Inspired by Aztec legend, this action/rpg side-scroller will casts you into the middle of a war between the Gods and Mankind. As Huitzilo, heir of the Sun God, skilled in both the arts of combat and magic, only you can save your people from the wrath of the Aztec Gods by reuniting the seven phonograms.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (82 reviews) - 73% of the 82 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 7, 2009

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"Aztaka has top notch production: great visuals and music, decent RPG elements and a very immersive atmosphere." - GameTunnel

"As long as you have an appreciation for what makes side scrolling RPGs great, there is no excuse for not making this a permanent fixture in your game collection." - GamesAreEvil

About This Game

Inspired by Aztec legend, this action/rpg side-scroller will casts you into the middle of a war between the Gods and Mankind. As Huitzilo, heir of the Sun God, skilled in both the arts of combat and magic, only you can save your people from the wrath of the Aztec Gods by reuniting the seven phonograms. Accompanied by your faithful companion Ayopha - trapped in the form of a hummingbird by a magical curse – you will overcome the obstacles in you path through a combination of fighting prowess and spiritual magic.

  • Plunge into a new and fresh universe
  • Manipulate spiritual energy, through an innovative hybrid control scheme to solve mysteries and vanquish foes
  • Enhance and customize your character by training skills and abilities, and acquiring ancient artifacts
  • Embark on optional side-quests to acquire valuable items and gold
  • Visit shops to buy and sell potions, rings, piercings and skills to aid in your travels
  • Twenty-one unique and detailed levels with grand, richly-detailed backdrops and fluid character animations

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista Operating System
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 2.0 GHz or higher processor
    • Memory: 2 GB of available system memory
    • Graphics: 256 MB (512 MB recommended) DirectX 9.0c compliant video card with Shader Model 2.0
    • DirectX®: DirectX 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 1.6 GB of available hard drive space
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compliant Sound Card
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.7 and later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI 3870 with 512MB of VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 1.7 GB HD space
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Mostly Positive (82 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 32 people (94%) found this review helpful
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 29, 2014
Finishing the game, I have left with mixed, yet largely positive, feelings.

In Aztaka, you are the chosen warrior of the Tenochthitlan, or something. See, it's an action RPG platformer based on Aztec mythology, of which I admittedly am not an expert on. Because of this special setting, every name and event feels unique and at the same time rather confusing, for it can be difficult to remember who is who when you're dealing with a culture with a complicated spelling vastly different from yours.

You are actually playing two characters: the chosen warrior of the gods and a cursed wizard of sorts who is in the form of a hummingbird. Warrior handles the fighting and surviving, while the wizard-bird can cast protecting and attacking spells and get taunted by the antagonists. Both gain levels and become stronger by equipping special stuff.

Action part is the combat, of which there is a lot. At the beginning, combat is very clunky: your only attack is to thrust forward with the spear. You can also roll around and jump, but those do you little good, when the enemies do damage by simple touch and there's no invulnerability time involved with either. Combined with the fact many of them are evasive, jumpy or have blocks makes fighting some enemies a pain. But it gets better! Once (maybe two-three hours in the game) you will learn an upward strike to attack enemies in the air and even better, a jump strike, making your jumps damage enemies in return. This makes the combat tremendously simpler and more enjoyable.

There's also magic part to combat. You basically choose a spell and click on the boxes that appear to complete the incantation: missing one will ruin the spell. During this time the game is slowed down, so you simply have to be fast to avoid getting hit. The more complicated the spell, the more clicks are required. It's quite alright a magic system for a platformer.

So there is also a platforming part. This couples with the magic system, that also incorporates a use of magical energies that are dropped by enemies and used to interact with the world. For example, in the beginning you can grow branches into certain trees (it's not exactly a freeform ability), opening a route onward. There are four energy types, all of which have their own special powers in addition to their world interaction: for example, the green life energy doubles effectively as a bandage. Along the way you'll learn more skills akin to other platformers, like double jumps and wall jumps. Aztaka actually has one of the most powerful wall-jumping abilities I've seen, used many times to get to some hard-to-reach places.

