The Waste Land, a "metroidvania" style side-scroller inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem of the same name, puts players in the role of a fallen king who must find his way to right the wrongs caused by his own failings.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mixed (77 reviews) - 58% of the 77 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 16, 2014

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Recent updates View all (9)

June 8

A new important update!

A new update is available! It brings some substantial changes, so let's go trhough them.



Bestiary: a new section is available from "Options" or game pause menu: the Bestiary. Unlock 41 pages by collecting them around the game world, and read new insights about each of The Waste Land's enemies. It's a good occasion to explore again the seven lands, and while some pages are quite obvious to find, some others will not. Good hunting!

Save migration needed: i've switched from the very old GameMaker8.1 to the current GameMaker Studio, that brings some advantages, but imposes also limits. One of them is that the new system is "sandboxed": applications built with it cannot browse all the PC folders, but are confined to a specific area. So, you'll need to move the pre-existent save files, unfortunately. It's not a big deal, though:

1) Locate the old files, that should be by default here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\The Waste Land\
2) Copy Save.sav and VideoOptions.sav from this location to the new one, that by default should be:
C:\Users\Home\AppData\Local\TheWasteLandPC
3) Done. Old saves are 100% compatible.

16:9 screen: the original game was in 4:3 ratio, and while i loved the retro vibe, i recognize that full 16:9 is way better. So i've made the change, i think you'll love it.

Bosses now have a health bar: initially i liked the idea of not having it, but understanding how far you are from beating the boss, especially when you fail, can be a push to retry and ultimately enjoy the game. So i added it.

Bugfix and rebalancing: i've fixed some minor issues, and subtly rebalanced monsters and bosses. No huge changes, just something more enjoyable and polished.

Hope you'll enjoy the changes, should you encounter any issue, drop a comment in the forums, i'll do my best to support you!

Cheers,

Fledermaus.

4 comments Read more

Reviews

“The Waste Land is quite simply an exemplar Metroidvania style game that also brims with originality. It almost feels like a lost Castlevania game from the NES era that was recently unearthed.”
4.5/5 – Hardcore Gamer

“The side-scrolling 2D 8-bit graphics are perfectly crafted in an open world with a storyline that is fairly attractive. With over fifteen hours worth of gameplay, you can’t go wrong with this title.”
8.5/10 – 3rd Strike

“A great writer of the past and a great developer of the future have come together and created something memorable. Now that’s a legacy.”
5/5 – Invision Game Community

About This Game

The Waste Land, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem of the same name that is imbued with feelings of despair and lost innocence, puts players in the role of a fallen king who must find his way to right the wrongs caused by his own failings. Players explore a vast world across seven continents and meet memorable characters while fighting off twisted creatures to survive a hostile land - all in gorgeous 8-bit style.

In The Waste Land you are the King Zyron III, ruler of all the known lands, who’s actions on a an ordinary hunting trip cause a rip in the balance of nature. Creatures mutate sending your once loyal subjects into a state of fear and it is up to you to set things right. Seek out more powerful weapons and secret items to give you an edge while exploring the vast lands in your quest to take down five giant beasts to reset the balance of nature you upset.

Features


  • “Metroidvania” style open world with over 15 hours of classic gameplay
  • Find and collect hidden Upgrades, Secrets and Bonuses that boost stats and abilities
  • Discover 10 deadly weapons, 5 swords and 5 arrow types, imbued with unique properties such as the Battle Sword, Chain Sword and Katana as well as the Fire, Bomb and Cursed Arrows
  • Slay 5 giant twisted Bosses that include a mutated slug, colossal hornet and demented whale
  • Encounter colorful characters in each town you discover
  • Watch the ominous moon rise each night as the skies darken and light with the Day/Night cycle
  • Explore vast maps across 7 continents, each with their own challenges to overcome

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista 7/8
    • Processor: 1.2GHz processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 compliant
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound compliant
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.4GHz processor or faster
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 compliant
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectSound compliant
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (77 reviews)
Recently Posted
asz
0.2 hrs
Posted: June 14
I wanted to like this game so bad, but there isn't even the courtesy of a game over screen. If you die you literally have to exit to the main menu. Can't program a reset button? Really?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
drdouglasdark
4.6 hrs
Posted: May 11
For me this game is very reminiscant of the games I would play on the Spectrum or early Nintees pc. Games that didn't hold my hand to get me through the game but made me think about how to get through an area. I'll admit that I have gotten to a point (Fighting the whale) and after many trys have gotten a bit frustrated. But in all honesty I think I have overreached and need to explore a bit more and find something! The game has dark tones but the fodder design (Killing Giant Slugs and Tortoise) is a bit lame!

