Friday, October 25, 2013

Angvik Review - The Epitome of Difficulty

"Angvik is a platform action game set in a joyful but unforgiving land."
         - Alastair John Jack, the developer of the game.

Boom! My review is pretty much done, those 13 words explain most everything about the game. My only suggestion would be to put 'UNFORGIVING' entirely in bold, capital letters. In fact, while you're at it, throw a bunch of exclamation points after it.

"... set in a joyful but UNFORGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! land." There we go.


The premise of Angvik is that "the castle" has been taken over by a barbarian and no one else has the courage to confront him. The game then quickly shows you why no one has the courage - the entire journey to the castle is filled with things trying to kill you! Monkeys roam and apparently maul your armor off when they touch you, there are spikes everywhere that turn you to bones, even the plants shoot at you. Inanimate objects are no better, as branches disintegrate under you rapidly, letting you plummet to what is surely a painful death below, because painful death is below everything! And without save points of any sort, that painful death can be very painful to you as well. I will admit, though, that Angvik demonstrates the reality of what it would be like to go on a huge adventure all alone without magical mushrooms and flowers, hit points or magically reviving not far from where you died.

Angvik gives you more choices for a daddy than Maury!
Are you still with me? Does unforgiving difficulty not scare you away? Good! The game itself is still rather fun, and although I never completed even the first level, I still had fun most of the time. You begin by selecting what your father was - a peasant, a king, a lancer, a paladin and so forth. Once you do, you're just a couple hops away from finding your decrepit old father and taking all of his stuff (and perhaps killing him by landing on his head, Super Mario Bros style). This stuff is vital, and it varies entirely by what you said your father was - you'll get all of the proper gear dear ol' dad's occupation came with. This is easily my favorite part of the game, as all of the choices make a big difference in how you'll play. The Paladin is definitely my favorite as you get a good amount of armor (which keeps you from dying) and my favorite weapon - the cross works like a boomerang! The Shepherd is a close second, as our fierce warrior dresses like a sheep, carries a pink staff and conjures bouncing sheep to attack enemies. I highly suggest you try them all; with the game's difficulty, that should take you all of about 5 minutes to do.

Even the SHEEP are exploding death, but at least they're on your side.
Regardless of your choice, enemies will drop random items from time to time when you kill them. Your bird carries any eggs you find that summon a bird that flies around you until it hits an enemy for you; oils can change what type of armor you're wearing (although I couldn't figure out exactly why you'd want to) and dropped weapons and armor are more important than I can possibly say. It's another one of those things that deserves all caps and 50 exclamation points.

All in all, whether or not you like Angvik depends 100% on your patience and love of difficulty. If you're tired of games that are a breeze to play through, this game is definitely for you.

I was granted a copy of this game for review.

Available for: PC, Mac
Price (at time of writing): $4.99
Developed by: Alastair John Jack

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