Finally, there's the RPG aspect. You earn experience and levels by killing monsters and doing quests. At the same time you can increase your health and mana by finding bonus artefacts. There are 3 attributes per character and each level grants you one point to allocate. All the attributes are useful, though I found Agility to be a bit vague (the more you have, the more you'll inflict critical strikes). You may also increase the stats by quaffing stat-increasing potions, dropping randomly from enemies and you can even buy them later on. You'll also get a skill point every level. For the warrior skill points are very useful, but for the wizard it could have been useful to know that the spells become more expensive the more skill points they have.

It's not a true RPG though. There are no decisions to make, only a story to follow and the dialogue advancing without your concern. You can (and will) return to earlier places to look for missed loot and quest opportunities though. Sometimes, you might even be lost on what to do next: then the quest screen usually helps.

Music and graphics are fine and fit the setting. I did experience some fatal bugs along the way: some sprites would turn into black boxes, and shortly afterwards the game would crash (my card is AMD Radeon 5700 series, run on Win7 64-bit). This was mostly inconvenient, since restarting the game would fix the problems for several hours.

All in all, Aztaka is an alright platformer. It also reminds me of The Battle Of Olympus and Zelda II games on Nes. I played the game through on brutal difficulty (I suppose that's the most difficult one) and got 14 hours of game time along the way, dying quite a lot due to bad early decisions. After learning the jump attack skill I advanced a lot faster, and I reckon that's when the combat became more entertaining than a chore. So I'd wager to prepare for a slow start. The end game was very fast and easy because you can avoid any enemies by jumping over them, and the warrior becomes practically immortal before facing the final boss.

Too bad Aztaka has no achievements and that seems to be final. I could have squeezed a few extra hours out of it, but I doubt I'll return to it now. As a one-time quest, especially if received from a bundle or on a decent discount, it's certainly worth a buy and play-through. Just give it some time, bear with the clumsy combat of the beginning and try not to lose yourself within the quirky Aztek names.
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24 of 31 people (77%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
13.6 hrs on record
Posted: April 6, 2014
It pains me to give this a game a thumbs-down, it really does, but after 10 hours in, there is just so much fundamentally broken about this game that I can only recommend that people give it a wide berth until the developer finally sorts out the myriad problems with it.

It's a shame, really, because the game's handdrawn graphics are astoundingly beautiful, the soundtrack is wonderful, and its setting is startlingly original. Seriously, how many games do you see set in Aztec-era Mexico?

For the first 10 levels, you tend to be tolerant with the game, because the bugs don't manifest themselves, progression is fairly linear, you expect the somewhat sloppy combat system to improve as you gain skills, and it's just so damn beautiful. The problem is that after that, things start going downhill very quickly.

The game has a hair-tearingly annoying autosave system that saves after each level, and also records quest errors and bugs that cause you to fall into an infinitely deep hole. The combat is atrocious, and eventually devolves into using somersaults to scrape past powerful opponents in a desperate attempt to maintain some kind of combat strategy. Quest texts are misleading and often lead into dead ends, which you often cannot find your way out of without much backtracking, trial and error and - in some cases - a walkthrough.

Compounding these problems is an appallingly bad energy system, which requires you to go hunting for various types of 'energy' to pass certain obstacles. Some - the green 'vital' energy and the white 'divine' energy - are fairly regular occurrences - the others, like the gold 'elemental' energy, force you on an arduous wild goose chase with only a vague idea of how to find said energy.

And that's not to mention some of the possibly worst design decisions ever to be committed to a game - I will simply say "monkey cave" and "gap", which will probably evoke similar traumatic memories in fellow players.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
23.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
I enjoyed Aztaka. The graphics, music, and setting were all quite good.

Overall, the game play was good, too, so long as you don't use your spear to attack anything. Attacking with your spear is slow, clunky, and nearly pointless once you get the air attack. Because of how worthless the spear attack is, two skills were also useless and I never once used them in the game after trying them out the moment I got them. They are just too slow and too difficult to even activate, let alone use effectively if they did decent damage or didn't leave you completely vulnerable.

Jumping was surprisingly responsive and is the most effective means of attack in the game later on in most situations, even trumping magic for most enemies.

