Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Sep 14, 2021
    The storytelling, art and music masterfully connect to create a real sense of the world that the Eastward characters inhabit.
  2. Sep 14, 2021
    Match all of the above with a mesmerizing soundtrack of hummable motifs, from cheerily playful ditties to dramatic dirges, and everything in between, and Eastward distinguishes itself handily within its heavily populated genre. While it's not without its shortcomings - in particular, a bit less variety in combat and puzzles than the genre often typifies - where it shines, it does so brightly. For RPG fans, Eastward is the real deal, and it’s an unmissable and impressive feat of indie design that deserves plenty of recognition amongst a sea of bigger releases in 2021.
  3. Sep 20, 2021
    Eastward will fulfill any action-adventure needs that have been missing in your life. The character writing is fantastic and enhances the more emotional moments as the killer Miasma rears its ugly head. This game is an investment, but you’ll be left with a genuinely standout gaming experience full of action, exploration, memorable characters, and a fantastic final chapter. So do yourself a favor and play Eastward.
  4. Oct 29, 2021
    Eastward is truly a gem of the pixel adventure-RPG genre. It is plain as day that Pixpil poured their affections for this genre into making this game. They’ve provided fluid and expressive animation rarely seen in pixel games, lively characters, quirky writing, and catchy chiptune soundtracks. It is visually enticing from the beginning and will continue to keep you hooked until you are satisfied with unravelling its narrative. Eastward has easily taken its place as my favourite game of this year. I highly encourage lovers of pixel JRPGs to try this game out for yourselves. John and Sam will cook you up a satisfying adventure you will want to devour whole.
  5. Oct 6, 2021
    Eastward is an audio-visual masterpiece and a true indie gem in the action adventure genre, and even though it possesses relatively simple gameplay and puzzles, it oozes with great moments, beautiful world and heartwarming story with some of the most distinct and original characters in a while.
  6. Sep 19, 2021
    With Eastward, Pixpil succeeds in extracting the essence of the Mother games and transposing it into a Zelda-like game that highlights the complementarity between Sam and John, a particularly endearing duo. A real success, absolutely beautiful and endowed with a unique, bewitching and carefully written universe, that we recommend you to explore urgently.
  7. Sep 17, 2021
    A wonderful homage to classic RPG gaming that takes classic concepts and polishes them up with a level of care that is rare to find.
  8. Sep 16, 2021
    Eastward pays homage to all things loved about SNES-era gaming, looking and feeling like the games of our childhood locked deep within our hearts. At times, I wondered if the experience would be enhanced playing Eastward sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of a giant CRT television, tethered way to close to the screen by a wired controller. For gamers of a certain age, Eastward feels an awful lot like home, and one I didn’t realize I missed so dearly.
  9. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is not just the dazzling debut title of a very small development studio in Shanghai, just as it is not just a video game that closely resembles the best 2D Zelda in history. Don't call it Zelda-like: not because it's not a formally correct definition but because Pixpil's creature wants to be something more than the classic declaration of love to a title from the past. Eastward is one of the brightest examples of what are the true qualities of independent development: a real pearl that deserves to be discovered, perfectly capable of carving out its space in the niche of instant videogame cult. It is certainly one of the most surprising and impactful experiences of recent years, one of those titles capable of pointing the way to those who will come later.
  10. Sep 14, 2021
    A true Masterpiece. That's the word that comes after having accomplished this trip in the company of John and Sam. Varied level design, fascinating story, funny and endearing characters, fantastic visual and audio… Eastward has it all. Much more than a pale copy of its illustrious models, Pixpil's neo-retro game ticks all the right boxes to establish itself as a pure 2D action-adventure gem.
  11. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is an exceptional adventure game that does just about anything it does, and manages to hold its boat with a masterful hand in the 20 hours it takes to finish it.
