Alwa's Awakening by Elden Pixels is a nostalgic thrilling trip to the past of NES games, full of puzzles and action and with a fresh take on a classic plot. It will amaze you, intrigue you, and challenge you. This game brings back what your inner old school hard-core gamer have been missing for a very very long time.
Save the land of Alwa from complete doom, misery and total slavery with the charismatic character of Zoe and her all mighty magical staff. Zoe is a girl summoned and chosen from another world to restore peace to the land and destroy the keepers of all evil.
The game is currently available for you to purchase on Steam for $9,99.
Following the classic good premise of saving a kingdom from evil and having a specially chosen and summoned hero to fulfill this task, I present you all to the land of Alwa, a place once filled with joy, hope, and happiness but now enslaved for centuries by a mystical being corrupted by hate called Vicar.
Vicar has created a group of also corrupted and powerful servants called protectors, this group had the mission of finding the ornaments, gemstones of power that had always been safe from evil until then, and after finding and keeping control of the ornaments, the protectors destroyed them, leaving the people of the land out of hope and desire to fight back.
For centuries the land got subjugated, explored and under the terrors and bloody deeds of Vicar and his protectors, everything seemed lost, hopeless, and dark, but in one last act of rebellion, one last breath of life, the people of Alwa realized that if they weren't strong enough to fight Vicar and his malicious minions, then maybe someone from another world might be, maybe there was still one chance of seeing that once so prosperous land of theirs freely shine again.
One day, a heroine called Zoe, a very charismatic little girl was summoned from another world into the land of Alwa in the attempt to release its people from complete doom, misery, and slavery.
Zoe, in her brave, noble and extremely dangerous mission, will count with an insanely strong and multi-use magic staff and her own intelligence to fight monsters, solve puzzles and find magical items to help her increase her own abilities and learn new ones.
The game ends once Zoe has acquired all gemstones, defeat all bosses of course but also destroyed Vicar and its protectors, restoring Alwa to its golden days of glory, peace, and rays of sunshine.
Alwa's Awakening makes use of classic platform mechanics and many different puzzles. Just like the old NES games, you're not indicated where to go or what to do on the screen, you can freely walk across the whole world of Alwa and figure things out for yourself, it's an interconnected world map so you don't just go through phases and bosses but explore as well and find different ways to take action in the same space, and you will probably go back at some places after a while just so you can get an item that before you couldn't but now you're able to, you can also get lost very easily and that's as funny as it is distressing.
Some players, the ones who are not used to playing old platform games might be disturbed a little by this lack of marks and instructions of what to do and where to go, but I believe most of the players will probably like it.
The game is neither extremely easy nor extremely hard, the difficulty is very moderated, and it's really just about the players using their skills, wit, and intelligence to be able to solve the puzzles, find the best paths and ways to go about killing a boss and achieving the objectives. There's a very good variety of enemies, locations, puzzles, traps, power, actions and possibilities.
You will be able to find many different magical items and gemstones throughout the whole game which will give you a very good diversity of power and actions, but the attacks are mainly focused on you using your magic staff.
When you die in the game there's an interesting feature, it's a death counter, at the beginning it can be a little funny but after you died 40 times and it shows in a counter on the screen right after your last death, it starts being really annoying.
You beat the game once you have defeated all bosses, the protectors, and Vicar.
The soundtrack of the game has insanely captivating, catchy and old school chip tunes. It's sound completely like an old NES game soundtrack would and should.
The melodies are thrilling with action, beautiful tones, and complex arrangements. The game has a great variety of tracks and they always match incredibly well the setup of where you're at. But there's always that feeling that you could have listened to the same soundtrack out of any other NES-like game, which is very saddening because the game is packed full of potential but it doesn't seem to make a great effort for defining its own identity and standing out from other retro games.
The graphics are extremely well-crafted, clean, beautiful, colorful, vibrant and just like the rest of the game very, very retro. The game puts a lot of effort trying to stay as close to what you would expect of an authentic 8-bit look.
Alwa's Awakening has the graphics and visuals you would expect out of any great old platform game, but unfortunately, also just like the rest of the game, it doesn't innovate much from it, it doesn't create its own personality.
What could have been a completely unique 8-bit visual experience ends up just as another well done but generic 8-bit visual experience. The graphics of the game are just another part of the great potential it holds but it's not as well explored as it certainly could be to stand out from other retro games.
Even though Alwa's Awakening excel at its proposition of being a retro NES-style game packed with action, interesting and engaging, it doesn't go too much beyond of that. The game does provide the player with a great story, music, puzzles, enemies and everything, but lacks in creating a personality for itself , it ends looking like just another generic yet well done NES-like game, which does not diminish the fun you'll probably have with the game but does leave a taste for something that could have been an even better and more outstanding experience, one that would truly mark you in a singular way.
Alwa's Awakening is despite anything a very fun game to play, and it's definitely a game you can and probably will play several times, and you very likely will talk to your friends to try to convince them to play it too. It's also a game that makes you go right back to your childhood days of playing old-school platforms and spending the whole day just trying to beat a boss or finding an item, solving puzzles, and trying to discover hidden chests and secrets.
The game has a very immersive atmosphere, everything in the game's world is full of detail and makes you want to explore every little bit of it, the characters are charismatic, the game has an amazing aesthetic charm and a great and involving soundtrack that only makes you sink deeper in the land of Alwa and your mission to free the land from the forces of darkness.
If you have never had any experience with old consoles like NES and is more into modern games or like games that innovate a lot or that set apart from others very drastically, this game probably is not going to be for you but I would still recommend you to try it out, just so maybe you could change your mind a little bit or just experience something different than what you're used to.
|+ Great plot, gameplay mechanics, and graphics||– Lacks in having its own personality and standing out of other NES-like games|
|+ charismatic characters|
|+ excels at its intent of recreating the vibe of old games by being retro|