The magic system was unique and I rather enjoyed the difficulty it added. However, you will not want to use two of the spells too often later in the game, as they have a tendency to crash the game at random.

Stability is a severe issue in Aztaka. It crashed regularly for me, sometimes when doing nothing but walking along, but usually when trying to use the two attack spells you don't start with. It will just freeze for a few seconds, then go to Not Responding(in windows 7) and finally just give up and die. Save often.

It is somewhat short, but I enjoyed it and am not sorry to have bought and played it.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
At the Time of Writing
Game: Aztaka
Price: $9.99*
Genre: Sidescroller/RPG
Time Played: 11 hours
Personal Enjoyment Rating: ☺☺☺☺☻

Links I Found Helpful**
A YouTube review by antisocialfatman:

I've just finished playing this. It took me about 11 hours to finish the game, which I suppose indicates that this is a relatively short game. However it was very enjoyable and satisfied my thriftiness need of paying a rate of $1 per hour of gaming entertainment.

I fully enjoyed this beautifully drawn game and was drawn into the imaginative world that it brings to life. It does require the player to exercise their own imagination to appreciate everything.

You just need a little bit of patience, to be somewhat observant, and to enjoy older sorts of sidescrollers to like this game. It doesn't hold your hand, so one of the most refreshing things was that I was able to explore everything for myself.

Your character is fairly basic in my opinion. You run around and stab things with your spear whilst collecting energy and casting a few spells. The abilities that you gather on your journey didn't strike me as particularly exciting or interesting, and were more along the lines of getting something that you need in order to get to a new level.

The energy system was interesting and enjoyable because I felt it was a different way of approaching things. You collect different sorts of energy, you can store it, and then you use it. Though I found that my primary useage of energy was either to heal myself or simply to progress through the game by opening a new area up. It did get a little frustrating having to backtrack and hang around dangerous areas trying to collect enough energy in order to progress.

Lastly, a short comment that the combat slowly builds to become more interesting and complicated as the game goes on. It can get quite tricky when you find yourself needing to cast spells at the same time as dodging enemies and generally just trying to stay alive. Luckily there are ample checkpoint saves.

Nothing out of the ordinary, move left, right, and jump. There are abilities and spells to cast as well. Unfortunately in order to cast the spells you must use your mouse, and the targets you need to hit can be quite difficult to do due to fast timing and other things needing your attention at the same time.

Although the story feels extremely traditional and familiar - you're the hero, do stuff and save the world - it is set in a very different and unfamiliar world. It was interesting to have many unfamiliar names which I had no idea how to pronounce (could have wished for some narration).

As I said, the game could have been greatly enhanced if it had included a little bit of narration here and there. However, I found the music to be very enjoyable and had it on the entire time. I was also particularly enamoured with the different footfall sounds which helped you to understand what sort of terrain you were traversing.

The art style was charming and helped to immerse you in an Aztec world. I have a real soft spot for hand-drawn art styles, and this game has some exceptional art. It feels loved.

+ doesn't spoon feed you
+ exercises your imagination a little
+ lots of checkpoints
+ exquisite art
+ interesting energy system
- exploration is limited
- combat is awkward and takes time
- a bit too much backtracking trying to figure out what to do next

Help Me Help You
If you did not find this review helpful, I would really appreciate your constructive criticism - tell me why it wasn’t helpful for you. It’s my hope to make the reviews that I do take the time to write up, as helpful as they possibly can be.

Rothana's Steam Review Archive
For those that are interested in seeing more of my reviews, I have set up an archive of them at an external website. I don't earn anything off of this at all, it's just a little side project that I add to when I can. Steam won't let me create a direct link though, so you'll need to make your own way to the URL I describe now: rothana dot weebly dot com

* Any prices that I mention are in CDN because that is what I see. The primary price I list at the top is the price that I bought the game at.
**I will not be keeping an eye on whether the links are up to date, so if they are broken I apologise. Remember that these are external websites and I'm just trying to be helpful - I'm not responsible for the content on the other end.

