Sunday, September 24, 2017

Nindie Preview: World to the West


Playing mostly like the lovechild of a classic top-down Legend of Zelda title and something along the lines of The Lost Vikings, World to the West is an action adventure game that takes you on a journey through the eyes of multiple characters. In order to find success you’ll need to become accustomed with what each character is capable of and then use that knowledge to figure your way through a multitude of puzzles that will require careful coordination of each party member’s abilities. It is the mix of combat, strategy, exploration, and puzzle-solving that make World of the West stand out.

Over the course of the game you’ll take control of four different characters who each ahve unique abilities you’ll need in order to get through the various challenges you’ll face. You’ll begin the journey as Lumina, who has the ability to teleport short distances, among other things. Knuas, who can dig under the ground, fit through small spaces, and even ice skate further on into the game. Teri, who can use her scarf as a whip so that she can traverse small gaps (assuming there’s a pole on the other side) and also can use mind control on animals. Then, finally, there’s Lord Clonington, a strong man who is about the only party member adept at battling, and who can climb small ledges and smash specific types of rocks.

Throughout the course of the game your challenge will mostly be to look at your situation and either figure out which character is necessary to get past an obstacle or you’ll simply be put in the shoes of a character and be charged with figuring out how to use their abilities to advance. Much like games in the Zelda and other classic series you’ll often see places you may not be able to get to just yet. While this is ordinary I’d say one frustration is that with multiple characters with multiple abilities you’ll need to be careful not to expend a lot of time over-thinking things and trying to get at something too much. More typically than not when you can’t get to something you’re not meant to yet and should likely just make a mental note.

Overall the game has a wonderful art style, light and mostly casual action, and some great puzzles to think over. There are some spots where, even earlier on, I got a little lost in what I was supposed to do but I suppose that’s not unusual for this type of game either. The characters each have their own charm and limitations so you’ll need to adjust your approach with enemies in particular with each character. I look forward to checking out the rest of the game once it arrives on the Switch!

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