Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Friday FREE GAME Feature! Ep72: Aborigenus

Pixelated platforming with RPG elements!

Aborigenus takes the traditional platformer and adds in a number of roleplaying features like leveling, skill choices and quests. It's an interesting mix that I enjoyed, though it needs some work.

In Aborigenus, you play as a tribe member looking to rescue your love interest and a number of fellow tribesmen from a rival clan. You start out with the abilities to jump, melee attack and perform a stealth attack. You earn experience for defeating enemies, gaining a skill point when you reach the next experience level. This feature was a nice addition to the platforming genre, but it needs a bit of rebalancing.

Early on, you have access to three (of perhaps six, though it's hard to tell) types of skills: Strength increases damage and gives you more HP, Ranged gives you attacks at a distance, and Agility increases the effectiveness of stealth attacks and stamina. I found the stealth ability mostly useless, meaning it's rather pointless to put skill points into Agility at all. Ranged attacks are a huge boon (despite the fact that you can only shoot while standing) because the majority of enemies have no way to retaliate from a distance. After I learned a magic attack, the skill menu bugged out and wouldn't let me view the skill, let alone upgrade it. 

I was also disappointed to see that the entire game only had a couple of quests/objectives. It was a neat design choice, but it was barely present and could've been played up far more. On a more technical note, I disliked the lack of options available for controls and display settings. I used a keymapper to play using a controller, but I would've greatly welcomed controller support (or any form of rebinding) built-in. The windowed mode was rather small with no way to resize it apart from going fullscreen.

While I obviously have some complaints about this game, there's a number of things I really enjoy. It features beautifully-crafted pixel art and an atmospheric music score. Having more than one ending was also nice to see, and they even change things up a bit by adding a "riding" stage that requires some timing and reflexes. Even playing via a keymapped controller, the controls were responsive and never felt clunky. 

The combination of platformer and RPG offered by Aboigenus was fairly interesting overall, but some extra quests and a little balancing would improve the game significantly.

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