Edit Log
17/02/2015 formatting
17/02/2015 fleshed out the writing
18/02/2015 added "rothana's archive section"
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 19, 2015
Shortly a wonderful and unique game idea gets hamstrung by bad game play design decisions

Combat: You start of with a spear and none to little abilities. Shield and a relatively weak magic projectile is your main magical weapons. This is actually the best part of the game. As you progress you get more advanced enemies against you that do cheap shots at you. How do you counter? with cheap shots of your own. Heard of the somersault 'touch' attack that does massive damage? or what about the 'pogo stick on their head' -attack?

World: Love it how devs bravely use names and stuff from the Aztec cultures. Feeling lost at first? that's a good thing. this game does not feel ashamed of it's origin. Would have loved to see more everyday content in villages and people. Now it seems major characters are fleshed out but villages only contain the same faces who say the few lines they do.

Put quite many hours into this but just could not bother to get to the proper end. Late game abilities and combat is a chore. The red wire about what you are here actually doing gets lost.

5/10. Not a hopeless game at all. For some it might be better but for me farming for gold souls and running around in ant caves did not help. Hard to decide if this is a recommendable game or not. I'd say no as combat gameplay dominates in the end and it's not that good.

The unique cultural aspect is a big plus but it does not carry far enough as there is not that much adventure elements and game instead relies more on action.
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11 of 13 people (85%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2015
Great visuals
OK music
Unusual setting
Low system specs
OK RPG aspects

Not that great controls
Clunky combat system
No replayablity (no exploration)
Where's the map?

5/10 +2 demo +1 setting -1 combat -1 map = 6/10
Grab the demo, if you like it wait till it's on sale
Thumbs up just for the demo
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 11, 2012
This is actually a pretty decent game--a nice slow paced casual adventure. It's mostly a platformer game, but includes some basic RPG elements. A unique story with complementary music, very intuitive controls, and a good amount of leveling skills keep it interesting. On the downside, there isn't a whole lot of action, fighting is one dimensional, and casting spells is a little awkward. The sale price is a good bargain--there's definitely 10+ hours of gameplay here.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2013
Aztaka is one of those games that really surprised me. Mainly I was interested in it because there aren't many games based on or even inspired by the Aztec empire, or for that matter any ancient civilization of the Americas. I was also taken by the beautifully crafted backdrops and sprites, however before playing the game I was unsure how the combat would pull through.

Once I got around to playing the game I soon found myself entranced and rather enjoying myself as I played through Aztaka. My worries had been banished leaving me to marvel at the many successful elements in this game. First and foremost I must attest to the game's visual representation of an Aztec inspired world. I'm not knowledgeable enough about Aztec culture and architecture to speak on the game's accuracy of it's depiction, but what I can say is that they managed to make sidescroller that is as immersive as they come. The settings and the scenery are well done, filled with masterfully drawn backdrops and detailed sprites. The game of course is set in a world reminiscent of Central America. The developers did a great job with adding variety to the settings. You travel through dense jungles, lush forests, barren mountain passes, underground caverns, Aztecan cities, and massive temples. Accompanying the excellent visuals is a soundtrack that is also inspired by early Americas Indians, think panflutes/wood flutes, hide drums, and the like. It's actually quite a soothing and enjoyable soundtrack to listen to, in-game or by itself.

If you play this game expecting a story that is typical for a small indie production, you shouldn't be displeased. I think the story is just about where it needs to be. What's important is that it it'll keep you immersed in this Aztecan world, even if you won't come away with some of feelings that story driven games inspire, such as identifying and relating to characters and becoming engrossed in the deep emotional relationships between characters. Speaking of keeping you immersed in an Aztecan the world, the UI is designed in just such a way. If you take a look at the store page you'll quickly see what I mean, Aztecan designs and decor abound! The UI is quite simple and straightforward to use, however one of my few criticisms is how the UI isn't a lay on top UI, but instead a UI that limits the viewport of the game.

