World to the West
Developer: Rain Games
Publisher: Rain Games
Category: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 01.18.2018
A Teleportation mishap, a broken contract, a mysterious tree and a foolhardy expedition set the stage for our four heroes.
Rain Games is the company that brought us the Indie Hit, Teslagrad. And now, they have brought us another smash hit with World to the West. It can be considered a sequel to Teslagrad, but really it is a stand-alone game. You don’t need to play the first rendition to totally immerse yourself in to the game.
The core of the game is still present – solve puzzles to progress through the game, enjoy a simple combat system, and sometimes come up against bosses. However, the game has really progressed far beyond Teslagrad. It is an open-world style game with really adorable 3D graphics.
You don’t play as a single character, no. In each Chapter, you will have access to 1 or 2 of the 4 characters. Lumina, a teslamancer, can sing her teslastaff to beat enemies. She can teleport (or blink, as the game calls it) through bars and across platforms; she can also activate square machines on the ground to help her hover and blink to otherwise unreachable platforms.
You begin the game as Lumina. Her younger siblings find a teleporter and want to go see their dad. Ohm (grandma) warns against using the teleporter as it could take you anywhere. You solve a simple puzzle to fix the teleporter and before you know it you are teleported to some random location and now have to figure out how to fix the teleporter to get home. We don’t get far with Lumina before Chapter 2 rolls in.
Chapter 2 – we get introduced to Knaus. A kid and part of a population that believes they are mining for moon rock, Knaus finds a mysterious tree and begins to question whether or not they are actually on the moon. The population is essentially enslaved – they have been promised that they will return home in 2 years if they pull 16 hour shifts every day. Knaus, being a little squirt, can crawl through small spaces and use his shovel to dig and travel under ground.
Chapter 3 introduces us to Teri, a Mercenary with a killer scarf. She can use her scarf to grasp on to poles and hop across platforms and can also use it to stun enemies and then use Y to spring away. As her abilities develop, she soon is able to control creatures when she stuns them with her scarf. She works out of an Affluent society that is completely obsessed with money. She is hired to retrieve a rare artifact but is soon betrayed and dumped in with Knaus and Lumina.
Our last hero is Clonington, a master of strength and showmanship. Not only can he bull-rush his way through creatures and obstacles, but he has a killer punch (literally). In order to beat the game, all of our heroes will have to work together to defeat the odds that be. As you progress through the game, each character develops an advanced version of their ability. Knaus, for instance, becomes able to create ice paths that he can skate through quickly.
Clonington’s punches are a bit hard to aim, but once they make contact they are quite deadly. Each of our four heroes starts off with different amounts of health, but not to worry, you can expand their health throughout the game. You can restore health either by finding heart plants or defeating enemies.
The story of World to the West is engaging and, at times, pretty funny. The graphics are crisp and quirky. The noodly wibbly wobbly way the girls walk (yes, that is an accurate term, don’t judge me) is hilarious and I found myself just running back and forth as Lumina or Teri just to watch their limbs wibble wobble. The music and sound effects are fun and appropriate for the game – I never became tired of the soundtrack.
All in all, I have to be perfectly honest in saying that this has been probably my favorite Indie game for the Nintendo Switch thus far. Engaging, Rewarding, Funny, and a ton of Fun, I highly recommend World to the West.
Docked: Some lag, but not bad
Joy Con Detached: Neutral
Joy Con Controller: Fantastic
Pro Controller: Fantastic
World to the West has received 4 Spillprisen Awards. In BERGEN, Norway, on January 15, 2018, Spillprisen (an annual award show for Norwegian developers, to honor the best games made in the country) honored Rain Games with Best Audio, Best Visuals, Best Design, and Best Fun for Everyone.
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