Friday, March 1

Review: Awesome Pea [Nintendo Switch eShop]


If there’s a genre that was made to be on a Nintendo system it’s platformers. Considering that the Mario series has traditionally pretty well defined the bar for the genre that also can make it tough to release anything that’s a bit lacking when it comes to quality running and jumping. Hoping to ride a little bit of Gameboy puke green nostalgia we have Awesome Pea, a relatively short budget title that offers up 30 levels and a few hours of play.


The first thing you’ll notice, or at least I did, is that your rate of movement is relatively slow and jumping is decidedly floaty. Not a fan. I suppose appropriately since you’re just a lowly legume you’re not armed with any means of attack (you can’t even stomp heads) so your goal is just to use your jump and double-jump to avoid being hit and collect both coins and diamonds along the way. Don’t expect them to do anything or give you any sort of reward, I suppose they’re just for the sake of you having them and challenging yourself. By the same token there’s an on-screen timer that keeps track of how long you took but there seems to be no point in trying to complete the levels quicker aside from self-satisfaction.


One oddity is that by default the game has both a CRT and a tube effect enabled, peculiar since you didn’t play GameBoy titles on a television. The problem is that aside from I suppose trying to set a nostalgic mood they didn’t consistently do anything other than make it hard to see. Right out of the gate I literally struggled to see a spike that was in my way since the CRT effect didn’t just have scalines but also a flicker of sorts that distorted a part of the screen. Thankfully, they can be turned off.


With an abundance of platformers on the system, ranging from top tier to downright awful, putting the action of Awesome Pea up against anything on the higher end isn’t flattering. It doesn’t take long for the stage styles and even elements of the layouts to begin repeating themselves and overall I’m just not fond of floaty jumping in general since it just leaves you vulnerable and makes the game’s pacing tedious. None of the stages have checkpoints, which I suppose is fine, but when you die you also then have to slowly repeat everything again and that’s a drag.


If you think you’re interested in Awesome Pea I would very much recommend checking out the available demo first. Now, bear in mind that with only 3 levels while you’ll get a taste of the gameplay and the style the impression you will get won’t include the fact that the levels begin feeling repetitive. While it doesn’t have a high asking price I simply think there are better examples of the genre out there, even ones with comparable prices, waiting to be discovered. It has some merit but just isn’t very innovative or interesting in any way.

Score: 5

Pros:
  • If you’re into the vintage Gameboy puke green look you may be thrilled
  • A budget price
  • An available demo that will allow you to see if its feel is right for you

Cons:
  • Not a fan of its slow pace and floaty jumping, at all
  • The levels get repetitive too quickly
  • Collecting coins and diamonds offers no reward
  • Not sure why the screen effects were included, or at least why they’re turned on by default