Reviews - Updated on April 7, 2022

We are all used to the fact that video game characters tend to be young – well, at least enough to have, as Dr. Bykov used to say, slightly indecent plans for the rescued princess. But Galand, the hero of the adventure platformer Effie, was not lucky – he was cursed and aged by a witch. However, he, of course, did not sit in the park on a bench, although he was very lazy by nature.

Laughter versus smile

The story in Effie is quite simple – all the way we collect important artifacts, simultaneously freeing a couple of cities from the witch in order to deprive the villain of her strength in the final and save the world at the same time. Before taking the next artifact, Galand and we, together with him, are forced to listen to another portion of malicious laughter and pathos curses from the witch. Then everything is classic – a fight with the boss and his servants, the surprised eyes of a defeated lady and a new promise: “This is not the end, I’ll be back!”

But at the same time, history has its own charm and even a philosophical message. Suffice it to say that the plot is presented as a fairy tale, which Galand tells the girl, sitting in front of the fireplace. And it was her smile that became for him the main reward for saving the world – more precisely, the time he got to see her …

Classics of the genre

The gameplay is just as classic. The authors constantly repeated that they were inspired by such adventure hits as Ratchet and Clank, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, The Legend of Zelda and Rayman. And this is noticeable – the whole game, the gray-haired Galand jumps briskly beyond his age and fights with his magic shield, collects runes, looks for keys and special relics, opens chests and solves riddles.

The latter are mainly related to the fact that you need to press the levers and activate the signs so that the passage opens further or the elevator rises / falls, and we get to the next key or knife switch – it needs to be charged with energy by hitting it with the same shield. There is nothing particularly complicated, and if you don’t understand something, you can act by simply enumerating the options.

Effie game review

The art style of the game makes me want to call it caramel.

Jumping Mayhem

Another thing is platform exercises – here sometimes the game gives a light. At the same time, surprisingly, Effie has no control problems even on a PC and without a gamepad. Especially a lot of tense situations arise when, for example, we need to calculate in time and jump onto a platform moving back and forth, and then jump off it so as not to be knocked down by some beam, and so on.

The platforms under our feet often begin to collapse, burn, sink in water, move in different directions, and generally do everything in every possible way so that the hero dies or, at best, falls down and starts climbing again. Therefore, you have to do everything very quickly, but accurately – for example, jump exactly between two streams of poisonous bullshit, get exactly on the ledge, which is quickly collapsing, and immediately have time to jump over to the other side. I also remember the episode where you need to quickly jump on the barrels floating in the sewage and jump exactly against the current, that is, in the opposite direction, until Galand was carried away to where we don’t need to at all.

And, of course, you often have to use the same levers to move various objects and platforms, creating conditions for jumping to the right place.

Fast and efficient

The fights look better. Initially, there is a main and enhanced attack, a block (more precisely, a magic shield), then a couple more tricks will be added, but in general everything is quite simple. The main thing is to constantly be on the move, move, go into the back of strong opponents and beat them with the same strong blow, and also leave the line of fire (fortunately, it is highlighted). As a result, if you do everything right, the battles begin to cause difficulties only in skirmishes with bosses. Or when you have to fight somewhere at a height – Galand strives in the process of logging to jump down after the fallen enemy. But this does not mean that you are frankly bored during battles – they are always very dynamic and in general serve as a rather pleasant addition to traps and jump puzzles.Effie game review

The enemies here are also colorful and cartoony.

Defeated opponents and collected runes (as well as barrels / jugs / boxes smashed to pieces) replenish the “exp” strip and bring a new level closer, which increases the overall power of the hero. In addition, as he progresses, useful skills open up.

Some of them will come in handy in fights – for example, a powerful blow to the ground, hitting everyone in the chosen direction. Others – while solving puzzles. It’s about the ability to briefly soar on the shield, which is tantamount to a double jump. And dashing forward will help in combat, while jumping, and when you need to avoid traps on the ground.

We want supplements!

The problem is that these are, in fact, almost all skills. That is, there are not so many different mechanics in Effie. And in general, the game is a bit short – four hours.

The authors, of course, are trying in every possible way to entertain us – they hide chests, runes and relics far away and higher. And they allow you to travel between key locations for the story on your shield – that is, in fact, on a skateboard. This way we can get to optional entertainment – there are races, fights in the arena, as well as climbing the tower, on top of which there are chests with special rewards. And it’s really wonderful. But it would be even better to increase the main gameplay meat, making the game a little larger and more diverse in key mechanics.

On the shield-board, you can accelerate and even jump on springboards.

***

However, do not forget that Effie is still not Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and The Legend of Zelda, but the debut work of an independent Spanish studio that does not have a contract with Sony or Nintendo. Therefore, I must say a banal thing – for a debut, this is very cool. The game looks great, is well optimized and voiced, there are no control problems, that is, it does not suffer from typical indie ailments and demonstrates the remarkable potential of the authors.

Pros: a simple plot, but a touching story in its essence; a competent combination of fights, puzzles and platform exercises; the ability to travel between the main locations in search of additional entertainment; very colorful and nice picture; convenient management; cool music.

Cons: the game is short and monotonous in places – I want more interesting skills and new opportunities to open up.

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