24/12/2019

๐Ÿท๐ŸŽฎ SuperEpic | REVIEW |"A raccoon, a llama and some pigs walk into the HQ of an entertainment conglomerate…" ๐Ÿท๐ŸŽฎ @NumskullDesigns #GameDev #IndieGames

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A solid single-player, pixel-art Metroidvania, SuperEpic is an absolute joy for the vast majority of its running time but a lacklustre final sprint combined with a diabolical map system detracts from what could have been a truly memorable title.

Tan Tan and Ola are a raccoon and llama, respectively that also happen to be ‘old-school gamers’. In their Orwellian society, Regnantcorp is the only games company that exist and specialise in pumping out freemium and pay-to-win titles. Tired of their shady business practices and monopoly on the industry, our plucky heroes storm the headquarters in a bid to bring them down once and for all.
Presented in 2D with a 16-bit art style, SuperEpic has some really neat ideas up its sleeves, developer Undercoders clearly know how to make a game fluid and fun. I found myself smashing through a lot of the game in one sitting, completely clicking with the manic exploration of the labyrinthine Regnantcorp HQ, marvelling at the tongue-in-cheek enemy design (amusing but somewhat heavy-handed with metaphors) and picking up new weapons and items to help me progress through each zany level.

A real highlight of the game is the inclusion of QR codes which are hidden on screens that hide upgrades to make your journey easier. Upon scanning these, you are taken to a website which features games ‘made by Regnantcorp’ and are clear parodies of titles such as Crossy Road and Candy Crush Saga etc. These need to be completed in order to get codes that unlock keypads in SuperEpic that contain saucy loot (it is here that I must admit to finding the cash-building ‘clicker’ parody oddly exhilarating) and provide the most direct satire on the more unpleasant side of the gaming industry. The way they fit into the game and are directly referenced at certain points really tickled me and stand up as some of the best moments in SuperEpic.

These funky mini-games aside, the vast majority of your time in SuperEpic will be spent roaming around in a bid to earn enough coins from the bosses and respawning enemies to purchase or locate items and abilities in order to proceed. In this regard, we are on familiar ground with locked doors, initially unreachable locations and shortcuts galore. The biggest issue here is with the in-game map, which is one of the worst in memory.

When you click on the map screen, you can see the areas that you have visited and also locations of interest such as stores, save points and the elevators that are scattered among the eight ‘floors’ that make up the game.
The problem is that the landmarks are illustrated as basically as possible with no supporting information. The entire map is the same colour and the floors aren’t named, so you are effectively looking at a massive grid that shows you your current location on a sparse map. If you miss an item or hit a dead-end / come to a place that you can’t currently pass through as you don’t have the right item or ability, it doesn’t look different to any other place on the map, this means that when you do get the right key or ability unless you made a mental note you have to traipse through the entire map on what boils down to trial and error.

This is exactly what I found myself doing for pretty much the last ninety minutes of gameplay, whereby I reached the final boss section but didn’t have the right key to progress any further. As it could have been anywhere on the map, I had to systematically work my way through the game again, taking every possible route and ended up lucking upon it completely by chance.

By this time, I was so overpowered and wealthy from grinding that enemies were of no consequence and there was nothing that I could buy or upgrade any further (there are three buttons for attack that feel a bit superfluous and exist mainly for variety as only one is really needed) so it became tedious and cheapened the experience overall as I waded through enemies, walking down familiar corridors in a bid to locate the single branching path that I’d missed, possibly hours earlier.
I don’t want to end an a low note as I genuinely enjoyed my time with Super Epic and was especially enamoured with the inclusions of the mini-games and overall sense of fun but the last leg can be frustrating.

If you are a fan of light-hearted explorative games, Super Epic is a solid addition to your library with some memorable moments and cool ideas, just don’t take too much time away from it, else you will spend a lot of time aimlessly wandering those pretty pixel corridors.


Right, I’m off to play Candy Crush.


Published by Numskull games

❄️ RATING: ICE COOL ❄️
Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)

MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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