Are you a fan of the metroidvania genre? Do you enjoy playing 2D adventure platformers? And did you love Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might just find your new favorite indie game in Elliot Quest from Ansimuz Games. Originally released on Windows in 2014 with a WiiU port in 2015, this indie title has made its way onto several new systems in 2017, and we’re here to tell you all about the Switch port.
Elliot Quest drops you right into its story with no handholding whatsoever: you are Elliot, who sports a toga and is armed with bow and arrow. You’re the victim of a curse that prevents your death, and you must lift the curse before you become a monstrous beast—so you set out on a journey to accomplish this, seeking help from the Guardian of the Island along the way. But this story does take the back seat in Elliot Quest, since the its main focus is on gameplay itself.
Right away, fans of Zelda II will recognize classic gameplay elements, like the overworld map and explorable areas—and if you haven’t played Zelda II, don’t worry; you’ll catch on quickly as you play. When you start, you’ll be armed with a bow and infinite arrows, but the game’s RPG-style level-up system will let you increase the frequency, strength, and speed of your arrows as you play. You can also unlock new items and agilities as you go, which will allow access to previously un-explorable areas in true metroidvania style.
The game’s top-down overworld map (a la Zelda II) is a puzzle in itself, filled with deadly ruins and creepy caves. But there are also a few bright spots on your map, where you can socialize with the townsfolk and shop for much-needed items. Plus, there are plenty of new items to find, and your quest to locate these items and discover how to use them helps keep this game fresh. And with tons of post-game content, including 3 possible endings and a harder difficulty mode, you’ll never run out of things to do in this game.
Elliot Quest combines overworld exploration with 2D adventure platforming across 5 dungeons featuring deadly enemies, tricky platforming, and more than 16 bosses. We especially love the dungeons, since they’re filled with non-stop action. But we want to emphasize that you’ll often need to slow down and explore this game: in Elliot Quest, exploration is rewarded, and you can find lots of good stuff if you’re patient. You really need all the items you can get in this game, so you need to be OK with taking a break from the action once in a while and committing to some deep exploration.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
Elliot Quest features breathtaking, detailed, and colorful pixel art for a variety of environments, including forests, deserts, caves, and stormy landscapes. We love this game’s retro style, and we find its varied enemy design fresh and creative. And on top of all this, Elliot Quest’s soundtrack fits perfectly with its killer hero/adventure vibe. We’re so happy with this game’s aesthetics, and we think you’ll like what it has to offer.
With Elliot Quest, you get hours of fun exploration for just $9.99 on the Nintendo eShop, but think before you buy; this indie is not for everyone. If you’re all about the action but don’t really like to explore, you might want to play something else. But if you like what you’ve seen here and/or you answered “yes” to a few of our questions up there, we definitely think you should check this one out.
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick introduced Sarah to the world of Nintendo games. Nick’s favorites are platformers tough as nails, like Super Meat Boy, Celeste, and The End is Nigh. Sarah prefers titles with more exploration and simulation, like Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and Skyrim. But Nick and Sarah both agree that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games of all time!