20/09/2020

๐Ÿงญ DANDARA | Review | Switch | "A Pixel-Art Metroidvania With a Movement-Based Twist" ๐Ÿงญ @RawFury #IndieGames #GameDev

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Game Title: Dandara
Platform Reviewed: Switch
Rating: Melting

A pixel-art Metroidvania with a movement-based twist, Dandara’s neat approach to the genre really opens it up to some interesting puzzles and a fresh vibe in terms of exploration.

‘The world of Salt hangs on the brink of collapse. The citizens, once free spirits, now stand oppressed and isolated. But not all is lost, for out of this aether of fear arises a heroine, a ray of hope. Her name is Dandara’

Thus begins Dandara. Whilst the story that propels the game is unveiled through the obfuscated delivery of various characters and tomes that you come across during Dandara’s journey, the actual gameplay is accessible and mostly fluid. 
Presented in side-on 2D style, Dandara’s method of movement is based on leaping between marked platforms, as opposed to standard walking. This means that simple traversal of the rooms can, in itself be a puzzle. 

Indeed, one my favourite moments in the game was a section whereby you had to work out how to enter a single room at the top of a tower-like chamber, keeping your mental geography about you (with the assistance of the in-game map, natch) as the camera flips and the environment seeks to confound.

The game caters for various skill levels with instant respawns and extra checkpoints – camps that allow Dandara to regenerate health and energy as well as upgrade her skills – available to be switched on, even during gameplay. 

The biomes and music have their own whimsical tones about them with the staple mechanics of the genre being here, specific abilities and items are required in order to proceed through certain locations, enemies respawn upon entering and re-entering chambers etc and your progress is occasionally blocked by some really fun and challenging boss fights that require some serious thumb-stick dexterity as you not only need to plan your attacks but also leap out of the way of projectiles and surrounding enemies with split-second tenacity.
If you are a fan of Metroidvania-style games, Dandara is a solid title with a really neat take on the genre. 

Whilst the gameplay otherwise remains relatively unchanged, the fundamental movement mechanic means that the whole game feels more akin to a puzzle title as opposed to what you may usually expect and in that regard, it feels a unique experience. 

Right, I’m off to some serious leaping.

Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition can be purchased in physical format from Super Rare Games at:

https://superraregames.com/products/srg-38-dandara-trials-of-fear-editionswitch
๐Ÿ’ฆ❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ฆ

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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