Earth Atlantis is out now on the Nintendo Switch, and the unit, itself, seems to be a changing console. With third party games coming at a fast rate and even the inclusion of some more adult-orientated titles, we may finally be seeing the ‘Switch’ Nintendo had to do.
The new game is one which seems to have slipped relatively under the radar, but will go down as a bit of a cult classic like Gradius (although this isn’t a carbon copy).
The world is a changing place, and this piece of escapism is set in a period of time much different to today. Most of the lands are deeply immersed in water, with monsters (bosses) keeping people out. You have to explore and kill these bosses to unlock new areas. However, this isn’t your basic shoot-em-up due to the environment and the exploration. You are not expected just to go left, right, up or down and the screen isn’t constantly moving one way, so you have to shoot that way. The gameplay is definitely unique. There are four different submarines which you can use and they all offer different variations of speed and mobility.
Looking carefully behind nooks and crannies will bring out some better weaponry and hidden gems. Starting off with your basic missile, you’ll soon be shooting from the front, back and have a homing missile and impressive laser violently storming off in a range of directions. As this game is about exploration as much as anything else, you will find yourself ending up in the same place as you were an hour ago. Trying my best to use the map, I found that it was easily the most annoying aspect of the game – I really couldn’t work head nor tail of it.
Earth Atlantis offers over 35 different bosses and they all have varying levels of difficulty and technique. There’s only one level, but that level is pretty darn long. I must admit that shortly into my journey, I decided to change the setting to easy. However, I never gave up with the game, even if I kept dying and I enjoyed the challenge. It’s a shame there aren’t more than the four possible submarines, but it does take you a while to master their precise movements. The environment is a good part of the gameplay and monsters seem to slide in and out of the foreground easily – sometimes causing much damage in the process.
Overall, the gameplay offered something exciting and different although I was expecting it to play at a little quicker pace.
Graphically, be ready for something different. Its focus is a sepia tone and this makes it look very different. You’ll find yourself getting lost in the visuals of the backgrounds and desperate to explore different areas. I have read the visuals have won awards, but find myself thinking that these are awards given by companies who like to see ‘different’. The colour range is minimal, although it is good to see just so many different variants of black and brown in a game. The look gives an impression like it has all been drawn with a pencil and when you delve deep into the backgrounds, you’ll be amazed by the details. Personally, I quite liked the graphics and they are pretty cool, but they aren’t winning any awards from me.
I found myself switching the sound of this game off quite a bit. Not because the one song – which sped up slightly when you came to a boss – wasn’t great, but that it just got quite repetitive after about six hours of gameplay. A shame, as this is a slight dampener on a good game.
Overall, I had a good time exploring the world of Earth Atlantis. The difficulty spikes will annoy the average gamer, but let us not forget just how hard shoot-em-ups were back in the days where games took time and practice. Finding a checkpoint will be a pleasing achievement and one which will help you tackle a boss over and over until you’ve worked out his very moves. Things will frustrate, but don’t the best games? All in all, Earth Atlantis will present you with something different and certainly enjoyable.
Earth Atlantis is out now on Nintendo Switch.
- Publisher: Headup Games
- Developer: Pixel Perfex
- Players: single player
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.