And finally, the combat. Admittedly this was what I was least unsure about what to expect going into the game. I can't recall if I've ever played a platformer RPG hybrid before. The game does a good job of offering variety in two different ways. In one way you have a small variety of spells, and in the other way you have a variety of ways to attack. Being a platformer there are of course ways to attack the enemies by jumping and of course other physical attacks. Spells also consume a certain type of energy, an energy you can only hold so much of at any given time and is gathered from killing certain types of enemies. This makes spellcasting an active decision making process, making the player conserve their energy for when it's most needed and using the most appropriate spell for any given situation. This also means you'll be using physical/melee attacks a lot. The only danger overall is that the attacks aren't perfectly balanced, and I found myself using one attack more than the rest (a basic jump attack) which can make the combat seem one dimensional if you find yourself relying one one attack as well. On that note, the game was a bit on the easy side, not to say there weren't challenging spots. Of course I played on the default setting and there are harder difficulty settings then what I played.

If one thing can be said about Aztaka, is that it's unique. So many aspects are original and rarely seen in video games. I think this is one reason why I like the game so much. I play as many games as I can so that I can enjoy the many different experiences each offers. The experience I came away with from Aztaka was fresh and original. The other reason I connected so well with this game is that overall it's a well executed game. The art and the music is very lovely, and the gameplay and combat is engaging.

Soundtrack sample:
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 27, 2011
I remember playing this game for a short while back when it was released. To be honest, I never really gave it a chance. It looked boring. So I recently decided to give this one another try. And guess what ? It's a lovely game. The graphics are detailed and the animations are fluent. It looks great in motion. The sound fits the theme and the gameplay is a combination of platforming and role playing, a genre that is rarely seen these days. You level up your character by killing enemies and completing quests. During the game you will find (better) items and gain spells to aid you in your quest. They will also help you complete some small puzzles in order to find certain items. The combat is, so far, also simple and fun.
I really can't believe I didn't give this one a proper chance back then. What a wonderful game !

[Rating: 80/100]
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18 of 30 people (60%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
Short Verdict: It pains me to do this, but I have to give this game thumbs down. Aztaka is an action platformer with a lot of RPG elements that takes place in the Aztec civilization. You play as an Aztec who's trying to recover artifacts for his leader, while being helped by the magic of someone who's been transformed into a humming bird. While it has a lot of potential, the execution falls short and the gameplay ends up being almost no fun at all. Unless you really wanna play a game revolved by Aztec culture and can get over the awful controllers, don't bother playing this one. I wish Citeremis could get a nice team of devs to really be able to bring their ideas into a fun game to play.

  • Nice atmosphere, and great, fresh Aztec theme
  • The BGM is good, too
  • A lot of character customization, since this platformer has strong RPG elements, like levelling up (you and your bird friend), allocating skill points, equipping items that improve your stats etc.
  • You'll also get money, buy/sell stuff from/to peddlers, complete (main and side) quests--in sum, all you need in an RPG
  • Beautiful hand-drawn world

  • First and foremost, the gameplay sucks. And that's the downfall of this game. Jumping is annoying, attacking with the spear (the basic attack) is very clumsy, magic takes too long to recharge to be able to compensate for the terrible spear attack, hit area is a bit of a mess and there's no invincibility window after being hit, which might lead to an almost instant death when you face an enemy running around like crazy. Basically, it's not fun to fight and move around, and that's what you do 95% of the time.
  • No controller support. It would change the gameplay a bit, but it is doable, contrary to what some argue.
  • Equipment/inventory interface is really confusing, making shopping and equipping a task a lot harder than it should be.
  • While I think the humans' graphics were passable, monsters (and their animations) are very ugly and do not really match the beautiful background
  • No map? Really? That was especially annoying in the first cave, where you fall down to lower levels from time to time.

Bought on / for: I got it really cheap from TG, so no much harm done.
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Recently Posted
13.6 hrs
Posted: September 15
A lovely Sidescrolling Action game with Rpg elements in the Aztec culture. A walkthrough of roughly 10 hours It offers a story around the character of Huitzilopochtli

+ Simple (sometimes it is better)
+ Great Music
+ Beautiful Artwork
+ Nice consept of fighting, combining magic and spear

- Some bugs might spoil sidequests
- The game crashes every two hours so save often (might be windows 8)

So overall it is a pleasant game.
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All Might
0.2 hrs
Posted: September 11
This is a game that is just fun to play. It doesn't offer thousands of features like most other games, but that is maybe way its so good. Keeping it simple and fun to play. :)
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Obey the Fist!
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 21
Welcome to the bizarre world of Aztaka, where you will be challenged by such elements as:

* Crappy 2D platformer
* Plants
* Terrible control scheme
* Plants

At least they didn't go full Downs Syndrome and go pixel. They hired an artist, so the game at least doesn't feel like you're being stabbed in the eyes. Shame about the uncompelling gameplay. If you really like 2D platformers, go find a decent one, this isn't it.

