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  • Chad Myers

Game Review #433: Eagle Island (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: Pixelnicks

Publisher: Screenwave Media

Category: Action, Adventure, Platformer

Release Date: 7.11.2019

Price: $19.99

Buy Eagle Island from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Adventure Awaits My Feathered Friend

In my eyes, there was nothing like gaming on the SNES. This is where my idea of gaming was shaped in many ways. Pixelnicks’ new game, Eagle Island, reminds me of those glory days of pixelated 2-D platformers on the SNES. Eagle Island revolves around adventurer, Quill, and his two bird companions, Koji and Ichiro. They land on a bird worshiping Island that has you traveling through scorching deserts, lost tombs, sub-zero mountain tops, and lush jungles that look like something described in an adventure fantasy novel. The island is watched over by The Guardian Eagle, Armaura, who snatches Ichiro, prompting you to lead a mission to save him, but the game has you saving three elemental birds as well. Overall, I enjoyed the story, even if, at times, it felt a little rushed.

Birds Were Harmed In The Review of This Game

The game takes the 2-D platformer and adds rogue-lite elements to keep things interesting, which it was successful in doing. It also adds to the difficulty, as the campaign itself never changes, but if you die when you go back into the level, it will be different, as it’s randomly generated. The game, at times, felt more like a Metroidvania, as you have to earn certain power-ups and abilities to progress.

At the core, the gameplay and controls are as expected for a 2-D platformer, until you encounter Dr. Oliver Ornis, who gives Quill a special falconry glove that allows him to launch Koji at enemies as a projectile weapon using the D-pad. Koji can be sent in eight different directions, but be cautious, because if you miss, it takes some time for Koji to return for another shot. almost like using active reload in games like Gears of War, as when you make a direct hit Koji comes back immediately.

You find certain unlockables in chests that can be opened with gold coins. These are all temporary, and will vary in time available and the power itself, like using Koji as a mini-missile, allowing him to lock on, or giving Quill invulnerability. The enemies and their ever-changing attacks in each level, coupled with the terrain, is what inevitably kept me on my toes, as the bosses were far simpler of a task by comparison, though epic in scale.

Eagle Island was rather difficult, and at times, I was getting close to bumping it down to easy, but I managed to make it through—but you will want to clear levels when facing those bosses, since death means going back to the start of that level. The upbeat arcade-style music is enjoyable, with the environments having well-done sound effects throughout each landscape. The gorgeous 16-bit pixel art is one of the game’s largest selling points. Accompanied with the challenging gameplay, it can really shine when you get to those fun boss fights that flex both the game’s art and its gameplay.

It’s A Wrap!

Eagle Island, which started out with a successful campaign on Kickstarter to give it life, has turned out to be more than I expected, as I was thinking it’d be a fun trip with a SNES-style platformer, but quickly realized there was more to appreciate. The game has a story and characters that I really latched on to, even if the story felt a little short. The game took around ten hours to complete, which felt like a great value for the price, just be aware that the gameplay can get a little challenging. The challenge was a huge plus for me, but you do have the option to turn down the difficulty. I can recommend picking up Eagle Island for your collection, and this is one I hope sees a physical from Screenwave.

Score: 8/10

Buy Eagle Island from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.

Visit the Kickstarter page here.

Follow Pixel Nicks

Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Follow Screenwave Media

Website / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

*Review code was provided for review purposes.

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