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Game Review #102: The Adventures of Elena Temple (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Frankie W.

Developer: GrimTalin

Publisher: GrimTalin

Category: Platformer, Puzzle, Adventure

Release Date: 05.15.2018

Price (at time of review): $4.99

Buy The Adventures of Elena Temple on the Nintendo eShop here.

Can’t Catch a Break

Nathan Drake? He's the new new. Let’s go further back! Lara Croft you say? Come on now, don’t you know your history?! We’re going all the way back to the original cave spelunker, Elena Temple! This game is here to make you relive every game from the 80s you played on another weird console that sounds familiar yet different all at the same time. You will be able to choose the virtual machine on which you tackle this game, which will affect the aesthetics the game offers you, but not the gameplay!

You can choose from older mock-Apple computers, Game Boys, Game Boy SPs, and more! Each little alternate game includes a little tidbit about the history of the game, and lord have mercy, the developer of this game is not someone who has the best luck it seems! One unguessable bad decision after another leads that guy to, well, not a whole lot of good things! Let's get into the 80s-fueled gameplay of the Adventures of Elena Temple!

I See What You Did There…

The Adventures of Elena Temple features some simple controls: you can walk, jump, and if you have bullets, you can shoot as well! You use this simple array of skills to solve puzzles and navigate the temple you are in, as you try to search for all 120 coins hidden within and all eight gems that will get you out of there. The game uses the simple design decisions to great extent, as it uses what resources it has to cover just about every puzzle and platforming element you can do with it! I honestly didn’t expect much from my first impression, but as I played, I quickly saw what this game was going for, and I grew to really appreciate it.

Gotta Collect ‘Em All (Mostly)

Essentially, you are dropped into a large temple with free exploration. As you make your way through it, you find two types of collectibles - the aforementioned coins and gems, which are important to collect so you can continue on. You will need to collect MOST of the coins in order to make your way to one of the last gems that you need to escape the temple and complete the game, so don’t be lazy and skip any! Your main method of interacting with the environment is your gun. If you pick up a bullet power-up it will load your gun up with two bullets, which is its maximum amount it can hold. You can use this to break pots and find coins, shoot enemies to clear your path, or hit switches to cause the environment to change in ways like spikes moving or platforms beginning to shift. The non-linear progression lets you make your way through the temple at your own pace, as you keep track of points of interest to revisit and forks in your path. You decide which way to go first.

Among the retro-styled graphics, The Adventures of Elena Temple features some pretty killer music tracks as well. It cycles through its few tracks it has, but honestly, each one of these tracks is awesome! I really enjoyed each of the tunes individually, and I wasn't thinking I was going to get such a rocking soundtrack from a game like this, so it was a very nice surprise to come upon. The sound effects aren't anything to particularly write home about, but it certainly works for what it sets out to do!

Wrapping Up

This isn’t a very long romp as your average player can clear the temple in roughly two hours and get all the collectibles in three hours. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it makes The Adventures of Elena Temple an easily digestible, fun little retro romp. Whether you grew up with the games to which this is paying tribute, or you have a newfound interest in retro titles, The Adventures of Elena Temple is a worthy purchase and playthrough! I give The Adventures of Elena Temple a well-deserved 7/10!

Score: 7/10

Buy The Adventures of Elena Temple on the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by GrimTalin

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