When it comes to indie games, the pixel style 2D platformer has become a cliché. Its expected. Remnants of Naezith carries this trend. It’s another retro platformer. Another, excellent and well-designed retro platformer.
Remnants of Naezith is all about momentum and grappling hooks. You have two grappling hooks, which you can alter the colour of. Aside from the hooks, you can jump and dash. You only have three movement options, but they work together in different ways. That’s where the challenge arises.
Your main method of movement is using momentum to carry the character. This comes down to timing your jumps, dashes and points of release. If you release your swing too early, you’ll fall. Leave it for too late and you have a date with the ceiling. To reach the end goal, you must master your point of release. It’s the most important mechanic you’ll learn.
Gameplay is fluid and the controls are perfect. This makes those pixel perfect jumps fun rather than frustrating. Mistakes and the lack of skill will cause deaths. There is zero luck or RNG. It’s all about player skill and I love that.
The variety in level design is fantastic. No two levels will have you doing the same jumps or tricks. You will have to figure out what the best approach is for each specific stage. One level might have you dodging lasers. Another may need you to reach the end without grappling. The base levels will test your skill and knowledge of in-game mechanics.
There are four worlds in Remnants of Naezith, each with 20 levels. The first world will teach you most of the basic and advanced mechanics. The remaining worlds will force you to master and combine what you’ve learnt.
It isn’t always obvious what skills you need to use for a level. Often, the end goal isn’t in sight and you won’t be sure where to go. This isn’t an issue. All it means is that you must experiment and be creative. You can reach the goal from different angles, but there is always an optimal path to score the best time.
Time is another aspect this Remnants of Naezith nails. Every stage will record how long it takes you to reach the end. There is also an online leaderboard, so there’s an incentive to get better at the game. It’s very satisfying to see your score rank among the best. At least, that’s what I would say if my times were any good.
Other than the main campaign, you have a few other modes. One of them is a speed running mode. More games need to have this feature, especially 2D platformers. In this mode, you work through the levels in a predetermined order. The game will record your time stamps for you. I’m not into speed running myself, but I do appreciate having the option to jump in on a whim.
If all that isn’t enough, Remnants of Naezith packs a level editor and the ability to share them online. This is another feature that more 2D platformers should have. The level editor is simple and easy to use. There aren’t many tools, but it’s how you use them that matters. Even with the limited supplies, you can make fun levels.
The custom levels add a lot of replayability to the game. If you’re done with base 80 levels, you can check out some of the custom levels. Yes, it can be a mixed bag of quality, but there are some great levels here. Having more levels to play is great, and the developers understood this. The ability to make and play fan-made stages is an excellent addition.
Remnants of Naezith benefits from its fast-paced action. The level design encourages you to get through levels at a fast pace. The load time after a death is almost non-existent. It allows you to get into a nice rhythm when playing. You’re always in the action, making it hard to feel frustrated or angry.
In fact, there was never a moment when I felt anger towards the game. Everything in this game supports the player. The tight controls and quick restarts are all the help you need. It’s all on you to make the most of your advantages and practice as much as possible.
The look of the game is simplistic and clean. There is no clutter on the screen, so you won’t be able to use that as an excuse for failing. The particle effects of the grappling hooks are the stand out in the graphics department. Other than that, there’s nothing amazing about the visuals. Most of the backgrounds look similar and are dark in colour. Some more variety in this regard would have been nice.
Remnants of Naezith also has limited obstacles. You have the usual giant saw blade and lasers, but not much else. Of course, the handful of tools available make for some creative and fun stages. Yet, you won’t see diversity in the type of obstructions you face throughout the game.
What this game lacks in the visual category, it makes up for with smart sound design. The soundtrack is upbeat and full of energetic tracks. It pushes you forward and keeps you motivated through the tough levels.
The sound effects are also ideal. You get appropriate feedback when your grappling hook connects with something. If it’s a metal surface, you get a “ding” sound, indicating you can’t grapple it. There’s nothing to complain about in audio aspect.
Remnants of Naezith shows us, again, how talented indie developers are. They can take a tired and overdone concept but keep things fresh and interesting. The emphasis on pure skill, with no random elements, makes every achievement rewarding. With several game modes and custom levels, there’s enough content to keep you coming back for hours. If you have even a passing interest in 2D platforming and skill-based games, give Remnants of Naezith a try.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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