If you are a fan of platformer games then Ectolibrium, by developer Void Calls, may be the next game you want to try. Arriving on January 31, 2019, Ectolibrium boasts that it is a platformer like no other. But is that true? There have been so many platformer games, is it not possible that it may have some similarities to other games?
You are a creature yanked from another dimension and dropped into an industrial wasteland full of strange lifeforms. You leap and cling to surfaces and drink ectoplasm to fly through the air.
I was given an opportunity to try out the first episode of the game. There were 10 levels to complete. I have played many platformer games over the years and these 10 levels gave me enough of a look at the game to know that it is like nothing else I’ve come across.
From the intro story it appears that you play Outlier. It’s a bit confusing as to whether you are actually a part of Demi or a separate creature. The intro story suggests you are Demi, but later in the game you are referred to as Outlier. It may become more clear in later episodes. In either case you have been taken from your world to clean up a wasteland created by another creature’s experiments.
Graphically it’s a well done universe. You are thrust into an “industrial wasteland” and it does look that way. The world you explore is full of rocks, odd creatures, dead plants and ectoplasm. Some of the creatures can harm or kill you while others will just ignore you. It is an environment in which you want to explore every crack and crevice. Your main goal is to find and revive the alien plants and other life forms. To do you this you need to find life generating ectoplasm as well as other alien orbs that will transform the world around you.
Occasionally the creature that sent you will appear. The design of these lifeforms is very unique. I want to say that it appears to assist you, but I didn’t find the conversation helpful just odd and more for the purpose of adding to the story line. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of assistance in explaining what you need to do to complete a level. I found the most help at the end of the first level when I got my score and found out how many plants I had revived. What I would recommend is to explore the entire world around you. Don’t race through it, even though it is being timed. Make sure you check out the entire level before leaving.
The music and sound effects fit well with the game. They definitely help you feel like you are in an alien world. They are neither boring nor distracting and help to give you the feeling of a mysterious alien world.
It took a bit of time to get the mechanics down. There are hints along the way but this is definitely a game that puts your mouse skills to the test. There was a number of times that I found myself gripping my mouse a bit too hard in hopes that my creature would make the jump or pass the enemy, this time around. For fans of platformer games you may find Ectolibrium a bit of a nail biter at times. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments of serenity as your creature floats through the vast space or ectoplasm pools. But that can switch in a moment and before you know it you are trying to expertly maneuver through enemies that can kill you with one touch. Oh and make sure to always pass through the check points. If you die you go back to the last checkpoint and sometimes that’s a bit further back than you want to go.
Overall I enjoyed the game. It took the first level to get the hang of it but I really liked how the creature could cling to walls, take quick dives or just glide gracefully through the air if you managed to grow your tail long enough. It’s a well done platformer game. If I had one recommendation for the developers it would be to add some sort of explanation of your goals and controls at the start of the game. Although you get a few control hints at different areas in the game, it would have been helpful to know a bit more of what you need to do to complete the level.
Although I only got to play the first episode it was enough for me to know that I am looking forward to the release this week. I understand from the game’s website that the developers also have future plans and development for the game. They will continue to add new challenges to enhance the game replay-ability and longevity. Click here to check out the game’s road map.
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