So this week I played Ansimus Games' "Elliot Quest" and amongst all the positive reviews it has been getting I have to say that this Alpha funding stage Zelda II homage didn't quite live up to the hype surrounding it. Elliot Quest begins on a vast island in which players explore, level up, and battle through an array of territories which on their face, seem interesting. Players are initially given only a bow and arrow set (unlimited) and throughout the game achieve weapon/skill unlocks and spells to aid in future battles, none of which are really talked about by NPCs or informative to the player. You are just supposed to figure it out as you go, I guess.
Most of the territories in Elliot Quest have a purpose but are a bit daunting in their make up. Enemies don't really seem to get harder and the bow never really receives much of a power up. In the demo version, players level up and Elliot's aim improves drastically, but in the $4.99 alpha version, players are plagued with dead on hits to a given enemy which read "MISS". This mistake was literally the WORST part of the much hated N64 game "Quest 64". Stand next to enemy, hit enemy, game registers hit as a miss. No real rhyme or reason here, just a miss. Players can go from firing arrows at such precision that they are opening gates via arrow while free falling, yet when a slime attacks they have suddenly fumbled their shit. I don't think so.
[Quest 64 mechanics revisit to annoy in Elliot Quest]
Another issue I had with this game is that it never really gave me any incentive to keep playing. Not a conversation with a dying warrior, no cryptic clues or warnings of upcoming bosses, nothing. It felt sort of empty in a way. Like I was just enjoying the aesthetics of a retro game without really having a particular mission at hand. Elliot Quest has all the makings of a great game-to-be, but never really makes me WANT to play it aside from simple curiosity. Most worlds have sort of a confused objective and when players receive their eventual plunder from a given area, it just seems a little late in the game. Then again, because there is no set objective, the term "late in the game" holds no meaning. Why should I achieve double jump (wings) before a host of crystals I know nothing about? Why should I expect items that are more meaningful from extraordinarily hidden chests? How has the SHIELD avoided me this whole time?!
Elliot Quest never really answers these questions and yet, somehow you keep playing.
I can't be too hard on Elliot Quest because as Ansimus Games warned me, it is in early stages and "doesn't reflect the final quality"(even on the payed version for extra warnyness…). The positive elements of this game are self evident. Great visual experience, gameplay is light, music (by Michael Chait) has nostalgic SNES flair, there is room to grow as a player, boards can be challenging, bosses are fun. That all said, Elliot Quest has a ways to go before I will purchase another version. The Alpha, in all honesty should have been the browser demo. I was delighted by a lot of this game, but I couldn't help but feel like I was consistently wanting more from this world. Hopefully Ansimus will deliver on the final version.
Wicked Basement gives Elliot Quest a 4/10.
[PLAY IT HERE]