Alwa’s Awakening is an 8-bit platforming adventure. It’s an amazing throw back to the NES days and that’s what they boast. Here is a quote directly from the site without spoilers:
An evil power plagues the people and it’s up to you to set them free. You must travel to the land of Alwa and help the people living there to awaken from their nightmare… You are Zoe, a normal everyday girl who just happens to like to play video games. One late night when she’s just enjoying her favorite game she suddenly finds herself dozing off and when she awakens she has been brought into the game and into the land of Alwa.
Alwa’s Awakening is a beautiful 8-bit pixelated game. The colors are beautiful, damn did they do a great job in the artwork. It tugged the nostalgia strings, even in the beginning areas of the game. The shadows and textures are spot on and they welcome you into the land of Alwa. The chiptunes are amazing as well and they just released the soundtrack on YouTube.
The gameplay itself is nothing short of fun. You play Zoe and she has a wand. Along your journey you will gain powers just as creating blocks and these powers will help you solve puzzles in the dungeons. For example you can create blocks to gain access to higher ledges or even to block enemy attacks. Alwa’s Awakening is also non-linear. There is nothing telling you where to go or what to do in order and in looking at the achievements (SPOILER), it looks like you can defeat the one of the last bosses first.
The game is very metroidvania-like with the map system and traveling. I died…a lot playing this game as I was playing with a keyboard. If you have a controller I’d highly recommend using that to play this game to get the best control. The puzzles and rooms aren’t too difficult to figure out and in using the map you should be able to gather how to reach certain areas if you have the right powers. That is overall, some puzzles will make you want to rage though. To get all of the orbs you will have to do some backtracking with later powers if you are looking to swoop on the 100% completion.
Any Metroidvania or Retro fans would enjoy this treat, it truly feels like a modern NES game. Especially at the $9.99 price point.
Grab this game here.
Note: GameOctane received a copy for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+ NES throwback with a modern feel
+ Amazing artwork
+ GLORIOUS chiptunes!
+ Difficult puzzles make you use all of your resources
- Difficultly can ramp up quickly
- Gameplay is slow