Dreyer
May 17, 2017
Publisher: Rain Games
Developer: Rain Games
Review platform: Xbox One
Release date: May 17, 2017
Rain Games, the creators of the wildly popular Teslagrad released the follow up to that game on Xbox One recently to what seemed to be a rather tepid response from the community. I myself haven’t heard of either game too until I was tasked with this review, which in my opinion is a very sad state for this game to start off with. After putting in several hours into this game (and being very far from finished), I feel that this game needs to get a lot more attention than it has received so far.

World to the West takes place in the same universe as the Teslagrad series that launched on Steam. The story follows four characters, namely Knaus, the small elf-like orphan, Lord Clonington, the insufferable strongman who is full of himself, Lumina, the Teslamancer, and Miss Teri, the thief-adventurer that, from what I’ve seen, seems to have her wits about her, until she doesn’t.



The story starts off with Lumina following her father, after he sets off on an adventure, and things take a turn for the worst when a teleporter breaks down just after it sends you off into the unknown. In this quaint world, you get to meet and play as the other characters. The game has quite an interesting dynamic as it lets you not gain access to every player at once, but breaks the game up into several stages where you play as two of the four characters. As you progress through the, what seemed to be a very open world, you open up new areas with those characters.

Each area you encounter comes with a totem pole where you can change the character to solve a puzzle that might have you perplexed. Each puzzle I’ve encountered so far—except the latest one—requires either of the characters you’re playing with, and their abilities will help you unlock or gain access to a new area.



Lumina, for example, has a rather limited ability in relation to others. She can only shoot electric bolts and bolt across crevasses. Miss Teri has some interesting abilities where she can control the minds of the critters that scatter the landscape and use them to do her bidding. Knaus can dig into the ground to avoid danger, or crawl into tiny spaces. Strongman Lord Clonington, as you might expect, can break down barriers, and he’s quite resilient to attacks. Each combination helps you solve the underlying puzzle.

Graphically the game is gorgeous, in the sense of games like Oceanhorn. The colourful landscape lends itself to titles like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and playing it never seemed like a chore—unless you count the latest puzzle—and I always found myself coming back to it trying to see where this journey ends. Spending hours in this game, going back to areas where you needed a specific ability to gain access to that area is quite satisfying once you solve it.

One thing that I have to complain about is the choice of some of the music in the soundtrack. Some of them have this annoying repetitiveness that can become a migraine if you play as much as me. The sound—bar the one track that annoys me—is exceptional and adds to the ambiance.



Achievements are quite hard to get, which makes them actual achievements. They’re locked behind you finding specific tablets in the game, however, I haven’t found one yet, which means once you find one, you’ll feel like you actually achieved something, rather than having killed ten ferrets and being rewarded for it. So if you’re a completionist, expect to dump several hours into this game to get one achievement.

Summary



I’ve never been one of those gamers who particularly enjoyed puzzle-type games. Games like Oceanhorn pushed the boundaries for me and World to the West takes this genre and pushes it a little further, making me want to solve the puzzles I’m faced with. The game doesn’t make it overly difficult, which makes it accessible to people like myself, but also offers the experienced something to come back to. Scattered across the world are several hidden nooks and crannies that you can explore to find, or get access to the chest that might hold that secret.

The game is extremely fun, and I would highly recommend you check out this title in the Xbox Store. It’s truly one of those hidden gems that people really need to find and play. Rain Games did an excellent job on this title, and I would recommend you check out some Let’s Plays if you get stuck in a specific area. The game is around ten hours, which makes it an extremely great value for the price of admission.
Our score: 8/10

Great - A solid game that may have minor flaws, but strongly complements its genre.
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