I have a confession. You know how The Legend of Zelda is my favorite video game franchise of all time? Well, that’s only if you exclude the first two. I have never ever been able to get into them. So when I saw that this week’s game was inspired by The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link I was a little worried. While some of my bias held true, if you’re a fan of platformer adventure games with a twist, then Elliot Quest by Ansimuz Games is for you.
What is Elliot Quest?
After Elliot’s wife mysteriously vanishes Elliot finds himself ill. Presumably to end his suffering, Elliot attempts to take his life but is shocked to find that he cannot die. He soon learns that he is the victim of a rare curse which, if left untreated, will turn him into a demon. His only hope is to seek the aid of one of the island’s Guardians before time runs out.
Elliot Quest boasts 8 dungeons with 16 bosses, a leveling system that allows room for customization, and 3 different endings depending on how you play the game. It’s definitely a retro game with a modern twist.
The version I played was a prototype and not the final version, but visually it looked great. The game opens with a map world reminiscent of the old school Zeldas but far more bright and cheerful. Pick a place to go and now you’re in more of a side-scroller view. This is how you will presumably travel the majority of the game.
Combat surprised me by being a bow and arrow rather than a sword. Instead of the arrows flying on a straight path, gravity seems to come into play as they dip down toward the end of their trajectory. This is a neat feature that means you have to think about where you are when you make your shot.
While there will be other skills and abilities for you to acquire as the game goes on, I was not able to find any of them during the demo (which was surprisingly long). This meant the combat got a little old after awhile, but the exploration made up for that. At one point I accidentally fell down a waterfall only to be rewarded with a chest at the end of a tunnel!
The art in Elliot Quest reminded me a little of Fez as far as the blocks and architecture, but most of the time it was its own unique and beautiful style. The woods were dark yet gorgeous and the protagonist’s toga was well developed (how many pixel characters wear togas??) However, there were a few gripes I had. First of all your health is measured in hearts, just like in Zelda. And, just like in Zelda, in order to expand your total health you must collect “heart containers” (while that may not be their official name in Elliot Quest the similarity is still evident). Also similar to Zelda are the jars which, of course, you smash to get things.
I get that the game was inspired by Zelda, and I get that the devs probably want to pay homage to it. But I feel like this homage could have been done in better ways. Rather than copying what has already been done, they could have made references with character names or story elements.
If I’m to be honest (which is what this blog is about) Elliot Quest just isn’t the game for me, just like the first two Zeldas weren’t. But that doesn’t in any way mean it’s a bad game. It has an interesting story (which I hope plays a more prominent role—it was completely absent from the demo), a lovely art style, and a brilliant combination of new gameplay elements in a retro inspired world.
The game is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter and is expected to come out on Windows, Mac, Linux and Ouya. If it sounds like something you might enjoy I highly suggest that you give the demo a try here and be sure to vote for it on Steam Greenlight!