Also make sure you run the config program before you launch the game. The game doesn't run properly with default settings on 99.999% of PCs. Is it hard to write responsive hardware detection config? No. Unless you're the developer of Aztaka, apparently.

Buy this if you don't like the good 2D platformers and you like the developer to treat you like crap.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: July 23
I threw it on my "want" list some time ago, as I thought it to be a cool looking sidescroller... and then bought it on Steam Summer Sale, for about 4€

To be honest, to me it's not even worth that.

Sure, the settings look original, but the story, characters and dialogue are so dry it's really hard to get involved...

Also; I was negatively surprised to find out thet ther's NO friggin' controller support on THIS SIDESCROLLING GAME... even worse; it uses mouse... did the devs of this ever played a good sidescroller?

I mean, it's always great to try something new and all that, but this juist doesn't work.

There is probably a story hidden in the tons of unoriginal dialoue, but it's way too boring and cliche for me to even give a single ♥♥♥♥.

Seriously, this is one of the very few games I DO NOT RECOMMEND.

Instead of wasting time and money on this, go buy DEADLIGHT, Limbo or Strider or something...
Me personally, I don't have the nerve for this lame kind of game
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12.3 hrs
Posted: July 3
Far from perfect as rightly summarized by other reviewers, it somehow hit enough of the right spots for me. Seems like a deeply personal project for a one man or a very small team, with all the usual pros and cons you'd expect.
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22.5 hrs
Posted: June 12
The game was fun at times, challenging at times, boring and tedious at times, a real mix. While it is an RPG, and you can buy/sell equipment, you can't buy or sell armour or weapons (except for bracers) which felt incomplete. You can buy/sell rings and charms but rarely do you bother or need to as the loot you pick up often ends up being far better.

There are places in the game where you can take advantage of the nature of enemies respawning, in particular enemies that give loot drops that include potions that increase your strength or other attributes by one point permanently, simply by staying in the area and continuing to kill the same enemies as they respawn over and over, then hoarding up a nice supply of stat point potions and bumping your character up significantly. Likewise, there are places where enemies drop a lot of loot, and once you've fully completed the potion guy's 3 quests and unlocked all of the potions he makes, you can just go raid high-money-loot enemies for a while, return to the potion guy and buy stat point potions and bump your character up significantly again. It doesn't even take that long to do, but gives a significant advantage that somewhat debalances the game.

The game crashes very often, and you lose everything that has happened since the last progress auto-save which can be frustrating. There are other bugs in the game where large blocky areas go completely black and you generally have to exit the area to a save point then restart the game to continue.

Throughout the first 90% of the game, casting spells is extremely tedious especially while in battle, having to hit a number key or click an icon, then click on either yourself or an enemy, then click 3-6 more times in a pattern to make the spell cast, I found that annoying so I didn't use spells very much at all in the early game. In fact, I didn't even understand how to use them until I did it by accident then tinkered and figured out the awkward spell casting mechanic.

Overall the game had long stretches where it was fun, but it also had long stretches where it was rather tedious, or where you had to figure out some extremely complex jumping manoeuver that was not immediately obvious either in order to proceed at all, or to collect some special beneficial item.

If someone really likes Metroid/Castlevania platformer semi-RPG type games then they might like this if they can handle it crashing every few hours and messed up graphics on occasion requiring a restart. Otherwise I wouldn't recommend it as the story was kind of weak.