I Bought this around the same time as I bought Shovel Knight and have had coversations about which is better and my argument has always been that even though they are both good, it's like comparing Mario to Castlvania 2 Simons Quest!

If you like games and gaming you may like this! If you are a Gamer and want a Pre Metroidvania style challenge I'd recommed this!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Porb Morjwyx
1.5 hrs
Posted: April 29
I can only recommend this to people who are smitten with the art style and the Eliot/Fraser allusions and who also loved the stiffness of the early Castlevanias so much that you'd play a game that chose to impose that limitation on itself.

For me at least, a Metroidvania comes down to rhythm, and this does not leave room for rhythm. Combat is largely a jumping straight up in the air, seeing if an enemy enters the range of your sword, maybe scoring a hit, then repositioning and jumping straight up in the air. An initial frustration with the tiny hit area of your starting weapon gives way to boredom once you learn the patterns of the three or four enemy types (in the opening stages), at which point everything becomes a slog.

A perfect example: There is this terrifying, gigantic fire-breathing zombie dog that is maybe seven or eight times the size of your character. You walk up to and go "oh man, I am gonna get wrecked by that." After one such encounter, you will have discovered the completely foolproof strategy for defeating it, which is to stand perfectly still and mash the stab button in order to stun lock it until you hit five times. (This does not take precise timing, and because of invincibility frames, this takes a solid four or five seconds. That sounds like a ridiculous complaint, but the time spent standing there just ruins any sense of fluidity or rhythm.)

It's one thing to ask you to grind through enemies that are more annoying than challenging, but there doesn't seem to be any reason behind the grind. There's no experience or money or anything like that. The only thing that enemies drop is food that restores HP that you lost to other enemies you didn't have any reason to fight. They're just an impediment, which is so much worst in an exploration-heavy game that has you clearing the same screens several times in order to make progress.

Oh and the music that plays through the opening areas is just awful and repetitive and somehow both droning and intrusive, yet it goes on forever without variation.

Again, gorgeous game. Lots of beautiful grace notes (there's a brief character moment in the cathedral that isn't to be missed), and maybe for you there's an 8-bit nostalgia factor. I wish I wanted to finish this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
WereWind
8.4 hrs
Posted: March 30
This is the first time I have ever written a negative review. The game is just that bad.

I mean I was trying to overlook its glaring weaknesses - the repetitive soundtrack (eight 30-second loops that get old really fast). The fact that you can't mute the music. The worst writing I've seen in a game. The massive areas that had nothing but hordes of boring enemies you have no incentive to fight. The "exploration" aspect that most of the time ended you in massive enemy-filled dead-end. After all, this is an indie game and the core combat was somewhat solid.

And then I reached the end. And in the end there was a boss. And I just realised - hey, at a certain point of development the dev thought that fighting this guy would be fun experience. And that moment he lost all credibility in my eyes.

Without spoiling anything - it's a luck mission. He has means to draw out the fight almost indefinitely, attacks without any delay or setup and in his second phase he can punish you for attacking him regardless of your actions - basically attack him and get randomly hit for massive damage.

Overall the game has not been fun experience and I've played for 8 hours just out of some perverted curiosity.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mikaroni
0.1 hrs
Posted: March 28
I was hoping to like this game. I decided that I would put it down and play it later when I had more time to get into it. It was then that I realized there was no way to exit the game properly. You have to minimize and force quit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
B.Mo
1.3 hrs
Posted: March 12
I love Metroidvanias. Probably my favorite genre. Couldn't play this for more than an hour because of the one audio track that constantly plays.

