Review: Effie

Effie is an indie title that takes the adventure genre back to the Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 era. The game feels old and familiar with modern gadgets in terms of technology and sharp visuals. The spirit of the game is an oldie, but not in a bad way.

Galand, an old man must protect the kingdom from an evil witch who has cast a curse on him. You do this by breaking a seal and stopping the curse in a temple once and for all. To break this seal you need pieces of a relic. This relic is divided into three parts. One part per 'level'. Armed with a shield, you take on the evil monsters that have occupied the world around you. It is up to you to rid the establishments of these monsters.

Setting

The game starts with a short introduction to a ruin. By means of platforming you play your way through the ruins and eventually look out over a landscape with a number of fortresses. Windmills, a vineyard, a sawmill and the final temple. These locations are surrounded by a compact overworld in which various side activities can be undertaken. Traveling through the overworld can be done by surfing on your shield. You can also go for a walk, but then you will be on the road a little longer.

Once you enter the overworld you have the choice to tackle the game at your own pace. You can play the different levels in your own order and in the meantime explore the world around you. There are also chests hidden here with collectibles that you will eventually need if your goal is to achieve a platinum trophy. They don't offer any added value to the game, so the entire overworld (besides extra XP) doesn't add much to the game. You can race against time by surfing with your shield. Enter an arena to take on monsters. Eliminate small enemy camps and finally climb a small tower through platforms. Some locations yield a collectible chest, others an XP chest.

Gameplay

In the overworld you are quickly finished and the real game is really in the three larger levels and the final in the big temple. Earlier I mentioned that the game has an old spirit. That is mainly due to the feeling that you are playing a Playstation 1 or 2 platformer. The game feels very much like a combination between Ratchet and Clank, MediEvil and Spyro. The artstyle, the music and the way you play the game fully confirm this experience. That's not a bad thing at all, by the way. Every now and then you just feel like an old-fashioned adventure game in which not everything around you has to be 'logical'. Circular saws appearing from lava, an illogically arranged sawmill, purely to make things more difficult for the player? All no problem.

The challenge is therefore not in him..

Playing the game itself. As we've come to expect from games similar to Spyro, Ratchet and Clank etc they aren't exactly challenging beyond exceptional levels. The same is true for Effie. In general it is a walk through the park, except for a few moments. Some moments are simply frustrating. Not necessarily because it's tricky, but because of the way checkpoints work in this action-platformer.
Fighting enemies is no problem, even if you get a few big punches, there's nothing to worry about. However, as soon as you start on fire, or are hit by certain objects, you are instantly dead. Some checkpoints mean that you have to replay certain parts and even pick up the collectibles again. These are not saved. This is also an important point to keep in mind if you're on the hunt for that platinum trophy.
Outside of the game's more awkward difficulty, there are few moments where the game is actually challenging. The only time I got sweaty hands and on the edge of my seat was during the final fight. At the moment it is completely over or under. It's quite a long fight, with many stages in between, but anything you do wrong will make you have to start the whole fight all over again. Patience, precision and above all remaining calm are very important here.

For the trophy hunters

Effie is a beautiful one for all the 'trophy hunters' in our midst. The game is quite short, with 8 hours you are through and you have won a platinum trophy. It is a very simple game for all trophies, but there is one catch. You may not miss any collectibles while playing. Does this happen? Then you have to play the ENTIRE game again. Also check if you already have your collectible item if you died shortly after picking up such an item. Sometimes you keep it, other times you don't. The game is inconsistent in terms of more things than just the collectibles. So it's quite simple, but keep an eye out. You don't have to pick up more than as many XP boxes as possible and all collectibles. The rest of the trophies you get by playing through Effie's story.

Verdict

Effie is an entertaining but short platformer that reminds me a lot of the golden age of this game genre. The game doesn't bring any surprising new mechanics to the genre, but it doesn't matter. It is an old trusted game that you can play through in a few hours and also score a nice platinum trophy if you like to collect it. It is a typical game to provide the quieter periods with a few entertaining hours until the next big-thing arrives.
So are you looking for an entertaining platformer in the style of the aforementioned titles? Then Effie is definitely worth a try. The game may be short, but not at all on the pricey side. You can get started for two bucks .


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