With its falconry-inspired gameplay & procedurally generated worlds, Eagle Island is set to a beautifully modernized pixel art aesthetic and provides a breath of fresh air to the character platforming genre. Eagle Island can be played in either Story, Roguelite or Speedrun mode.
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Jul 12, 2019Eagle Island promises a lot, but whether it ever truly delivers I cannot say, because after two days with it I am plain done. I was never quite enjoying it as much as I wanted to, and it never quite came together even during the brief window when the plot took a turn and it looked like it was about to really open up. Even the promise of more ways to brutalise my dutiful owl isn’t enough to drag me through another afternoon of increasingly grating near misses.
Positive: 2 out of 2
Mixed: 0 out of 2
Negative: 0 out of 2
Jul 16, 2019Eagle Island is a rock-solid 2D pixel art roguelite. You control Quill, a young boy who finds himself on a mysterious island with his owlEagle Island is a rock-solid 2D pixel art roguelite. You control Quill, a young boy who finds himself on a mysterious island with his owl companion Koji. The game has a set overworld hub that leads to the game's dungeons. Each dungeon is procedurally generated, which may put some people off, but the algorithm behind the scenes is very impressive, with the vast majority of levels feel hand-crafted and designed. If you lose all your health in a dungeon, you're returned to the start, minus any perks you've found in the dungeon, and the dungeon generates a brand new layout to battle through. You will keep any permanent upgrades you've found, though, it's just those temporary perks that are lost.
However, if you want to tackle the same layout over and over, you can play the game's "Official Seed," where the dungeon layouts remain static, allowing multiple practice runs through to learn enemy placement and optimal routes. The fact the developer gives you the choice to enjoy the game on it's "core" setting of procedural levels or having the option to set the levels so they're the same each time is doubtless going to be appreciated by many.
Speaking of options, there's an absolutely huge number of settings in the options menu. This game has some of the best accessibility options I've ever seen: from being able to adjust the brightness of the background, so that the foreground is more in focus, to being able to add an outline to enemies, to having option aim guides, to remappable controls, there's plenty to tweak and change to make the experience more comfortable.
The game is challenging. Don't let the gorgeous, cutesy pixel art deceive you. On the "Core" difficulty setting, you get 3 HP. Getting a 4-times combo drops a health item, which will restore 1 missing hit point, but it takes some serious skill and practice to consistently get those combos. There are shops scattered through the dungeons, where you can use coins gained from defeated enemies to buy health pickups, and even increase you HP for that run. Still, if you charge in without a plan to deal with the enemies on screen, you can find yourself booted back to the start of the level pretty quickly! Thankfully, you can change the difficulty when back in the hub world, and choosing an 'easier' difficulty level does not impact the achievements you can unlock in-game. So that's a nice touch!
The bosses encountered at the end of each stage are visually impressive and imposing, some of them taking up nearly half the screen! They're reasonably challenging, though it can be a little disheartening to make it through a dungeon all the way to the boss, die at the boss, then go back to the beginning of the level. The upshot of this, however, is the next run-through could see you locate new perks/runes that changes the outcome of your next fight!
I'm not normally a fan of games with high difficulty levels, but Eagle Island's charm, visual style, and the immense satisfaction when you manage a 23-hit combo on a boss has kept me coming back for more over and over again. Well worth checking out if you like roguelites and a challenging experience! Try the free demo on Steam.… Expand
Jul 27, 2019Globally: Well designed, well crafted, superb graphics and beautiful controls with some subtle problems that happen because of it's mixedGlobally: Well designed, well crafted, superb graphics and beautiful controls with some subtle problems that happen because of it's mixed game style.
NOTE: This is a review with a play through the demo and 5 levels in Story Mode in the full game.
To begin with, one must know that the author was oreinted in a puzzle solving platformer rather than an actual linear story puzzle platformer. I think it's not good to apply a game genre for this game as it's a genre of it's own. Some talk about Metroidvenia, Roguelike, Platformer, Puzzle, Exploration. When you identify a type, it's easy to down rate a game and point out it's weak points. Leaving this asside, I chose to categorise some major points.
1. Comparing demo from actual game
The demo did not introduce us to the Story mode. It presented us with a dungeon type, on-going random game where you just needed to survive the dungeon to the end. You were greeted with some fun powerups which I define as rune stones you place in 4 available slots.
The game introduced us to Story Mode which is where the games hits some negative points I'll cover below. Comparing the demo to the full game, the author stayed true to the graphics and functionality and surprised us with a few fun things with online stuff, other modes, interesting minigames and badass bosses. Interesting game mechanics which were not present in the demo. The game feels good and complete making the demo well represent the potential of the actual game.
2. Clues and hints in Story Mode
This point is debatable amongst many that love puzzle solving and excessively long clueless games. When you have a Story Mode, you needs a minimal guidance to what happens and where things are happening. This is where the game hurts mostly platform players and other casual players that play a game for it's fast paced engine and relaxing, brain resting ambiance. The game offers an exploration mode which is far encouraged but seriously penalises you for your fails by making you restart the entire dungeon you may have taken 1 hour to try. The mini map in between dungeon worlds also lacks some direction or subtle hints for your next adventure. So you may find yourself discovering impossible to open closed doors and wondering where to go in a very empty, map to find out that you are not at the right place. The doors are not next to each other so there is a bit of wandering arround to do so fideling around a complete map without guidance with no ennemy encounter makes the task teadious and not so fun.
3. Controls and gameplay
A very original way of playing a platform shooter with a 8 angle falconery attack. The levels are designed to fit well with this type of gameplay. Hanging in mid air before shooting gives a nice clever twist. The controls feel very comfortable and reactive like any true well made game. Hitting an ennemy and achieving combos, you feel it and it's fun. There tends to be a little design flaw where combos are encouraged but not always possible even with multiple ennemies because of some random level layouts. But, this adds a very good feeling when achieving a combo so it's not a down point as it gives a nice touch in eagerness to achieve such nice combos.
The boss battles are fun, difficult and feel big and spectacular. Defeating a boss gives a nice feeling of accomplishement.
4. Sounds an music
Music is catchy and the game relates to it. Perfect music theme for the game. Sounds may sometimes feel repetitive or too loud in some cases. In some cases, it could be good to hear some softer sounds when ennemies are out of sight for example as you may believe that a danger is near when you are actually safe, but that's minor.
This is by far, the best element of the game. From hopping frogs, swimming fish, flying dandelions and moving grass. You feel that Quill (the character you are playing) actually lives in the environement and not just there killing off ennemies. The subtle graphical elements and the ambiance given in the game, from dripping caves to rain splashes on the ground make this game a true beauty. The hud and configurations are easy to manage and understand and very well presented. And the fact you can record gifs makes it a plus for game showoffs and studying your own mistakes.
I would have given this game an 8.5/10 but I can only put a 8 or 9. So I went with an 8 because of the will of putting a Story Mode with little to no subtle guidance, little save points and no signs of further possibilities once we achieved something. But that's small compared to how nice and original this game feels and plays. Also, a very important note, the author is listening to his players which adds to how this games is fun. Bugs are corrected and improvements have been made to accomodate us, the pesky players. The game does not penalise you for the easy mode so that's also a nice point. Overall, lots of effort put in a must buy game!… Expand