I can deal with the random drops sometimes being posiononous (and even killing you), brutal difficulty, repetive enemies, fall damage that just KILLS you (never seen that in this genre before, probably because it is obnoxious), terrible jump mechanics (if you press down while mid-air you just drop like a stone), and sluggish controls, but I just cannot deal with that one audio track. I find it kind of funny considering how good the title audio track is.

Realy glad I bought this on sale because there is a very good chance I will not be loading this again. Absolutely would not reccomend. It's not even so bad it's good, it's just bad.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
-CHA- Vick McBread™
1.2 hrs
Posted: March 1
Based off the positive and negative reviews. I'm ashamed I even bought this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
andreas7100
0.3 hrs
Posted: February 23
I believe this is a unique and atmospheric adventure. The unusual but effective music sets up a somber and dead serious tone. The world in which this game takes place is meant to be bleak. I believe it shares some common traits with Castlevania 2, such as towns and the overall adventure aspect. As a lifelong gamer, I have a preference for pixel art and bit-mapped games. This game definitely targets the nostalgic segment of players who prefer the old vs the new. I am very thankful for the indie revolution in gaming, without it we wouldn't see games like this. It may not be for everyone, but I thought this was a unique and atmospheric effort.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bicou
0.5 hrs
Posted: February 13
Didnt really like this one. PRetty boring and repetitive. Next !
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sir Dshimshi
6.3 hrs
Posted: December 12, 2015
-10/10
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
164 of 173 people (95%) found this review helpful
18 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 8, 2015
A terrible game developed by an obnoxious jerk. I was the first player to write a negative Steam review of The Waste Land (in September of 2014). My review was sincerely critical of the game's glaring flaws, and the Italian developer, Fledermaus, had his friends in Italy follow and attack me everywhere they could on Steam for about a month.

When I posted my original review, within one day my review was swamped with about a dozen childish insults written in broken English by various degenerates living in Italy. Sure enough, these were Fledermaus's lackeys coming to aid him. In the first 24-hour period, my Steam review of The Wasteland had 19 downvotes, 2 upvotes, and comments like "Gues ur wrong!", "If it is bad why is youre review so hated.", "Try righting a rel review."

It didn't stop there. Almost daily I was getting harassed with insults from random Italians on my public Steam profile. I got fed up with the attention, so I took the review down, especially seeing as how the indie game was already an enormous financial failure.

Comments still trickled in on my profile for a couple days, with stuff like "Why you take the review down?", "Upset cuz your review suks?" before finally stopping.

Hopefully next time Fledermaus makes a game, he will focus less on attacking his customers, and focus more on making a fun game.

==THE NEW REVIEW==
The Waste Land is an awful game that should not be played. I spent over 12 hours in The Waste Land, wasting my time 100%'ing the game just to dispel any notion that I misunderstood the game. Never have I been so bored exploring a metroid-style game. The environments are unnecessarily gigantic and empty. The whole game world takes about 40-minutes to traverse end-to-end, and yet it still feels stripped of content. The monsters sprinkled across the game are pathetic and easy to avoid, and the lack of any coherent level design makes the whole game feel like a bloated, disorganized mess. The only aspect of the game that is not horribly inadequate is the outdoor visual design. Unfortunately, the crudely drawn enemy sprites negate the effect that the environment backgrounds create.

I would also like to point out that the game contains random acts of sex, prostitution, nudity, and implied ♥♥♥♥. In the game world, you are the king of the land, and you are entitled to free sex in any of this sad kingdom's brothels. This is all offered without any context or reason, so it comes across as randomly shoved into the game as poor fan-service. The girls aren't even pretty.
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115 of 135 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
The Waste Land basically is a throwback to Castlevania 2 for the NES. Unfortunately it fails in many ways to capture the magic and squanders its potential as a metroidvania. As someone who has played almost every Metroidvania on Steam, I can't recommend this game for a variety of reasons.

While the graphics are a throwback to the old NES era, the audio in this game is horrendous. The music is bland and repetitive, and the sound is overall lackluster. I found myself having to mute the game completely and play my own music to make the experience tolerable.

