Reviews - Updated on April 16, 2022

If you are making an action/platformer with elements of metroidvania today (and it seems that only lazy people don’t do them), then the first thing you need to think about is how to stand out from the crowd. The authors of Itorah clearly thought. Firstly, this is a very beautiful, hand-drawn game, and the world is based on the culture of South and North America. Secondly, the main character, a girl named Itora, is the only person left alive, and in her hands is not a simple ax, but a speaker who is her only companion.

Remember everything

The plot in Itorah is standard. The picturesque world of Nagukan may die from a mysterious plague that is already poisoning the World Tree. And it is clear that it is our heroine who is the only one capable of absorbing and removing the infection, which means that the mission to save the world is assigned to her.

However, the fact that she is the only surviving person, and around her are scientist cats, village elders with three-meter ears, talking axes and other wonderful creatures, adds a twist to what is happening. I was especially pleased, of course, with the ax, which in the cut-scenes smartly communicates and stands up for the girl – she herself, as a rule, is silent.

ITORAH: Obzor

You soon become afraid of everything.

All this translates into a story of 7-10 hours, during which we visit a variety of picturesque locations, help local gods and guardians, and also see memories of the past of Itora and her family, learning new details about what caused the disappearance of people and the appearance of the plague. And the intriguing ending stretches over several scenes, turning out to be more complicated and interesting than one might expect.

No surprises

However, no non-linearity and moral choice. Itorah is a classic modern action platformer / metroidvania, where the latter, in fact, is less than we would like and what it could be. We run, jump, fight, overcome obstacles and traps, looking for keys and spheres to open doors. And if you can’t get somewhere, be sure that the heroine will soon receive the necessary ability.

ITORAH: Obzor

A frame from any modern metroidvania.

It is a pity that the list of abilities is not at all surprising. Double jumping, dashing, knocking off walls, a powerful blow that breaks some walls, the ability to jump and fall so as to break through fragile floors with an ax in some places – everything is too standard, and in many games such skills are basic. Here they are presented as gaining divine grace to the surprise and joy of everyone around.

ITORAH: Obzor

But it is not important. Look how beautiful!

Well, in general, metroidvania from Itorah is conditional – there is not much point and opportunity to return to locations to look for missed secrets there. Yes, there are always branches on the map where you can find a hidden chest. But there you will find only crystals, which already fall from each defeated enemy. And for them in the village, we are free to increase our health or stamina reserves, as well as open a new slot for health potions. Yes, the leveling system in Itorah is primitive. And besides, there is no interchangeable equipment – the talking ax remains our only companion.

ITORAH: Obzor

On which platforms we do not have to jump. This is another easy option.

The combat system is also hardly surprising: hitting, dodging that consumes stamina, plus you can use special tricks like attacking while falling – this is the only way to defeat some bosses.

So cute

What attracts Itorah? Well, firstly, the game is really very picturesque. You yourself can see from the screenshots and the trailer, for which artists can be given an award – both in money and with a statuette at some ceremony.

ITORAH: Obzor

Fly higher? What about the meaning?

Secondly, they are attracted by the scope of what is happening and the variety of locations, enemies, traps, and obstacles. There may not be as many epic bosses as we would like, but each is unique. Periodically, you need not to fight, but to drape from a monster – also, to put it mildly, not new for such games, but the tension in these situations is such that you simply forget about secondary. You take a breath, rubbing your tired fingers, and exhale: “That was cool!”

Finally, I would like to note the ease of use – both in the platform part (albeit with reservations), and in battles. Itorah is simply fun to play.

ITORAH: Obzor

The girl at work removes the plague.

“Pleasant” is perhaps the key word for understanding and evaluating Itorah. Yes, the game does not impress with innovations and depth of mechanics – it’s just a beautiful action-platformer without frills, relying on the fact that the player is comfortable and interesting, and not painful and incomprehensible.

Pros: the plot is intriguing; talking ax with character; addictive gameplay; variety and scope of what is happening; very beautiful, picturesque picture; pleasant music.

Cons: poor combat and role-playing systems; as a metroidvania the game is weak.

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