Final rating: 5/10
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Captain Vittles
11.9 hrs
Posted: March 13
If you like side-scrolling adventure games with Metroidvania elements then you will like this game. The combat is a bit clunky at times, but if you actually take the time to backtrack and find all the hidden goodies then you'll be so overpowered by the end it won't really matter. My biggest criticism of the game would be that the later levels are a real slog - I often found myself rushing through the areas rather than fighting the suddenly super-durable enemies. There also isn't really any replayability, but it's not like this an expensive game and sometimes it's nice to finish a one-and-done kind of game.
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{IC} prime
10.1 hrs
Posted: January 31
Aztaka is a classic Metroidvania (as much as I hate that word, it does describe its own genre sufficiently). If you're not sure what that means, a Metroidvania game is a side-scrolling action/platformer in which you can travel freely through the world, and instead of moving through the game in a linear fashion, you go back and forth between areas, gaining powers, items, or weapons that allow you to unlock previous areas you were unable to explore. A hallmark of Metroidvania games is that you may see an enticing "thing" in the very beginning of the game that seems impossible to get to; that's because it is... at your current level. When you progress through the game and get more abilities and items, you return to the beginning and suddenly find yourself able to get the thing with ease.

At any rate, Aztaka is a game like this. There are many unopenable doors, locked areas, and inaccessible power-ups to be had but you must return when you have the correct ability or item to progress.

There is a lot of satisfaction in doing this. When you return to an old area and are able to plow through enemies with your upgraded strength and abilities, you feel a lot more powerful and it gives a great sense of progress.

Aztaka is very heavy on Aztec lore. The names, music, and art are all taken straight from the era and you can tell the writers are in love with the lore. The hero's name is Huitzilo and your trusty companion is the spellcasting hummingbird Ayohpa. Expect names such as Axayacalk, Hualahci, and Calpollalpan. Don't worry, I couldn't read them either.

The graphics seem a bit dated and you can tell that the dev toolkit was low-budget for the sprites but the background artwork is all hand-drawn and excellent. The music is phenomenal and some of the soundtrack is truly depressing but extremely good at setting the mood of each area.

The game mechanics are a bit stiff and hard to get used to but once you master the forced keyboard-and-mouse combo it gets better. There are a lot of frustrating jumping and puzzling mechanics, however. The wall-jump, in particular, is maddening in that you have to run towards a wall with the A or D keys (left or right), jump with W, then let go of A or D and quickly hit W rapidly to start leaping. There were several points at which I felt like giving up on the game because of a near-impossible jump. Still, I got better at it and was able to carry on.

There's also one point in the game that has what appears to be an impossible jump... and it's required. I had to go to an online guide to finally figure out that you have to use a special ability to bounce off a flying enemy to get enough air to make the jump. It's the only point in the entire game where you have to use this mechanic so it's a little unexpected and off-putting.

The control scheme is unique. You use the mouse to control a "hand" on the screen and with the hand you can grab energy of various types (elemental, life, spiritual, divine) and drag it to different things to do stuff. For example, when you kill many enemies, life energy drops. You grab the life energy with the mouse and drag it onto Huitzilo to heal. You can drag spirit energy onto Ayohpa to give him spellcasting power, and so forth. There are many objects in the game that require interaction in this way and sometimes you have to grab energy and drag it with you through a level to drop it on a certain object. It adds a pretty neat in-depth puzzling aspect to the game.

The combat is challenging and there are several bosses that are quite difficult but nothing impossible to overcome. The game took me 10 hours to beat. I did enjoy myself so I'm willing to recommend this game despite its shortcomings.
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Moosey Fate
0.6 hrs
Posted: January 14
If you want an adjility side scroller, go away. If you want indie side scroll diablo with more rpg, then this may be right up your alley. I love what the designers did with theme, and the art is fantastic. I really disliked how you click and drag in the interactive screen. Feels like you are moving a layer in Photoshop, rather than doing physics. I didn't like that you can't jump attack, but if you take away the idea of an adjility side scroller, and think of it in RPG terms, this is fine. So depending on what you are looking for, you may or may not like this. For me, I wanted more action less story. If you differ, for sure try this.
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9.1 hrs
Posted: December 22, 2015
There is somethign in this game that mek it very fun to play, it is simple but enjoyable :)
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