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Hey everyone, I just wanted to disclose that
this game is being published by Screenwave Media and they’re my YouTube MCN. While
I won’t let that affect my review score or opinions on the game, I wanted to let you
know up front because integrity is everything. Traveling through a dangerous island, taking
on monsters and collecting artifacts all for the sake of your kidnapped friend. Eagle Island
takes you on a whimsical adventure, filled with roguelite dungeons keeping you on your
toes with every turn. Setting sail across the ocean blue, Quill
and his two owls, Koji and Ichiro seek out their next adventure. Sadly that trip is cut
short when they arrived on a mysterious island only to have Ichiro taken away by a giant
eagle. Quill’s only hope to save his friend is to reach the magical totems on the island,
increasing Koji’s power and defeating the giant eagle. Along the way, I fought giant
creatures, met some friendly faces and traveled through beautiful looking environments. While
it doesn’t solely focus on its story, it’s fleshed out enough to breathe life into this
roguelite that pays off towards the end of the adventure. Eagle Island is one huge overworld, expanding
across multiple different terrains home to monsters in every corner. You play Quill who
along with Koji, fight all the monsters in sight. This is done by launching Koji directly
at any enemies. Using either the dpad or analog stick, you can aim in 8 different directions,
launching koji and waiting for him to come back. It’s a simple combat system that in
conjunction with Quills basic run and jump controls, makes everything feel approachable. Your adventure starts with you going through
multiple different terrains, each acting as a dungeon with monsters and ultimately one
large boss. While the backgrounds are predetermined, the layouts of these dungeons are randomized
for every run. This means if you die in the middle of a dungeon, you’ll respawn to the
start but now the layout will be completely different. That’s going to be a trend throughout
the campaign because combat can get tough. Monsters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Some are easy and others are a bit trickier to take down. Shooting Koji at someone and
missing could lead to your demise as you have that cool down period waiting for Koji to
come back. To balance out the increasingly difficult
enemies are perks and upgrades. Perks can be earned by buying them from a shop with
the coins you collect and finding them in chests. You have a limited amount of perks
you can activate at once so you’ll often find yourself switching between multiples
to tackle different situations. Some perks will let you open chests without using your
coins, cut down the recovery time for Koji or even give you more health. Either way,
they’re there to help you and add a bit of balance to the mayhem. Some of these are
temporary and others are permanent like the feathers you can unlock to power up koji.
These change up his attack properties that also open up new areas in the overworld. Running through these procedurally generated
dungeons was a blast. Despite the simple controls and combat, I found myself enthralled by growingly
diverse enemies and dungeon themes. As soon as I defeated one boss, I found myself in
a new area with fresh enemies and puzzles. While playing the only big thing that bothered
me were the moments where I’d get hurt when I presumably was safe. The example that stands
out to me was this mushroom enemy at the start of the game. I’d often get hurt by its attack
and even after I defeated it. Other times I’d escape it safely so that lack of consistency
could get annoying. Outside of the main campaign are two bonus
modes for any challenge seeker out there looking for a more difficult run of the campaign or
speedrun. There’s no shortage of modern indie games
out there that use the retro pixel art style and Eagle Island is no different. What does
make it stand out to me is how it uses that retro look along with some modern animation
to make Eagle Island come to life. This world is beautiful. The way that at any point you
can just stop and admire the motion in the world. The background always having something
happening and the grass flowing to my movement. All these touches really do stand out once
in action and I love it. The one thing that did seem to be weird was this shake in the
background as I moved left to right. It didn’t flow smoothly and once I noticed it I couldn’t
really stop. Outside of that hiccup though, the animation is phenomenal and easily one
of my favorite uses of pixel art this year. If you dig into the options you’ll also
find some cool bonus options like visual filters to change up the look of the game. More importantly
are accessibility options to reduce flashing lights and dim the brightness, essentially
offering better accessibility for anyone that may have a disability. I really respect that. Along with the delightful visuals comes a
splendid soundtrack that just put me in a happy mode with every dungeon. Fighting off
monsters had this odd satisfying boom every time koji landed an attack on an enemy. It’s
like the retro version of Kratos calling back his leviathan ax. You don’t know why it’s
satisfying, it just is. The one thing that I didn’t enjoy too much was the choice to
have this loud beep every time I had low health. The tone used can get rather annoying after
a while and agitating for more sensitive players. Luckily you have the option to turn it off
in the options but by default, it’s left on. Eagle Island is a lovely roguelight metroidvania
game to add to my indie game recommendation. It’s controls and gameplay design are easy
to pick up and enjoy while still offering a challenge through its diverse array of dungeons.
I got my nitpicks with some of the mechanics but I found the overall experience to be charming
and entertaining. Presented in lovely animated pixel look that I immediately fell in love
with, I have no problem recommending this to anyone seeking their next roguelite fix.

11 thoughts on “Eagle Island Game Review | (Nintendo Switch / PC)

  1. Nice review, man! No sign of this one on the UK eShop yet, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Was the music in the review from the game? If so, I got a bit of an Owlboy vibe from it.

  2. Good review, but anything that has procedurally generated levels immediately turns me away. I dont think it's necessarily lazy, but it lacks a sense of craftsmanship.

  3. Sounds like an interesting game, will check it out.
    Hey can you review God Eater 3 for switch and compare it to the PS4/PC version ?

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