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Metroidvanias have become pretty popular in the indie gaming market. Games like Axiom Verge, Monster Boy & The Cursed Kingdom (my game of the year for 2018), and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (one of my games of the year for 2019) have shown time and time again how great this sub-genre can be. SuperEpic aims to keep up the tradition, but with a slight twist.
Mobile gaming has taken the world by storm. From Angry Birds to Flappy Bird to Pokemon GO, mobile games are a big part of gaming. Unfortunately, most of the time it isn’t for the better. With microtransactions a plenty, many of these “free-to-play” games are anything but. A group of rebel gamers are sick and tired of these practices and aim to take down the evil corporation behind it all, Regnantcorp. Enter the main protagonist, a raccoon named Tantan and his trusty llama steed.
The entire game takes place in Regnantcorp headquarters as you set out to make the greedy corporation cease operations. While the platforming controls are excellent, the gameplay is more focused on combat than platforming. The only complaint I can honestly say I have with the combat is that the enemies take way too much damage to defeat. This makes the simplistic combat that normally would fly under the radar in a game like this very noticeable.
You have three basic attacks; a forward attack, an uppercut, and a downward attack. The uppercut and downward attack automatically knock down the enemy and this is where another problem comes in. You can’t attack the enemy while they’re down, so you have to wait for them to get back up before you can attack them again. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if the enemies were a little more few and far between, but there are several enemies in every section of the map. I would much rather prefer enemies that only took a couple hits at most to defeat with the occasional more powerful enemy thrown in for variety.
Don’t get me wrong, though. Despite that slight hang up, the combat controls wonderfully. In fact, the controls throughout the entire game are excellent. In addition to the gameplay itself, the game looks and sounds great. They went with a 16-bit graphic style which works perfectly for this kind of game. The soundtrack is an amazing chiptune affair. The story is entertaining and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which… I mean, c’mon… you’re a raccoon riding a llama. What’s to be taken seriously here?
The thing that sets SuperEpic apart from the rest though is the integration with the player’s smartphone. Throughout the game, there are QR codes that you can scan with your smartphone that will take you to a mobile game. For example, one of the first games you play is a take on Flappy Bird. Once you achieve a certain score, a code shows on the screen. When you enter this code at a keypad, it unlocks a door that takes you to a room with a chest containing some cash or an item.
There are several other games that you can play on your smartphone through the QR codes and each one does something in-game. Now, if you’re one of the few people in the world that doesn’t own a smartphone, not to worry. Nothing required to complete the game is locked behind this mechanic, so it is totally optional. Although, I would recommend it as it is fun and unique.
While the combat does get a little tedious, the controls are great and the mobile mini-games help break up the game and keep it fresh. The soundtrack and graphics are very charming. The story is ridiculous and wonderful and the humour is great with tons of references to internet memes and other video games. The game is full of content with even an unlockable “roguelike” mode. For the asking price, I can’t NOT recommend this game.
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox
Release Date: 12/12/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Action
Publisher: Numskull Games
Download link: eShop