My experience with Eagle Island left me with an unexpected feeling of a blend of gratitude and satisfaction. Whether that was because I wasn’t sure what to expect going in or because I just don’t have too much hands on experience with many roguelikes up to this point in my life. Or it could be because Eagle Island offers a gameplay experience that will keep you on your toes, will offer rewards based on your level of skill in combat and will push the most core gaming veterans to succeed after failing miserable multiple times. Whatever the reason, Eagle Island left me with a feeling of both triumph and anticipation after I managed to slay the boss in the demo version after about the third or fourth attempt. If the developers Pixelnicks can keep the rhythm of the demo version going across the whole of the game, Eagle Island could be a nice little gem in anyone’s collection.
My brief experience with roguelike games has me believe that exploration in these types of games are pretty similar to each other in that you usually start in a random spot that is different if you respawn after death. Also the map is usually randomly generated to keep the overall look and feel of the games fresh, Eagle Island adopts this same approach which threw me off at first but came round to the idea eventually. If like me, you are not too familiar with this concept in video games be warned, no matter how far you progress in the demo, if you die you start again from the very beginning losing all your coins and abilities. Off putting for some I would imagine but this is the beauty of a game like Eagle Island, it encourages learning and makes players want to succeed enriching the overall feeling of triumph when they do. The game has an adorable look about it boasting stunning 2D sprite type graphics but don’t let this cutesy look deceive you, it offers an in depth challenge and can leave you in a fit of frustration.
Eagle Island is a platformer at it’s core and will have you performing jumps and mid air attacks in order to progress your way further in the game. The protagonist Quill’s weapon of choice in the game seems to be a bird (Which is actually an Owl named Koji) that flies by your side throughout your adventure which you send off to attack enemies with the press of the attack button. You are able to find different feathers throughout the demo allowing you to switch to other attack types for example, the explosive feather will allow you to swap your basic attack Owl to an explosive attack Owl which will explode on impact dealing damage to enemies within that area. You can also get a frost attack feather which will freeze enemies around its impact as well as an attack which will kill multiple enemies in a line which you acquire early on. So four basic attacks are available in the demo version of the game but here’s to hoping more are implemented in the full version. As well as being able to acquire alternate attacking abilities you are also able to acquire other useful abilities which you have four available slots for. To name a few, you can get abilities for increasing your health, increased attack range, jumping higher among others. You can even have several of the same abilities slotted in order to make that ability even stronger but be warned, after a while the ability disappears.
Money seems to be a thing of real importance in Eagle Island too as you will be needing it to unlock certain chests and to buy health pieces and abilities for your slots which is easily obtained by opening some chests and killing enemies. Which leads us to the important stuff: the combat. As I mentioned earlier, you are able to find three additional types of attack making it four total including your base attack. If you hold down the attack button whilst in mid-air you will stay in mid-air for a couple of seconds allowing you to adjust your aim which I thought was a nice touch. You can aim your birds of prey in all directions but the real skill involved is by mastering the art of chaining combos together. If you manage to chain a combo of four together with your standard attack you will be rewarded with a heart which will recover health-loss which encourages players to earn their health through the art of combat. I’m looking forward to seeing if Eagle Island will diversify the combat even further once the full game is released and potentially add more attack types.
While there currently is not a release date for Eagle Island yet, the game was successfully funded on Kickstarter this year and will release on PC, MAC, Linux and Nintendo Switch hopefully not too far in the future. It’s a game that boasts gorgeous 2D pixel-art style graphics and offers many secrets to be found hidden within the overworld. Try the demo out for yourselves as I am sure you will find something you like if not love about the game and also add it to your wish list on Steam. It took me several attempts to slay the boss in the demo which turned out to be a giant Scorpion and although I’m a noob, the boss was difficult! I can only imagine what other types of bosses Pixelnicks have been cooking up in preparation for launch, you can’t beat a solid boss fight!
Please let me know how you feel about the game because I’m becoming more of a fan of this genre each time I try one out. You can follow me on Twitter or leave a comment down below and even like and subscribe to the YouTube channel if you are feeling generous enough. I’d love to read your thoughts on Eagle Island.
Written by Sammy J on 1st June 2019