Alwa’s Legacy

By Don Robbins

Brimming with a kaleidoscope of bright colors and challenging action-adventure platforming, Alwa’s Legacy for the Nintendo Switch is an engaging romp through a retro world with some modern touches.

For starters, this single-player game is a treat for the eyes, featuring old-school pixel art for the characters in the game’s foreground, combined with elegant background artwork that offers the sensation of various pastel shades of hand-drawn watercolor painting techniques on the clouds, sky and trees.

The non-linear gameplay consists of you controlling the character of a girl called Zoe who embarks on a quest to explore the secrets of the magical land known as Alwa and defeat monsters blocking her way. During her travels throughout the levels, she will interact with various non-playable characters who will provide her with helpful advice to advance her goals and provide her with missions to accomplish. Story narrative is nothing extremely dramatic but it definitely serves to move the gameplay along steadily. Along the way, you’ll be able to collect orbs, upgrade your magical abilities and obtain a map to guide you through the journey.

There happens to be a steep learning curve in the beginning of Alwa’s Legacy as you figure out the challenges of navigating the levels. For example, jumps are not very strong and you’ll need to figure out how to use movable square blocks and water bubbles to climb. While I would have liked more of an in-depth tutorial mode in the settings, the game does provide you with a smattering of hints here and there.

Players will need swift reflexes to navigate and time your jumps accurately. Watch out for getting stuck in dark dungeons surrounded enemies like dangerous sword-wielding skeletons. Meanwhile, drowning when you fall underwater can also certainly occur as you learn the ropes. Lots of ladders are available to climb, along with oodles of rooms and gardens to explore in this title that rewards exploration of secrets and solving of puzzles. One big plus about Alwa’s Legacy is that it features many conveniently placed save points throughout the levels to continue your progress, so you won’t have to always start from square one when you die or quit playing. This game offers high replay value, letting you play in short, moderate or long sessions and come back to where you left off later.

The retro computer-tone music throughout the game does sound appropriate for the genre, but it can feel repetitive and grating after a longer playing session.

When all is said and done, Alwa’s Legacy receives a score of 7.2 out of 10.

Thank you to Publisher/Developer Elden Pixels for the review code.

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