  12. Sep 14, 2021
    All of that said, denouncing Eastward’s strengths and successes for any of the above would be disingenuous. It is a remarkable game that, while retro in ambition, will paradoxically go on to inspire the drive and uniqueness of future projects. It is clever, vibrant, and unapologetically original, and unless some magnificent twist of fate occurs over the next three months, it will undoubtedly go down as one of the best games of the year.
  13. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward feels comfortably familiar and strikingly fresh all at once, remixing the best elements of classic RPGs to produce something bold, brilliant, and altogether new.
  14. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward leans on fantasy to flavor its story, without forgetting about its core, real-world values. Its fluid, well-paced progression, and control movements thankfully allow you to explore and admire the view before continuing because Eastward is all about the journey despite its fascinating destination.
  15. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is a satisfying Zelda clone, with a beautiful pixel art and a compelling story.
  16. Dec 2, 2021
    Excellent pixel art, profound plot and deep story background, as well as the complementation of puzzle solving and combat, make Eastward an excellent work worth experiencing.
  17. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is a beautiful travel with stunning 2D visuals, nice ideas and a good story that will stay with us for a long time.
  18. Sep 14, 2021
    While the combat isn’t anything special and the puzzles wear out their welcome, Eastward’s characters, setting, and sounds craft an unforgettable experience. If you’re looking for something quirky, captivating, and somewhat surreal, you’ve found it.
  19. Sep 15, 2021
    Eastward is a charming game, with the simplicity and "naivety" of JRPGs, but with its own unique personality.
  20. Oct 2, 2021
    The game mixes riddles, dialogues and fights very competently. It is very well-written and with more than 20 hours of playtime, there’s a lot to explore.
  21. 80
    Perhaps Eastward’s greatest strength is that it isn’t complicated—gameplay is at once deeply warm and familiar without fading into stale territory, which is surprisingly tricky for a game that presents itself as a spiritual successor to the Zelda legacy. Eastward in motion is an unstoppable force, an exquisitely-animated homage to old-school RPGs that more than compensates for its writing and narrative
  22. Sep 17, 2021
    Eastward is a post-apocalyptic picaresque as charming as it is pretty, with simple action combat and puzzles that are accessible to everyone.
  23. Sep 17, 2021
    Though the primary plot would have benefitted from the energy placed in it’s characters, the adventures of Sam and John is still worth playing through. Many are likely to be drawn in by the music and visuals alone but the gameplay ensures its more than style. If you’re interested in a Zelda-like with a heavy story and character focus, then you can’t go wrong heading East. Given how great Eastward is for a debut game, I’m willing to patiently await many years for another.
  24. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is a marvelous action-adventure game designed in 16-bit pixel-art and set in a future and collapsed cyberpunk world. You play as Sam and John, two characters linked by a mysterious bound that decide to travel around the world to solve the strange things happening in the underworld. The art style is clearly inspired by 16-bit jRPGs and animation of the 90s. The adventure is full of smart puzzles to solve using the powers of the two friends, and will keep you busy and entertained for several hours.
  25. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward is an enjoyable and arresting adventure, with memorable characters, likeable humour and a central mystery that keeps you engaged throughout.
  26. Sep 14, 2021
    Before I knew it, my initial skepticism and complaints had begun to evaporate. Even as a silent protagonist, John manages to exude so much personality from his non-committal shrugs and sighs, and he and Sam play off each other so well it’s hard not to feel endeared to them. Everything about Eastward just feels immediately magical and nostalgic, and while my gripes with the combat and stretched out dungeon designs never really went away entirely, Sam’s journey is still one I’m glad I went on in the end.
  27. Sep 14, 2021
    Eastward might fumble the ending, but that doesn't stop it from delivering a fantastic journey.
  28. Oct 8, 2021
    Worth playing for the atmosphere even though its pace and plot are uneven.
  29. Sep 14, 2021
    Although its gameplay is a bit flawed and its narrative can feel slow, Eastward is a game that rewards us for sticking with it with unique moments that become memorable.
