Three hundred and twenty-six hours. When I started writing this, that is how much time my boyfriend has put into Enter The Gungeon, the freshman effort from indie developer Dodge Roll Games. By the time you’re reading this, there will probably be another ten hours on the Steam clock, and dozens more posts on the game’s active subreddit.
If I asked you what an “EV” is in Pokémon, you might assume I was talking about the lovable little fox creature that evolves into a myriad different forms. But if you’re a competitive Pokémon player, you know exactly what those two letters mean—effort values. These values are increased by battling different kinds of Pokémon and give monsters a valuable edge, but the games won’t show them to you in any menu. And they’re just one of the hidden, deeper mechanics in the series that go beyond the well-known rock-paper-scissors of type matchups and factor into the complex world of competitive Pokémon battling.