[Review] Aborigenus – Nintendo Switch

Written by Akio Kahoshi
  • Developer: Flying Islands Team
  • Publisher:  Drageus Games
  • Release date: 10/12/2019
  • Price: £4.49 / $4.99
  • Review code provided by Drageus Games

OLD SCHOOL

Aborigenus is a short, pixel art platformer that would feel right at home on the NES. Aside from the music, which is one of the game’s few strengths, everything from gameplay to 8-bit colors seem ready to be loaded onto a NES cart. It should not be surprising then that the game runs very well on the Switch.

That is about where the positives end. The game is extremely short, taking me under an hour to complete. The story is simple, save your woman from the evil enemy tribe, and is broken across four levels. Each level has its own unique look and does look good for an 8-bit game, but I was never excited by the areas.

Each level does have a wrinkle to it beyond the straight platforming, which helps break up the boredom a little. But some are definitely more successful than others.

CHICKEN SLAYER

Beyond the old school platforming, the game has a combat system that was not at all successful. Armed with a spear initially, I could not even attack while in mid-air. It was not until I leveled up and unlocked the ranged attack that I could defeat enemies in the air, and once I unlocked ranged attacks that became my primary tool.

The game has a “stealth” system where if an enemy has not spotted the player character yet, he can crouch down and perform a critical strike. Once the stealth is broken though it becomes simply mashing the attack button until the enemy dies. Because of that, it was just easier to attack most enemies from range, either from a lower platform or while hanging onto some vines. This was not a particularly fun way to play the game, but it was definitely the most effective.

The enemies are mostly uninteresting, the first couple levels being mostly wild animals like chickens and birds. A couple of enemies could only be hit after they have attacked, but their attacks are easy to dodge. Even then the game’s final (and only) boss amounted to dodging attacks until he was vulnerable and then using ranged attacks. Even the game’s shaman abilities unlocked partway through the game add little to the combat.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Aborigenus feels like half a thought. Uninspired gameplay, and far too short to feel like much was even accomplished. There is no replayability to the game, but as I was not left wanting more that was not a problem for me. If the team at Flying Island had spent the time to make something longer and made better use of the interesting mechanics they introduced, this might have been a more enjoyable experience. As is I can only recommend those looking for a quick old school style game that can be finished on a lunch hour.

Pros

  • Decent pixel art
  • Decent music

Cons

  • Short
  • Uninspired gameplay
  • Boring combat

Verdict
A mediocre attempt at a old style of gameplay. Might have been more fun if it had released thirty years ago, but probably not.
2.5/5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *