Quirky, fast paced, and very strategic for a platformer, Probability Zero is a computer game for PC and MAC put out by Droqen. The game play is best summarized as an endless descent. The player must remain on screen as the camera steadily pans down an through an endless, randomly generated, pit of platforms and spikes while trying to avoid or slay a variety of enemies. The graphics are eight bit arcade and aesthetic is sparse; black sprites with red eyes for the enemies and spikes and white for the protagonist and power ups all set against a background of dark blue. The music is somehow catchy and droning at the same time which matches dynamic yet repetitive game play. All and all a very simple game. Or so it seems.
This game is a lot deeper than it seems at first glance. Every time you kill an enemy it leaves a power up. The power up can be ammo, health, or just a sphere that counts toward your total score. When you get enough power ups you choose a perk. Each perk grants you a significant new ability such as not bouncing around every time you get hit, the ability to punch through blocks or just being able to throw ninja stars up. This provides an incentive to kill as many enemies as possible while trying to stay alive. Every perk provides a new way to move or attack meaning that in each game your play style evolves as you get more and more options.
Probability Zero has a high skill factor related to just getting the little stick man across the screen. It also requires the ability to guess how perks might synergize and adapt resources to your personal play style which, combined with the random and sometimes downright unfair level generation, make this a roguelike. The name comes from the unusual health counter. Instead of a bar or hearts, you get a number on the screen with the probability of you surviving. The number fluctuates wildly but the number of digit tend to match the number of hits you have left. Every game ends with Zero.