A Thrilling Journey Through Graffiti Games’ Haunting 2D Action Platformer.
Welcome to the twisted world of Elderand, a 2D action platformer developed and published by Mantra, Sinergia Games and Graffiti Games respectively on February 16, 2023. Elderand will take you on a journey through madness and cosmic horror. Drawing inspiration from the works of H.P. Lovecraft, this game aims to blend the Cthulhu mythos with the hallmarks of the Metroidvania genre. But does it succeed in creating a truly terrifying and compelling experience? Let’s dive into the depths of Elderand and find out.
Elderand: Good Storyline but Poor Gameplay
You will find Elderand’s story intriguing, as you take on the role of a lone adventurer who stumbles upon a town beset by eldritch horrors. As you explore the interconnected world of Elderand, you’ll uncover dark secrets and face off against challenging bosses. The game’s Lovecraftian themes are woven throughout the story and setting, with twisted cults and otherworldly beings lurking around every corner.
But while the story and setting of Elderand are certainly compelling, the gameplay falls short of its potential. The game follows the Metroidvania formula, with interconnected areas that can be explored in a non-linear fashion. There are plenty of paths to unlock, equipment to upgrade, and abilities to discover. However, the platforming and combat mechanics feel clunky and unpolished, which can lead to frustration during more challenging sections of the game.
One of the game’s strengths is its equipment system, which allows you to customize your character with a wide range of weapons, armor, and accessories. From swords and guns to eldritch artifacts and blasphemous tomes, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to outfitting your character. This adds some much-needed variety to the combat, which can feel repetitive and uninspired at times.
Elderand fails to Optimize Potentials
Despite Elderand’s Lovecraftian themes, it doesn’t fully lean into them in the way that it could. While there are certainly some terrifying moments and grotesque imagery, the game feels like it’s holding back from fully embracing the cosmic horror of Lovecraft’s work. Similarly, while the game’s Metroidvania elements are present, they don’t feel as fully realized as they could be. The game lacks the intricate level design and tight mechanics that make other Metroidvanias so memorable.
That’s not to say that Elderand is a bad game – far from it. There are certainly moments of brilliance, such as the haunting soundtrack and the creepy atmosphere that permeates the entire gaming experience. But overall, the game feels like it falls short of its potential. Elderand is a game that could have been great, but instead settles for being merely good.
Elderand Virtual Design Is Noteworthy
One area where Elderand excels is in its visual design. The hand-drawn artwork is stunning, with detailed backgrounds and character designs that bring the Lovecraftian world to life. The game’s use of color is also worth noting, as it shifts from vibrant purple and blue hues to murky green and brown colors to create a sense of unease and tension.
Elderand is a game that is full of potential, but ultimately falls short of greatness. Its Lovecraftian themes and Metroidvania elements are intriguing, but the gameplay mechanics feel unpolished, and the game doesn’t fully commit to either aspect.
However, if you’re a fan of Lovecraft’s work or the Metroidvania genre, there’s still enough here to warrant giving it a try. Just don’t expect to be blown away. You can get Elderand on PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch for just $19.99 today.