As a lifelong gamer I have developed the habit grabbing a new game, loading it up and then instantly comparing it to other games I have played before. Now as someone who has been gaming for over 25 years there is quite a catalog of games for me to draw on when this process takes place. So when Elliot Quest, which originally debuted on Windows back in 2014, came across my desk in its shiny new Nintendo Switch port I have to confess that my brain automatically started doing the above mentioned thing that it does with all new titles. For a game that finds its inspirations firmly planted in the late 80’s with titles such as Legend of Zelda 2 and the original Metroid being some of the more obvious influencers, Elliot Quest automatically finds a warm space in my heart for its nod to some of my favorite childhood games.
However, as an old gamer who has been jaded by years of gaming both as a consumer and journalist in the industry I had a few questions that I wanted answers to with Ansimuz Games Metroidvania style side platformer. So grab that coffee, kick back and enjoy our review of Elliot Quest for Nintendo Switch.
Elliot Quest with the title character in a bit of a predicament. The Demon Satar has struck Elliot with a transforming curse and unless he can find a cure, our hero will find himself on the wrong side of story taking on the form of a demon himself. Thus begins an adventure that leads our character through a series of dungeons, temples, towns and enemy encounters in a 2d, side scrolling adventure. Immediately the games plays a lot like the Zelda 2 with its side scrolling, attack and puzzle mechanics all great nods to the classic.
Elliot Quests inventory system also shares many similarities to the aforementioned 1987 classic, with items like bombs and magical abilities being just some of the items you will discover in the world. The game also features a nice progression system in the form of a point system, allow you, upon gaining a level, to distribute a couple of points among the game’s various stats. All of this is wrapped in some great 8bit style art, a top down, overworld for exploration (think classic Final Fantasy) and a great little sound track appropriate to its old school roots.
The story itself is solid enough told through a series of classic text over cutscene style storytelling. I have to confess that I wasn’t overly drawn in by the story more because of personal preference than because of poor storytelling. In fact the story was a nice change for the typical hero’s journey and some may find it an engaging tale.
The combat and game mechanics play well on the switch. The controls are laid worked alright but didn’t feel intuitive. In fact more than once I ended up opening my inventory when I intended to attack with a special. This was mildly frustrating and as seeing as there isn’t an option to switch up the button layout this may be a bit of a turnoff to some. However that said the controls are quite responsive and I didn’t run into any issues of laggy input. As it is not an overly resource heavy game to run it played extremely well in both handheld and docked mode but as per usual with my switch I spent the bulk of the time in handheld mode.
The game was pretty enjoyable most of the time but there was a bit of an issue with lack of direction from time to time. Also an issue with many late 80’s games, if you miss the direction or hint in a cutscene you end up spending a lot of time wondering around, clicking all of the things to try and progress. With some many great systems that have been introduced over the years to help players navigate game worlds it would have been nice to see something like this implemented in Elliot Quest.
Overall the game is a nice nod to some great classics but struggles to really introduce anything new to the genre. As a port it’s solid on the Nintendo Switch with my only real hang up being the poor button layout. If you already own this title I really can’t recommend picking it up on the Switch as outside mobility (which we already got from the 3DS version) there isn’t really anything unique or new being offered. If you are looking for a nice little rpg with some heavy classic title influence and don’t already have it, Elliot quest might be a nice addition to your Switch library. At the end of the day though it just didn’t impress me enough to keep me engaged.
Final Score: 7.0
- Great nods to some classics
- Great game mechanics
- Some solid moments in combat and story
- Poor button layout
- Doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre
- WTB map with directions