‘Alwa’s Awakening’ is an incredibly promising upcoming NES-inspired platforming adventureFiled inside: Games
The 1980s were one of the most important times in gaming history. Arcades had sprung up all around the country, people became more interested in gaming as an entertainment medium, and at-home consoles began filling store shelves. Video games made a successful transition from dedicated play-places to the living room. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), arguably the most prevalent system of that time, acted as the perfect platform for aspiring game developers to breathe life into the industry. During this time, we were greeted with a slew of pixelated platformers that truly tested our mettle. With limited resources and system processing power, retro games were simplistic in design and unforgiving. There was something to be said when you managed to conquer a platformer from that time. It was difficult, it lacked save points, and character movements weren’t as fluid as they are today. If you’re like me, and you played a lot of games from that era, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a good retro platforming game in the modern age. Many indie developers have crafted visually retro releases that attempt to capture magical feelings from the past, but a lot of these games fall short in terms of gameplay. Fortunately for us, that hasn’t stopped many dedicated indie creators from trying to crack the code. Enter Team Alwa, the creative minds behind an upcoming retro-inspired release dubbed Alwa’s Awakening. Don’t be fooled, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill NES clone. This is arguably one of the most promising retro-inspired releases to hit the indie scene.
They say that first impressions are vitally important. If that’s true, it’s no wonder why I have such immediate adoration for Alwa’s Awakening. It’s one of the few titles I have seen recently that fits the 1980s vibe perfectly. Upon first glance, it’s hard to distinguish it from an NES classic. The pixelated graphics, the chiptune soundtrack, the classic platforming gameplay — all of it combines to create a picturesque vision that looks and feels like a blast from the past. In fact, the first time I laid eyes on Alwa’s Awakening, I had a moment of confusion, and thought that I may have discovered an NES title that I’d simply never played. This is the kind of first impression that makes for a great retro-inspired release, and developers did a fantastic job in capturing some of the elements that made NES platformers so alluring.
The story follows a young girl named Zoe, who is a rather avid gamer. Zoe ends up falling asleep while playing through one of her favorite titles, and when she awakens she discovers that she has been transported to the realm of Alwa. A malevolent force has taken root throughout the land, and it’s up to you to put an end to the suffering. The story has a classic retro vibe to it, focusing on the heroics of one protagonist as she ventures her way through a series of intense trials and challenging puzzles to achieve victory. Developers drew heavy influence from definitive titles like Solstice and Battle of Olympus. They also managed to toss some modern twists into the mix by studying new age releases like Battle Kid and Trine.
The finished product promises to be a retro-inspired romp that offers challenging gameplay and immerse you within a classic NES-stylized world. Zoe has a multitude of abilities at her disposal, and she will unlock more throughout her travels. You’ll be able to manifest bubbles to ride upon, push heavy blocks with ease, and defeat your enemies with the use of intelligent spells and tricks. This isn’t a walk in the park, though, and the gameplay promise to really challenge you. You’ll need to use quick reflexes to dodge enemies and escape danger, all while solving puzzles.
I haven’t been this excited for a retro-inspired release in some time, and Alwa’s Awakening shows an incredible amount of promise. The game is 85 percent done according to the dedicated website, but we don’t yet have a solidified release date for Zoe’s adventure. The project managed to make it through Steam’s popular Greenlight program in just seven days. Hopefully we’ll see Alwa’s Awakening sooner, rather than later, but I’m willing to wait a little longer just for developers to really perfect the title.