The world itself is very large and expansive, but about 75% of it is just boring flat space with monsters that you will find yourself just jumping over 90% of the time. There is no incentive to fight them monsters since ther is no leveling system, or currency to spend at the towns for upgrades. This reduces them to avoidable speedbumps (except the annoying plants). The towns themselves are a nice break from the bland emptiness of the games overworld, but then you realize that the NPC's have nothing of value to say. There are no shops, but there are brothels that are good for a laugh the first time you go to one.

The upgrades are almost completely useless. Only 2 of them actually open new areas, and one of them you find a few minutes into the game, the other is hidden in a silly spot that I won't spoil. Most of the bosses could even be skipped because they are not blocking your path to progress in any way, nor do they reward you with game changing powerups.

There is also no fast travel, which makes traversing the games boring landscape even more tedious. You would think there would be at least one spot in each country you could warp to after visiting once, but instead I spent probably over half of my 10 hours playing this walking to the left or right, jumping over monsters, across empty screens devoid of any real platforming.

Overall skip this game, there are much better metroidvanias on steam.
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35 of 47 people (74%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
An 8 bit Metroidvania with a massive world, but rough around the edges and monotonous.

Pros:
No hand holding.
Massive interconnected map mostly open from the get go.
Great Nes castelvanina aesthetic with a day and night cycle.
Huge Bosses.

Cons:
Focuses too much on combat, with few environmental or platforming puzzles. You mostly go from point A to point B or die trying.
All upgrades bar 2 are damage and life upgrades.
Enemy variety a tad too low.
Late game there are no incentives to fight enemies as they drop no money nor experience (While that negates any form of grinding it is still an issue).
Some bugs, mostly benign (crashed twice, music disappeared rarely).

Hyper Subjective Notes:
I wish there were more music tracks in the game (there are about 8 tracks).
Tackling bosses under equipped can be a very very long slog.
The final boss was underwhelming.
Some limited form of fast travel might have been nice, mainly to search for secrets in a swifter manner (or to negate pointless enemy encounters late game as mentioned above).
Sparse writing was better than expected.

Who Should Get It:
Fans of 8 bit 2d action RPGs such as Castlevania 2, Zelda 2, Faxanadu or Clash at Demon Head, as this game emulates and surpasses all those titles in some ways. Other buyers need ask themselves whether they prize exploration above all elements of a game, as travesing the massive 8 bit world is The Waste Land's best feature, not its secrets nor its combat.
7.5
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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2015
God-awful controls that can't be changed. Enough said.
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42 of 62 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 16, 2014
Refreshingly.. old?

I'll admit, I was never a huge fan of the retro-styled games because they always reek of new polish that ruins the aesthetic that they're going for. That isn't the case with The Waste Land. It feels exactly like it should.

You're given an intuitive tutorial, get to try out combat and then the plot is thrown at you, before you're given free-roam to the world and all the dangers within it. It's easy to get lost, and to die, and not know where you're going - but those all contribute to making the game a fun experience. You learn from every death, and that's how you progress.

From what I've seen so far, it's definitely worth picking up if this is your kind of game.
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21 of 26 people (81%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 26, 2015
It pains me to give this a negative review as there was clearly a lot of heart put into it, but that's just how it is. The game's myriad flaws discouraged me from putting much time into it: the enemies blend in with the background, the hitboxes are tremendously inaccurate, and the fall damage mechanic is completely broken. You gain access to a double jump fairly early on, and one would think that you could use it to survive long falls. This is not the case; when you perform your midair jump at any given point in a long fall, you still take damage based on how long you fell before you performed the second jump. Stupid.

While the concept is pretty cool (and, to my knowledge, unexplored outside of this game), the world it takes place in is not. There are a ton of pointless NPC's and vast stretches of empty space. A good portion of my 1.8 hours with this game was spent wandering the expanse trying to get from point A to point B. There's a map, but it's not terribly helpful, as it's presented from a top-down perspective whereas you can only move left and right.

I really wanted to like this game, but I just couldn't. There is a lot of potential here for something good. If the developers were to fix the hitboxes, clean up the backgrounds, and cut down on the extraneous sections of the map, I could forgive it of its other flaws and get some enjoyment out of it. As it stands, though, it's just too broken to be fun.
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30 of 47 people (64%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
Another retro-inspired game that disappoints - more news at eleven! "The Waste Land" could have been an incredible game but suffers from many flaws marking it as an amateurish attempt of recreating the lost days of exploring cryptic 8bit worlds.
Basically, the majority of your time in this game is you aimlessly wandering around a gigantic map with a whole bunch of locations looking for: you never know what!

