Dr. David's Indie Spotlight: Elliot Quest demo impressions
Last week on the Indie Roundup, one of the games we took a brief look at was Elliot Quest. On this edition of the Indie Spotlight, we're going to provide a more in-depth look at the upcoming title from developer Ansimuz Games. As we established last week, the 2D action-adventure title recently hit Kickstarter, and thus far it's doing pretty well in reaching its $4,000 goal. If you've yet to place a pledge, or if you're not too sure about Elliot Quest, hopefully these impressions will make it a bit easier for you to decide.
Ansimuz isn't shying away from the fact that its current endeavor is inspired greatly by Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. In fact, it says so right on the game's official page. The moment you load the Elliot Quest demo, it's easy to see how the game was influenced by Nintendo's 8-bit classic. You have an open overworld map where you can explore different areas. Only the forest area is open in the demo, but it's a great starting point and really shows you what Elliot Quest is all about.
The game mixes up platforming and combat. The titular Elliot initially only has a bow and unlimited arrows at his disposal, but this weapon works exceptionally well. The bow's range and amount of damage are both serviceable, though enemies can dodge your shots, forcing you to retreat should you get too close.
The enemies in the demo are all quite basic. There are blobs, skeletons, bats, and frogs. Tougher baddies include knights reminiscent of the Iron Knuckles from Zelda 2. There's also a flying bubble that's tough to defeat — a clear influence from the simplistically named Bubbles also seen in Link's second outing. It's not too tough to defeat enemies in Elliot Quest, though as mentioned before, if you get too close, these deceptively quick bad guys will do some surprising damage to your health.
Eventually, I battled what appeared to be a mini boss. It was a giant blob, and it was fairly resilient, requiring a lot of arrow shots to be defeated. From time to time, the massive blob would stick to the ceiling of the dungeon and drop smaller blobs to do its dirty work. Then it would come back down and jump toward me in an attempt to smash me. The boss battle wasn't difficult, but it did rely on some attack pattern memorization.
Elliot Quest features a checkpoint system, so if you perish, you won't have to start a dungeon from the entrance. Additionally, the dungeons feature branching paths, with alternate routes usually offering up health and coins. You can collect a dungeon map, which makes it easier to navigate the areas. The map system, along with the checkpoints, allow you to explore different areas without getting lost or testing your patience.
Visually, Elliot Quest is an absolute splendor. Though I only saw a handful of areas before the demo came to an abrupt end, the pixelated graphics are drenched in so much style and color that it's really difficult not to appreciate them. There's a great sense of charm here, and Elliot Quest definitely has its own personality despite the underlying fact that it's inspired by one of the most popular video game franchises of all time.
I enjoyed my time playing the demo, and when it ended, I was disappointed because I just wanted to keep going further into the world. The game is on the right track, though I will admit it just didn't feel all that right having to control it using the computer keyboard. Despite that ugly setback, though, the basic blueprint for a solid action-adventure title is certainly apparent. If you dig exploratory 2D adventures like Zelda 2 and even Metroid or Castlevania, Elliot Quest is undoubtedly a game to be on the lookout for.
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