Game: Axiom Verge
Developer: Thomas Happ Games
Publisher: Thomas Happ Games
Reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Even with being a two-year-old game, Axiom Verge manages to distinguish itself from other indie titles in recent time. Its sense of mystery, retro Metroidvania gameplay, and its catchy 16-bit soundtrack is still as charming as it was when I first played it.
Axiom Verge has made its way onto almost every gaming platform there is and now, it has made its way to the newest console, the Nintendo Switch. Playing Axiom Verge on the Switch feels really good and that’s mostly due to the console’s ease of portability.
Being able to pick up and go or dock when you know your playing for a while just feels right with a game like Axiom Verge. This was always a dream of mine for the PS Vita port, but sadly I never got around to playing it on that console.
The game is rooted in retro game mechanics from titles such as Metroid, Contra, and Blaster Master. These were titles that solo indie developer for the game, Thomas Happ, loved as a child, so these were heavy influences in his game. And they’re pretty obvious, from the Metroidvania style backtracking gameplay to the semi-hard boss battles you come across throughout the game. The game is filled with retro feels and it makes the game feel different from others.
An interesting note to mention is that everything you see, hear, and play was all handcrafted by one man, Thomas Happ. This was no easy feat, as building a game with a group of developers is hard enough; now having only one person to design the art of the game, the music, and sound effects, and write the story as well it is, is a major accomplishment for Thomas Happ. I remember first hearing about this when the game launched a couple years back and it totally blew me away.
If you have yet to hear what Axiom Verge here’s the rundown: You play as a scientist named Trace. A failed experiment goes awry and places you in a different world. Waking up with no recollection of what happened or where you are, you must uncover the mystery of where you are and how to get back home.
Similiar to the first time I played Axiom Verge, the story and its plot twists and reveals are both captivating and interesting always making you want to progress through the game to see what happens next. You wouldn’t think a game like Axiom Verge would have a story driven aspect, but it does and it is totally worth your investment.
The gameplay, on the other hand, is equally as good. It’s pretty basic at first, but as you progress throughout the game you will come across new enemy types and gain access to new weapons. This is when the fun really starts to kick in as the new weapons will be a gateway to new locations. Most of the game will have you uncovering the huge map at your own place. But there will be plenty of times that your path will be blocked, This is where weapon modifications, upgrades, and new gadgets come into play.
Getting familiar with the map won’t be too easy though. Hallways, rooms and open areas will start to look similar and have your sense of direction all messed up. However, with the game being a Metroidvania, this is to be expected.
Axiom Verge is overall a fun game. It has an interesting world, fun enemy types to fight, and a captivating story. The game does have its moments that make it more frustrating than needed but those are so far and few between its pointless to really mention. If you have never played Axiom Verge, this is definitely the time to do so and this also goes hand in hand with those who have already played it as the Nintendo Switch is the definitive way to play the title.
Have you played Axiom Verge before? Will you be picking it up on the Nintendo Switch? Let us know what you think of the game down below!