Twitter Facebook
An error has occurred

ZeroLives.com serves cookies to personalize content, show advertisements and analyze traffic. Information about your use of this website may be shared with third parties.
More information
OK
You have already viewed premium articles
Want unlimited access to our journalism?
star
Subscribe now

Eagle Island

Not everyone has the strength to come out of this experience without ruffling their own feathers

by
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 19:00 GMT
Review: Eagle Island
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 19:00 GMT

Eagle Island is a game that requires players to have intricate perfection as a prerequisite. Unfortunately, not everyone has the strength to come out of this experience without ruffling their own feathers. If you are going into Eagle Island looking for a stroll, you will be in for a rude awakening.


In the game players play as Quill as he explores the avian world of Eagle Island together with his one of his loyal owls Koji. Together they must fight their way through lush forests and treacherous caverns to rescue Quill's brother from the clutches of a monstrous eagle.

No one likes ads. We know that. But ads help us pay the bills. sentiment_dissatisfied
Please whitelist us in your adblocker software so that we can continue to provide quality content.
Advertisement
The game was funded with a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 when indie development studio Pixelnicks collected roughly $31,000 to develop the game. It has been in development ever since and officially released earlier this week.

Story


The story revolves around Quill, his avian companions, and the mysterious Eagle Island. At first, the game seems to be a repetitive affair as the player is introduced to the game's many gameplay mechanics. The story ramps up right after the introduction and hits the players with a twist.

In summary, it is up to Quill and his birds to stop the evil that lurks in Eagle Island. The narrative seems to allude to environmental conservation and how it is being manipulated for human gain. The plot of the game was nicely paced and can be picked up organically through the normal playthrough.

Gameplay


The game combines retrovania and rogue-lite properties. It has an "overworld" hub and sets of increasingly difficult dungeons that players traverse through to unravel Eagle Island's narrative. Some dungeons will provide Quill abilities such as double jumps and elemental attacks.

Gameplay can be described as a cathartic fountain but demands absolute timing at the same time; a double-edged sword. As players go through levels, they will encounter plenty of monsters with each having their own unique attacks. Whenever players pull a combo by killing two or more enemies in a row, they are rewarded with elemental attacks and hearts for more than four enemies in a combo.

This is essential to understanding Eagle Island's gameplay as players have a limited amount of elemental attacks and, more importantly, health. On the core difficulty, the player can only endure three hits from enemies until they have to either restart the level or gain more heart slots by purchasing chests or buying them from vendors.

These chests and vendors also provide tokens that can modify properties and abilities. Tokens can give your owl longer range or give Quill brief invulnerability, while others can drastically alter how one would go through the level. After each level a final boss fight takes place and players get a grade if they beat the boss.

The limited health is what players will have to be particularly mindful of because it leaves little room for error and as such can be a source of frustration for those who are looking for a more casual and relaxing experience.

With all of this, Eagle Island encourages reruns of each level by putting in secrets that can unlock doors in the overworld hub that are otherwise closed. The game can be played in story, roguelite or speedrun mode.

Graphics and sound


The graphics are phenomenal. It is your standard affair of pixel art graphics, but the animations of each character are fluid and natural. The world is colorful and emphasizes the character models, and for a retrovanian platformer like this it is essential.

Environmental animations are on par with the characters: the small creatures, grass, and water are very well animated in each dungeon. Enemies, especially the bosses, are interesting to fight and are well designed to adhere to the environments and feel-good gameplay.

Although the soundtrack is not an orchestral masterpiece, sound design corresponds to the action very well. In particular, what stood out to me was walking on plank bridges and hearing the wooden thuds that it emitted.


Verdict


I want to whole-heartily recommend this game to anyone because of its satisfying gameplay and boss battles; however, I would be lying if I said there is not a thing wrong with this game.

I could never get used to the game's brutal nature. Even after turning down to "casual" difficulty, increasing the health limit to six, I was still unable to finish the game because it is simply too punishing for someone like myself. This is largely due to the fact that every encounter in the game requires so much precision and deliberate attacks.

After encountering a boss I could not beat, I decided to call it quits after dozens of attempts, to save the sanity I had left. This is not necessarily a knock on Eagle Island's quality as it is simply too good to pass up if you are someone who likes a difficult game. However, if you are going into Eagle Island looking for a stroll, you will be in for a rude awakening. This game will demand your dexterity to be tested with no holds barred.

Eagle Island released on July 11, 2019, for PC and Nintendo Switch.
Eagle Island
PC, Indie, Nintendo Switch, Adventure, Platformer, Pixel art, Action, Rogue-lite, Singleplayer
The good
add_circle_outline
Satisfying combat
add_circle_outline
Great boss fights
add_circle_outline
Interesting story
add_circle_outline
Phenomenal pixel art graphics
The bad
remove_circle_outline
Brutal difficulty
8
Out of 10

No one likes ads. We know that. But ads help us pay the bills. sentiment_dissatisfied
Please whitelist us in your adblocker software so that we can continue to provide quality content.
Advertisement
subject
Related video games news
Eagle Island
Pixelnicks
Platforms
PC, Nintendo Switch
Release date
July 11, 2019 (PC)
assignment
Learn more
person

About the author

Blynn Beltran
Journalist at ZeroLives.com based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He also runs a blog about miniatures and other related things.
bubble_chart

Read more about

ZeroLives.com
ZeroLives.com
Get the official mobile app
close
Do you want to receive notifications for breaking news?
Enable notifications
No spam. Just news.
Weekly newsletter
Stay updated with our weekly newsletter. The latest news in your e-mail inbox every Saturday.
done
Do it
close
No thanks!
Thank you for subscribing
close
Close