That is the main flaw of the game, you are constantly lost and maybe stumble upon a clue where to go next. Now, exploring (2D) worlds can be pretty fun but the key to make that work for me is a) variety in locations and monsters and some kind of logic in how areas are laid out b) impressive landmarks and c) artifacts and treasures to motivate me to go looking around some more.

Unfortunately, the world of "The Waste Land" is too empty to keep my interest going - there are way too many areas that are simply filler, ultimately adding to tedium because you need to traverse these areas (sometimes more than once) since there is no fast travel at all. There is very little indication where to go next, and folk in this game are mostly very vague with their hints. Exploration simply doesn't feel rewarding enough, thanks to the bland visuals and only 10 weapon-upgrades and 20 health-upgrades hidden in the various lands. Every now and then, the game does something cool - like showing a gigantic moon in the background or being able to see a particularly important tower in the background of another stage. These little details rock, but they are very rare. The rest is spent double-jumping over most enemies and getting to the left or right side of a stage. There is hardly any noteworthy platforming in between.

Another issue is the fact that the game throws tons of enemies at you (I killed several thousand during my playthrough) but they are neither interesting to fight nor do you gain anything from killing them but the occasionally health pick-up that becomes pretty much obsolete once you have enough health-upgrades to last long enough to make it from one checkpoint to another (checkpoints restore you to 100%).

Combat mechanics are pretty terrible, hitdetection is iffy and the invincibility-phase you have after getting it doesn't work properly. You can get hit multiple times at once, even though you are blinking. What is worse is that you also loose control over your character and get a significan knockback effect. This makes the final boss fight a complete and total ♥♥♥♥ing pain in the ♥♥♥ (I would actually call that p.o.s. broken as ♥♥♥♥) - because as you get knocked back you also get caught again and suffer a second (and third, maybe even a fourth hit without being able to do anything about it). Movement itself does feel rather tight though.

But, I got to admit - the game isn't a complete failure and every now and then there are some bits that are both interesting and somewhat exciting. 3 out of 5 boss battles are actually pretty cool and atmospheric. Some places even tell a little stories, I really liked the sealed mine shafts - there was a nice build-up by the towns folk in the mining town, telling me of ancient artifacts and people dying in the mine and then I got a chance to descend into that unholy place myself. Whenever the game gives a bit of a narrative to a location, it suddenly becomes much more interesting as soon as you have some context about the surroundings you are in. There are some genuinely cool places to discover, and my imagination kicked in several times playing this - it is a real shame the game didn't keep this level and instead went for the "filler"-areas.

One word about the atmosphere, even though the music tries really hard to ruin the mood 80% of the time, the bleakness and hopelessness dripping from every pore of "The Waste Land" is very much to my liking. Not so cool are the ridiculous death animations - because they look like someones first attempts in MSPaint = horrible!

Still, the few good & atmospheric moments don't justify the horrible and glitchy tech or the lack of any meaningful structure to the way you traverse and interact with the surroundings. There is potential here, but it is also an amateur project through and through and that holds it back tremendously.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 21, 2015
There is something to be said for a minimalistic or "old-school" style of game, but that is no excuse for being poorly made. Limited color palettes, control options, computing power, etc. can all be used as a focusing lens for really tightly-crafted experience.
This is not that. This is bad. Amateurish, incompetent, lazy - pick two.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 12, 2015
I'd love to be able to tell you something about this game... Except that I cannot get beyond the tutorial. The game locks there for me and will not go any farther, for some godforsaken reason. Maybe if I get it to run properly, I will be able to have an opinion about it.
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21 of 33 people (64%) found this review helpful
Recommended
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
Great game, crafted with a lot of love and perfect recreation of what made 1st gen metroidvanias so fun back in the day. This game plays well and has a great atmosphere, plenty of exploring and gearing and period perfect music. Highly recommended.
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