Ever played Rygar? Ghosts & Goblins? Wizards and Warriors? Cave Story? I wanna be the guy? Angvik is an indie platformer that provides some of the gaming goodness that all of the above games contained, but brings with it a couple of nice twists to it's gameplay mechanics. I had the pleasure of playing this game quite a bit before it made it's way to Steam and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Angvik is more than the sum of it's parts. The best way to describe the gameplay would be to say that it's a mashup of many other platformers. Angvik does however implement it's mechanics in a unique way that feels slightly different from any other game, while boasting it's own unique 8 or 16 bit style. It's not exactly a "metroidvania" styled game, but it does have loot drops and a plethora of items for players to discover and play around with, which isn't bad considering it's not an RPG but rather a full on sidescrolling platformer. The most important part of any platformer is how well it controls and responds. Thankfully, Angvik has fairly user friendly controls that are responsive.
Players will choose from a number of different character classes right at the beginning of the game. These character classes change the gameplay immensely and particularly in the early game. You have your choice of a King, a Lancer, a Shepherd, a Paladin, an Alchemist, a Peasant, or a "Great Guy". Depending on who you choose, you'll start off with different weapons, armors, and items, some of which are very silly, but also very fun to play with. You have a bird companion who also helps you during your travels by collecting and hatching eggs that will spawn other birds who will shield you and attack enemies for you.
The graphics and sound don't immediately look like much but the characters and enemies are quite amusing to look at up close. There's certainly a retro vibe to it all, but if you appreciate older NES, SNES, Genesis, and early PC platformers, then you'll have no problem with Angvik's dated graphic style. The music isn't extremely memorable, but it does provide a filler for the gameplay. Thankfully the music isn't annoying either.
The options menu is a little lackluster, but at least it provides a way to play the game in either windowed or full screen mode. Other options are minimal but you can rebind the controls to your liking and (thankfully) Angvik comes with Gamepad and Controller support which I feel improves the gameplay for those who are not as comfortable playing a platformer with their keyboard alone. On the other hand, the keyboard controls work just fine, so there are no complaints either way. -- The Good --
- Classic Platforming gameplay (see above)
- Gameplay that will remind you of other great classics (but not a clone)
- Responsive controls using either Keyboard or Gamepad
- Multiple classes with unique gameplay styles
- Lots of replay value due to classes and loot drops
- Excellent price! You're actually getting a lot of bang for your buck! -- The Bad (or so-so) --
- Dated graphics
- Gameplay that will remind you of other great classics (some people don't actually like that sort of thing)
- Minimal options and settings can be off-putting to some gamers.
I definitely recommend Angvik for anyone who enjoys their platformers. You really can't beat the amount of gameplay you're getting at this price of admission.
Posted: February 24th, 2014