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Game Review #203: Ghoulboy (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Jordan M.

Developer: Serkan Bakar

Publisher: Dolores Entertainment S.L.

Category: Platformer/Action/Adventure

Release Date: 03.07.2019

Price (at time of review): $9.99

Buy Ghoulboy from the the Nintendo eShop here.

A Frightenly Good Hack and Slash Adventure

Ghoulboy is a game originally released on Steam in 2017, and has now made its way to Nintendo Switch. You play as Thulgar, son of Galdar. You hail from the dark land of Gunzabar, home of ghouls and monsters and ruled by the evil goblin king Gamunbal. Galdar, a well-known ghoul and goblin slayer, has been captured by Gamunbal, and it's up to you to rescue him. Like your dad, you have a bit of a reputation as a warrior yourself. The people call you Ghoulboy. Now it's up to you to hack your way across multiple levels, fighting all kinds of monsters and bosses, upgrading your weaponry, and solving puzzles in a journey to save your dad and defeat Gamunbal forever. This game reminded me in many ways of another game I really enjoy, which is Shovel Knight. The graphics are very similar, and a lot of the style of gameplay and puzzles had a similar feel for me. This is a game I was pretty excited to try.

Slaying Monsters and Having Great Hair

Use your left directional stick to move Ghoulboy around. His basic attack is done by pressing A. Throughout the game you have a choice of three weapons: A slim sword, a heavy sword, and a mace. These weapons can be cycled through by pressing the L trigger. You also have a choice between two throwing weapons. Ghoulboy has the ability to use both throwing knives and spears. These spears can not only damage enemies, but are crucial for progressing through the game, as they can be thrown and used as a platform to stand on. I can't tell you how many times I fell on spikes and this ability saved my butt. The R trigger cycles through the two weapons, X allows you to throw whichever weapon you currently have equipped, and the B button allows you to jump.

Killing enemies or opening chests and breaking pots and other random objects allow you to find gold. Your gold can be spent in a few different ways. In the main menu of the game, you can buy power-ups for your overall character, such as an increased health bar, the option to carry more throwing weapons, etc. As you move throughout the game, a few times throughout the level you will find an old wizard-looking guy selling his wares. For the sake of this, we are just gonna call him the wizard. The wizard not only is a source for both throwing weapons, he can also heal you... for a price.

Gloom Never Looked So Good

The levels on this game have a lot of depth and detail, and are really enjoyable to play. The game has a unique art style, while still maintaining that classic retro feel. I like that they even added a "retro" option to give your screen a slightly curved effect like playing on an older television. This ups the classic nostalgia vibe even more. The monsters in the game are well designed and look great. The soundtrack, while nothing groundbreaking, has an awesome gloomy feel to it that fits the vibe of the game perfectly. It sounds straight off of a classic spooky Super Nintendo game.

Was I slayed?

Overall, this was a really solid game that I deeply enjoyed. The levels are well-designed with a lot of thought put into them. The soundtrack is solid and has a nice gloomy feel, which I really enjoyed. The game isn't too long, but is long enough to feel you are getting your money's worth. My problems with this game are trivial. I wish I had the option to change the controls, and I also wish there were more options for weapon types. I'm hoping they make future games for this series and add on to what they've created so far. It seemed like, pretty quickly, you run out of things to spend your gold on.

One thing I must mention is that, at one point late in the game, I discovered a part that was unsolvable, and made progressing forward in the game impossible. As much as my stupidity amazes me every day, I thought surely I must not be that stupid, and we had to reach out to the developers. Sure enough, it was a glitch, and they are aware of the situation and had already sent the patch information over to Nintendo, so the problem should be fixed soon! Definitely worth grabbing this game as I could see this being franchise worthy.

Score: 9.5/10

Buy Ghoulboy from the the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided by Dolores Entertainment

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