Paranautical Activity

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Description official description

Paranautical Activity is a first-person shooter game which uses elements of the roguelike genre. It uses a retro graphical style, with all objects and room architecture made of large cuboid voxels. The game takes place in randomly generated levels, where the player fights their way through a series of rooms. In each room the player must kill all enemies (such as flying skulls, giant spiders, ninjas etc.) to open the door to the next chamber. The final room contains a boss monster. Killing the boss rewards the player with an upgrade and allows him to access the next, more dangerous level.

At the beginning of the game the player can choose one of the five classes, each with a different health, speed and starting equipment. The game uses a permanent death mechanic, similar to roguelikes; dying at any point forces the player to lose all game progress. There are a number of power-ups available, which can be both found dropped by bosses, and bought in special shop rooms where gold dropped by dead enemies can be exchanged for items. Effects of the power-ups include increased weapon damage, attracting money, the ability to double-jump, the necessity to use health instead of gold to pay in shops, and more.

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Macintosh/Linux versions

During the early access phase there were numerous complaints by players that the store page displayed Macintosh and Linux versions, but the developers never actually uploaded the builds. It is unknown if they were actually made available before the game's removal from Steam (see below).

Steam publishing problems

Paranautical Activity experienced some problems with its publication on Valve's Steam store. The developers originally started a Steam Greenlight campaign for the game in August 2012; in 2013, they made a deal with Adult Swim to publish the game on Steam, but Valve denied the game entry as their Greenlight campaign was still ongoing. According to a statement by Valve's Doug Lombardi, "(...) our message to indies regarding publishers is do it for your own reasons, but do not split your royalties with a publisher expecting an automatic 'Yes' on Greenlight."

Removal from Steam

On October 20, 2014, Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam, after its developer Mike Maulbeck tweeted a death threat against Valve Corporation's co-founder Gabe Newell.

The conflict was sparked earlier the same day when the final version of the game was released on Steam. It was erroneously marked as being still in Early Access, which caused Maulbeck to post a number of enraged tweets criticizing Valve, culminating - allegedly - in a now-deleted tweet saying "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die." Valve's response was to pull the game from Steam, terminate relationship with the developer, and close Maulbeck's Steam admin account. In a statement for the gaming news site Polygon, Valve's Doug Lombardi confirmed: "Yes, we have removed the game's sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees."

The next day, Maulbeck stepped down from his position at Code Avarice, stating that he had the company's interests at heart and hoped it will let the company re-establish good relations with Valve; however, he returned to the company a few weeks later.

In February 2015, the rights to the game were sold to Digerati Distribution and it was re-released on Steam as Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition.

Related Games

Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition
Released 2015 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh
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Franklin's Activity Center
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Battlefield: Hardline - Criminal Activity
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Disney's Dinosaur Activity Center
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Shrek 2: Activity Center
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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 69114


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd).

Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Wii U, PS Vita, PlayStation 4 added by Harmony♡. Xbox One added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger.

Game added October 27th, 2014. Last modified February 13th, 2023.