  30. Sep 14, 2021
    Despite a few limits that stop it from becoming an instant classic, Eastward is a fun and relaxing ride that we believe it's worth taking for every 2D action adventure fan.
  31. Sep 19, 2021
    Charming and colourful pixel action-adventure with a lot of heart, solid combat and puzzle dungeons, yet apparent deficiencies in the narrative pace.
  32. Nov 16, 2021
    Eastward’s action and puzzles play things a bit too much by the book, the plot and storytelling don’t really come together, and the dialogue lacks wit. But even with so many negative aspects, the top-notch pixel art is true craftsmanship. These wonderful graphics were enough for me to push through, and perhaps you will too.
  33. Edge Magazine
    Oct 9, 2021
    Even for those players who are too young to perceive the winds of nostalgia blowing through Eastward, this is a game that shows the endurance of the Super Nintendo-era RPG template as a vessel for storytelling across decades - and that is a magic of its own, too. [Issue#364, p.118]
  34. Sep 14, 2021
    In many ways, Eastward is the perfect evolution of 90s JRPGs, with its gorgeous artwork, endearing protagonists and well-designed dungeons that offer a satisfying blend of combat and puzzles. But it goes overboard with its story, packing in uninspired characters and giving them too much screen time. It’s a lot to sit through to get to the good bits.
  35. Oct 3, 2021
    Eastward is charming and offers a surprisingly dark story, but is bogged down by stale combat mechanics and too much boring and non-sensical dialogue.
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  1. Sep 14, 2021
    A strong love for storytelling and the feel of games like Earthbound makes Eastward shine even where the gameplay flags. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Sep 14, 2021
    Details like Earth Born are what make Eastward special for me. Not only is the gameplay both challenging and clever (and sometimes, punishing), but the worlds are built with depth. In both its dungeons and places of reprieve, Eastward is continually worth exploring.
  3. Some of that action will involve fetching rare fish from the belly of an even bigger fish so you can serve up the ultimate dish of forgiveness to a scheming casino lord, and yes, you'll also be hunting down mischievous creatures in the forest to help out the village ranch. It's all in a day's work for this unlikely pair of world-saving do-gooders, but gosh darnit if I didn't also enjoy every second of it. It may be slow to get going, but once Sam and John find their feet, Eastward roars to life like nothing else. Pixpil have created a world of exquisite detail here, and its winsome cast are easily the best bunch of NPCs you'll meet this side of Toby Fox's Undertale. It's been a long time since I've cared this much about the everyday folks in an RPG, but as Eastward handsomely proves, pigs really do fly in this excellent retro adventure.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 87
  2. Negative: 20 out of 87
  1. Sep 18, 2021
    Amazing game, brought it without knowing anything about it, just saw it on pre-sale on Steam and bought. Best decision i've made in months,Amazing game, brought it without knowing anything about it, just saw it on pre-sale on Steam and bought. Best decision i've made in months, the game is so nostalgic and well made that i played 15h nonstop, a mix of zelda, earthbound, fallout and stardew valley. Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2021
    You have to praise the art and music in Eastward, if nothing else because there's nothing else to praise. But even the art and music getYou have to praise the art and music in Eastward, if nothing else because there's nothing else to praise. But even the art and music get repetitive at a certain point, and that certain point is very early on in the game. What really kills any chance of Eastward being worth the player's time is a combination of flat, longwinded writing and gameplay so stale that there's nothing for the art and music to elevate. Honestly, I would love for someone who knows how to make a game to take the visuals and music in Eastward and make something playable out of it. At the moment, that's all there is. Music and art. There's no game. Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2021
    Felt like it would have be a good game, but it doesn't let you do anything creative. Follow story, go to next town, get more hearts, nextFelt like it would have be a good game, but it doesn't let you do anything creative. Follow story, go to next town, get more hearts, next town, more hearts. Long dialogue, slow pacing. Beautiful artwork and characters. I quit after 3rd town. Based on reviews it gets even slower. It could have been something, but it is not. Full Review »