December 30, 2013 5:40 PM | John Polson
Developer Pixold has released a Windows demo for the upcoming action platformer Inexistence, scheduled to release on PC and Android next year. Its 16-bit Castlevania and Metroid influences are obvious, and its solid mechanics and aesthetics make this action-adventure about a young man saving his sister seem quite promising.
As this is a demo for an incomplete game, I won't spend too long on what the game is versus what it will be. The nature and castle/interior building backgrounds are luscious, the battle and jumping mechanics feel tight, enemies are tough, save points are frequent, and leveling up is also frequent enough to feel like progress is being made along with merely scrolling to the right. There are false walls players must walk through for the careful explorer, too.
I did want to rattle off a few details needing polish, as the team is asking for feedback. The translations are missing fluency in English. I found that after I adjusted the screen size to full screen in the menu, I could not set it back to x1 or x2 without a restart. The landing sound effect in particular is too harsh. In fact, most of the SFX are too loud and should be softer to allow that gorgeous music shine through.
Some of the backgrounds could use a little more detail, such as the cave area, which has a lot of solid brown space. I like having a destructible environment, but I'm not sure the brown brick works well in multiple settings. Separate animations for rolling boulders and other actions, and items that don't drop through the conveyor the player rides would also be touches.
After a game reaches a certain solid level of play, it's the details that make the difference, so hats off to Jonathan Brassaud, Etienne Zizka, Nicolas Etten, Romain Desmareceaux, and especially musician Fawzi Allouache for getting the game this far. With some more polish on the English translation, balancing of sound effects, and touch ups on level design, this could become a treat. Hopefully the team will port it to the 3DS/eShop, as that is where I imagine it fitting best.