‘Eastward’ checks all the boxes of indie RPGs – the New Indian Express


Express news service

Eastward is an upbeat tale of two playable characters with indescribable names: John and Sam. John is a bearded middle-aged man, who enjoys cooking a meal with his beloved pan. He also uses the same pan to crush slimy monsters. John doesn’t speak at all, which is very different from Sam. Sam is a white-haired, horny girl with a “mysterious” past. Like the white-haired characters from other fantasy series, Sam also possesses the ability to perform powerful magic. Sam and John’s relationship most closely resembles that of a father and daughter. But unlike typical parent-child relationships, Sam and John are constantly looking for adventure and danger for fun.

As a ’90s RPG-themed game, it ticks all the necessary boxes: pixel art, situational chiptune music, and missions as weird and confusing as a feverish dream. Eastward is a story-driven game, which doesn’t save the big reveal for last. You already know what’s wrong with this confused universe. So Eastward, relies on his rom-com-esque wholesomeness to persuade the player to follow the entire journey.

Arguably the best and worst parts of the game are the non-playable characters. A game in Eastward’s persuasion is dry without his dialogue. In his need to constantly engage us in the story, he features a variety of bizarre characters. It even rewards us for constantly interacting with them. I was pleasantly surprised at how subtly even normative morals like “eat your veg” were conveyed. However, as the game progressed, the flavored dialogue got a bit too much. I skipped dialogue, to rush to the gameplay.

I’m glad they left the turn-based element of the RPG in the ’90s in its place. It’s mostly about hitting monsters with the Frying Pan, with the occasional bomb for support. The dungeons are filled with environmental puzzles, which require a bit of cooperation between the two playable characters. The progression of the gameplay also allows for improvements in combat and items, which corresponds well to the powerful creatures that we encounter. The journey to witness the sunrise is long. I rate Eastward at 8 out of 5 because I just couldn’t wake up in time with the story.

Anusha ganapathi

@quofles

(This economics graduate spends her free time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)


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