is about exploration, though that goal is contingent upon the character's survival.[3] Microsoft's Phil Spencer described the game at E3 2013 as a "creative take on roguelike gameplay" in a "mysterious world".[2] The environments are randomly generated.[3]

The game is designed to be difficult, with "brutal but fair combat" and permanent death.[3]


Colin Weick of Capybara presents on the game's development at the 2017 Game Developers Conference

Below was announced at Microsoft's E3 2013 event.[2][3] The project had been in development for years.[3] The company had discussed ideas for the game, particularly the difficulty element with Capybara's Kris Piotrowski.[3]

Capybara compared the game to "roguelikes of yore", as a "roguelike-like" with design choices like permanent death and high difficulty.[3] The game punishes recklessness and is designed for fair, but rigorous combat.[3] Capybara president and co-founder Nathan Vella called the game the company's largest by number of features, artwork, and development time and difficulty.[4] He described the game as a "super video game-y video game" for its aesthetics, soundtrack, and game mechanics.[3] While the game is mostly single-player, the multiplayer aspects are important in some of the world's areas.[4] In March 2014, Vella said that the game's development progress was hard to gauge, but its foundation was laid.[4] Its first playable demo was scheduled for the April PAX East 2014.[5]

To create and emphasize scale, Capybara chose to make the player-character small and use a dramatic tilt-shift photography effect.[3]

Below is expected to release simultaneously on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One,[2][3] but would only be exclusive to the console for a limited time.[6] The project was indefinitely delayed in mid-2016 when Capybara turned to finish its OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes for Cartoon Network[7] Capybara Games confirmed that the Windows and Xbox One release for the game is December 14, 2018.[8]


Singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie composed the score.[2] His compositional work on a previous Capybara's release, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, led to their Below collaboration.[3] Capybara has described Sword & Sworcery as a game built upon Guthrie's music, and Below as Guthrie's music built upon Capybara's game.[3]


The game received mixed reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic.[9][10] It was nominated for "Best Sound Design for an Indie Game" at the 2019 G.A.N.G. Awards.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e Corriea, Alexa Ray (June 10, 2013). "Below by Capybara Games coming to Xbox One". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n McWhertor, Michael (June 11, 2013). "Below from Capy Games is an ode to roguelikes, with 'brutal but fair' combat". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Farokhmanesh, Megan (March 19, 2014). "Super Time Force shooting for summer release, Below 'hopefully' playable before E3". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on March 20, 2014. Retrieved March 19, 2014.
  5. ^ Tach, Dave (April 3, 2014). "Capy's Below will be playable at PAX East 2014". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (August 8, 2013). "Capy's Xbox One roguelike Below will come to other platforms". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  7. ^ Frank, Allegra (March 9, 2017). "Capy Games returns for project with Cartoon Network (update)". Polygon. Archived from the original on March 10, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Batchelor, James (December 5, 2018). "Capy's Nathan Vella "not afraid of how Below will perform" when it arrives next week". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "Below for PC reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  10. ^ "Below for Xbox One reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  11. ^ Lagumbay, Emmanuel (February 14, 2019). "2019 G.A.N.G. Awards Finalists". Game Audio Network Guild. Retrieved February 17, 2019.

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