Channeling a low-res Souls-like vibe, sprinkled with ample humor to lighten things up, it knows what it wants to be, though not for everyone
Just to open with some honesty I have a history of sharing that on a general level I’m not a fan of the Dark Souls titles, but titles that label themselves as “Souls-like” tend to truly infuriate me. What I’ve found on the indie side of the fence is that more often than not the label is slapped on poorly-executed combat that is cumbersome and whose controls aren’t very good, hoping to gloss over those facts by just saying it’s “hard”. Thankfully on a general level with Nostalgaia I’d say instead that it feels like an intentional choice and an honest description. With combat (especially against bosses) often being a bit on the frustrating side and challenging, but getting there pretty honestly with good enough controls mixed with really tough enemy patterns that you’ll need to learn and be patient with in order to succeed. Oh, and enough about the challenging play, the main attraction to the game is really its constant sense of humor. If it weren’t for the steady stream of jokes and observations on the part of the game’s narrator I think the brutal nature of the game would potentially end up wearing people down and driving them away. Instead, if you enjoy the humor of the game you’ll find it provides some comic relief and makes for a decent hook to simply see what they have to say next as you struggle through and proceed. Hardly a perfect game, Nostalgaia at least seems to know what it wants to be, and does a better than average job of executing what seems to be its vision within the space.
Justin Nation, Score: