Developer: Elden Pixels
Publisher: Elden Pixels
Platform: PC (reviewed)
Release: Feb 2nd 2017
Game received from publisher
Alwa’s Awakening is an 8bit Metriodvania style platformer. You play as Zoe, a gamer that falls asleep while playing her favorite game only to wake up IN IT and now she has to save the land of Alwa from the evil Vicar.
Zoe has to collect a magic staff and gems to help her travel around Alwa in the traditional Metriod style of using new abilities to reach formerly inaccessible areas, the gems giving her the power to create a block and a bubble. The gems are not acquired by defeating bosses but rather found in the dungeon and used against the boss making it possible to get the gem and leave the dungeon for another part of Alwa so you can technically fight the bosses in any order except the Vicar because the only way to get to him is by beating the other bosses which opens up a door.
Zoe’s main attack is hitting with her staff but also finds a gem that gives her a ranged magic attack. The way magic works is Zoe have an MP bar that depletes when she uses magic and depending on what magic she uses the bar refills at different rates with the block and bubble refilling almost instantly and the attack taking a bit longer. Also through out the game are orbs that you can collect. Collecting orbs increases your orb level and for each orb level you have you deal 1 damage to the bosses before the fight begins. The map screen tells you how many orbs are in an area which is helpful in that you don’t have to search all of Alwa for that last missing orb.
The game keeps a death counter because every one loves knowing that they’re bad at video games. My final death count was 284 most of which are due to miss judged jumps. The game has 2 kinds of spikes one only hurts you while the other out right kills you. You also only have 3 hit points through the game but you can get a flask that you can fill at wells throughout the game that acts as a second life. Wells are not kept near boss rooms so if you die at the boss you either have to trek back to a well and hope you don’t use your water walking back or fight the boss with only 3 hit points. Boss fights can be hard at first until you realize the pattern then it gets super easy.
IF you’re into 8bit MetriodVania style games then I recommend this game but just so you’re aware the ending is anticlimactic.