3.5 out of 5. Curl up to a pleasant Zelda-Like experience filled with wonder and surprises. While the production values could use a bit more polish, the labor of love that made this game is evident.
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How Metroidvania is it? Medium Fit.
Primary Challenge: Exploration Focus, Spatial-Reasoning Puzzles
Time to beat: ~14 hours
Review Info: The Steam review code for Treasure Adventure World was provided by the Developer.

More Info

Developer: Robit Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Sub-genre: Zelda-Like
Features: Map System, 2D Platformer, Melee Combat, Puzzle Platforming, Spatial Reasoning Puzzles, Collectathon, Cute
Difficulty: Low, Medium
Linearity/Openness: Open Low Gating - No Handholding
Platforms: Windows, Steam, GOG
Release Date: 2018/02/07
Available Languages: English, German, Russian

Store Links
Note: The "Free" link below is to the original Treasure Adventure Game that Adventure World is based on

    Steam    GOG    Free Download Site    

Buy Treasure Adventure World if you like…

  • Zelda-Like Puzzles and Quests
  • Little Hand-Holding, with freedom to explore and pave your own way
  • A complete, though small, world in terms of Lore
  • A variety of surprises to reward your curiosity
  • An easier, more relaxing game

▼ Review continues below ▼

I love this game, in a lot of ways. Which is one of the reasons this has been one of the hardest reviews for me to write. Treasure Adventure World is a completely non-cynical passion project, and you can feel that heart as you explore its nooks and crannies. It successfully captures the childlike wonder of going on an adventure, digging up treasure, meeting strange new people and seeing strange new places. Mostly. While I feel like I need to mention the negatives, I urge you not to focus on them. If you enjoy the Legend of Zelda series – the kinds of puzzles and challenges – then there’s a very good chance you’ll like this game. If you like to share in someone else’s creation – made from their love of the art and not simply for the business – you’re the person I recommend this game to.

The game’s shortcomings come mostly from production value. The animations are a bit stiff, with both of the attacks never really feeling that “crunch” or that level of control that allows me to be truly immersed. This issue flows into the Platforming; you need to grab hooks in the air and I never felt like I could pinpoint the exact velocity and angle to nail it without waffling around in the air a bit. But, both the combat and platforming is very forgiving to make up for this.

In terms of the game’s narrative, the presentation fails slightly too. Some of the characters in the game feel very real, but I’ll be darned if I can remember many of their names. I feel like a little better sound design, maybe a little more character and direction might help these characters feel more developed, because analyzing the text itself makes me think that the issue isn’t the script.

I do have a couple of design gripes as well. The game ostensibly gives you the freedom to go anywhere, but there are some specific items that gate you out of most of the game. I spent a lot of time early on simply wandering until I found these crucial tools, and when I did the game just kind of peeled away at a rapid pace. I don’t think that the game would benefit from more hand-holding per se, but maybe a more “Breath of the Wild” approach might have helped – at least when it comes to the Magic Jar (which basically serves as this game’s Hero’s Journey Magic Helmet.)

But amid these pacing and production value issues, there is a deep world to dive into, sometimes literally. There are enough interesting NPCs to make the world feel alive, and the Main Character’s typical amnesia plight actually provides some interesting twists that left me pondering. If you like puzzles, they lean toward the easier side of the Zelda series in terms of difficulty, but there is also a ton of variety and clever use of the game’s limited tools. Some of the bosses actually provide a suprising challenge, but nothing that can’t be solved by applying just a bit of grey matter. Playing Treasure Adventure World is, for me, a very relaxing experience.

Which makes it sort of a “Comfort Food” type of game to me. That feeling I keep mentioning, about this being someone’s labor of love, makes Treasure Adventure World like sitting down with a good friend and listening to his crazy stories as you allow yourself to wistfully be carried away in wonder. If you can look past its surface level flaws, there is a lot to love here.


Final Score

3/5

Scoring system overview


Metroidvania Breakdown

Combat
– 2

Very basic combat with sort of wonky physics

Platforming
– 3

Plenty of challenges, but slightly loose physics make it feel a little imprecise

Exploration
– 4

There are a lot of secrets to find, and many lead to fun interactions with NPCs

Puzzle
– 3.5

Puzzles are the primary focus of gameplay, generally consisting of spacial reasoning puzzles

Story
– 3.5

An enticing mystery that drives a desire to explore, as well as some very interesting surprises

Graphics
– 3

Visually pleasant, though the animations are often a little stiff

Music
– 3

Basic melodies work well to establish atmosphere

Replayability
– 4

Has a robust New Game Plus mode and 4 endings to unlock


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