Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a very, very simple mix of metroidvania-like exploration, and rogue-lite challenge, but a simple mix that works wonders. You'll die a lot, but you'll keep on returning just to get a little further on the journey towards the top of this treacherous spire, and learn of its secrets, with your skill and perseverance being your main tools. Don't miss out on this modern-yet-retro indie gem.
Astalon's quality is undeniable. Its character animation, puzzles and power-up progression are all top- notch, and the copious extras (like a mode where you play as one of the campaign's reoccurring bosses), all show that this was a labor of love. [Issue #57 – January/February 2022, p. 18]
Astalon, Astalon, ASTALON!!!!!!! Wow! What a great game! My current top dog for 2023. Gonna be hard to beat. This is a retro style Metroidvania with influences from something like Lost Vikings. Your allies have different abilities and you need to use them properly to progress. There’s secrets everywhere and cool items. There’s upgrades and puzzles. Gameplay was smooth as silk except a couple frame rate bugs but whatever. It was awesome from the very start and kept getting better. It’s not often where I NEED to 100% a game. So fantastic!! Everything I want. I’ll never sell this copy. PLAY THIS GAME!!!
I tend to have a love/hate relationship with retro throwback games of various kinds. Sure, I have fond memories of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras but I’d be a fool to claim that many of those titles couldn’t be improved upon when viewed through a modern lens and with current hardware. That said, when a developer manages to nail the “feel” of those games of the past without falling into all of the pitfalls true games from that era tend to have, it can be something pretty special. Managing your party of three heroes, each possessing their own style of attack, stats, and special abilities, you’ll explore some pretty large areas consisting of a variety of rooms connected in various ways. What’s also great is that every time you perish (which will happen, possibly a lot) you’ll be able to spend gems you collect in each run that you can then use to upgrade your characters or enable special abilities with. When you mix this all together the result is a retro title with both an authentic and modern feel in parallel, and a pretty great experience for people who appreciate a well-made throwback experience.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a Metroidvania that while simple-looking,
brings a surprising amount of variety as far level and enemy design are
concerned. With three protagonists on the player's side, we'll have to
choose who to bring with us when crossing a tower based on the obstacles
of each section. Overall this is an experience that gives us quite a few
hours of fun and challenge.
It’s a relatively lengthy game for its genre and the back half will test your patience at times, but as a whole Astalon is a terrific game that may surprise you in some interesting ways. Some issues with backtracking keep it from being a total slamdunk, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for that old style of exploratory action game that can be a little opaque in a good way, you’re likely going to have a very good time with Astalon: Tears of the Earth.
With a great variety of environments, simple gameplay, and a strong line-up of enemies, Astalon: Tears of the Earth turns out to be one of the more successful action platformers we’ve seen in recent months. It will likely only last a handful of hours, but there’s a lot here to love, and it's a relative no-brainer if you’re a fan of high fantasy Metroidvanias.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth has just about everything a fan of Metroidvania-RPGs could want in the sub-genre. The plot is simple but flexible, the characters are well presented, and the tower is a meatgrinder. There is challenge enough to be found for the average gamer, though of course mileage may vary. Personally, this game presented an interesting and difficult twenty hours to complete, but what a feeling of satisfaction as the final credits rolled. I am looking forward to seeing where things go from here.
Biggest issue with this game is the backtracking. There are a few fast travel points but the backtracking is still some of the worst. So you burn through time doing that and trying to figure out where exactly do you go next. You end up losing a lot of time doing this. Otherwise it is a nice little package and does offer some decent indie moments with its 8-bit NES inspired graphics and chip tunes.
I play a lot of this type of game in recent years, and this one was pretty fun overall. To be sure, I tend to be easy to please: I just want to have fun exploring a world with some variety, fight things, and find interesting stuff. So this game was good for me overall. Still, there were often glitches that are like something you would encounter if it had actually been an 8-bit game, such as flicker and slowdown, or sticking in place while your platform moves on, and at times I wondered if this was a design choice (I sincerely hope not). I know the Switch isn't a powerhouse, but I play it much more for Indie throwback titles like this than current gen games. So, to get a "simpler" game with these issues was a slight bummer. Otherwise, I thought the game had good exploration and challenge, although some of the backtracking and redos got a bit uninteresting in the second half- some of the paths I constantly had to retread harshed my mellow just a bit. I liked the vibe overall. I would suggest it to anyone who likes the genre. Good but not mind-blowing.
Pretty nice, but also a lot of aimless searching with a lot of repetition. At its best moments this makes it challenging. But halfway through it can become just tedious. Might be the first meroidvania I wont bother to finish.
The Switch version has inexcusable performance issues and is very choppy, which bugs my eyes. All the trailers showed silky smooth 60 fps, so I feel swindled. The inputs don't feel as responsive as other action platformers I've played because of the inconsistent frame-rate. The game also has a weird auto-run glitch where the character continues to move even though I'm not pushing anything. I'll be shelving this game until the game is optimized. Doubt it'll happen though.
SummaryUphold your pact with the Titan of Death, Epimetheus! Fight, climb and solve your way through a twisted tower as three unique adventurers, on a mission to save their village from impending doom!
Three heroic explorers wander the post-apocalyptic desert on a mission to save their village from despair. They soon find a dark, twisted tow...