What makes a game an experience? A number of things contribute to this, musical score, art style, story. But in MANY cases, it is nostalgia, mixed with the right touches of uniqueness that makes it more than just a game.
Today I’d like to talk a little bit about a new Roguelite game that is one of my favorite games of 2020. It’s a race for paradise, and we are only One Step From Eden.
Enter a devastating post-war world where you have one goal: Reaching the Eponymous Eden. That line is ripped straight from the wiki as there is the barest essence of a story of this game. You are moving across the land, fighting your way to an apparent land of safety because the rest of the world is apparently bad. There isn’t much in story here, although there IS various endings they all more or less mean the same thing with 1 – 2 frames of difference.
I feel like the story could be greatly expanded on, but for now, let’s move on.
Pixel retro makes a return and for this game it works out great. The anime style of design in character and cut scene is really well drawn. Visually this game is stunning. A super vibrant and detailed pixel style that is well animated and not over produced. Nothing feels overly stuffed, which can and has been an issue with other pixelart games. The small is detailed and you are given enough visual clues to get the idea of WHAT a thing is, and it works.
Also, quick aside, the character designs are AMAZING. I love each and every character and boss that I have come across, each looks and feels different from each other and I get SO much personality just in how they are designed.
The music as awesome. It has that very anime vibe that crosses over into high tones and low synths. Each character has a unique battle theme, each stage has a unique world theme and I love it. The OST is worth the purchase as a standalone.
Megaman Battle Network was a HUGE game from my childhood. and this game takes a lot of inspiration from it. First and foremost it is a grid based action fighter that is BRUTAL. This isn’t a game where it eases you into combat, oh no. This game will MURDER you on the first stage if you don’t come in ready to take a beating to get better. THAT being said the combat isn’t unfair. Each enemy has a VERY recognizable attack pattern, and if you can work around that you can breeze a lot of fights without taking any damage.
Beyond the combat the roguelite elements that come into play are the unlocking of characters, attacks, artifacts, and more as you level up, on top of the permadeath should you fail to dodge the barrage of bullets headed your way.
Deckbuilding also plays a part in this game, but it’s a bit faster of a pace than in other card based games. Each card is an attack or ability, which after you use it it is expelled until you “shuffle” the deck. After every battle you get a choice of a card to add to your deck, and in some cases also an artifact that acts more as a passive over the run.
All in all, the game has a high learning curve but once you learn to not panic and figure out what fighting style works best for you, it’s not a hard game to pick up.
This is a lot more I could say about this game but I’ll keep it short. The good is that this game has great characters and amazing references. So many terms, cards, artifacts and enemies are cool little nods to various things in nerd culture that finding them all has become a fun side project of mine. The bad is this game is LONG. You are not going to beat this on your first try unless you are a savant at the gameplay style, and have nerves of steel.
All of this in mind, I give One Step From Eden a Mosh Pit out of 10. This is high energy, voracious and not for everyone. But for those who love a challenge and a fast paced game, this is easily a recommend from me.