Game Title: Eastward
- Nintendo Switch (Sep 16, 2021)
- PC (Sep 16, 2021)
A strong love for storytelling and the feel of games like Earthbound makes Eastward shine even where the gameplay flags.
A post-apocalyptic action-adventure framed as a train journey through a cute heartfelt story of discovery, loyalty, and the bonds we form with others, Eastward shines like a diamond on the Switch. It’s wholesome, it's original, it's quirky, and it's full of that special ingredient that turns a little indie into a must-play. Eastward's graphics, narrative, and characters draw you in almost effortlessly and keep a tight hold until this train has come to a complete stop.
Eastward crafts a cozy journey through fascinating and bizarre realms, featuring a memorable cast. While lackluster combat and a few repetitive puzzle styles tarnish the experience, it's still a ride well worth taking
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.
Eastward might fumble the ending, but that doesn't stop it from delivering a fantastic journey.
Eastward is an enjoyable and arresting adventure, with memorable characters, likeable humour and a central mystery that keeps you engaged throughout.
Eastward contains phenomenal art and colorful writing, yet the plot meanders breezily from moment to moment with little care for pacing and an unoriginal core storyline. Factor in average combat and puzzle-solving and a couple bugs that should be addressed, and Eastward is not quite as fun to play as it could be. That being said, a lot of people are going to fall completely in love with it anyway for the things it does right, and you might be one of them.
The fully realized world has its charm, but it hardly breaks the mold anywhere else. While it doesn't do anything necessarily offensive, it does demand more when the rest of the game is so well done. It's clear Pixpil have got the writing chops down, now let's tighten up some of the stuff around it.
John and Sam's abilities are also key in some of Eastward's more challenging boss fights, in moments where slapping enemies with the frying pan (later, John will also acquire a gun, flamethrower, and cog weapon, alongside different bombs) is simply not enough. These boss fights are often simple in theory: dodging hits, stunning enemies, and taking a swing, for instance. But, like the puzzles, they require a precision that can be hard to master; the sheer simplicity is clever and deceiving.
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.
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