Arcadia: Colony Logo
Arcadia: Colony Icon
Arcadia: Colony

Developer: KibeSoftwareHouse

Adventure
Family
Metroidvania
  • Price: $14.90
  • Release Date: May 16, 2024
  • Number of Players: 1
  • Last on Sale: -
  • Lowest Historic Price: -
  • ESRB Rating: E10+ [Everyone 10+]
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    Struggles to overcome its somewhat bare bones look and feel

    While I do wish there were a few more quality Metroidvanias on the Switch, the system has certainly built a respectable library of them since launch. Of course, what’s good for the genre fans also then puts pressure on the developers looking to release their own titles into the fray. While there’s absolutely room for some new talent even at the top of the genre, there’s no winning by default like there may have been in the earlier years, you’re going to have to bring something at least somewhat original and compelling.

    Just running with that premise, Arcadia: Colony doesn’t get off to a great start with its first impressions. While I do like the anime-style characters in principle, the somewhat odd cut-out look they often have when laid on the backgrounds feels a bit too web-based Flash gamey, which also isn’t helped by the pretty limited animation frames it uses. Unfortunately, the spotty implementation also extends to the feel of its controls, which are decidedly floaty and especially when switching between characters can often feel unresponsive, or at least slow to respond.

    The shame is that conceptually this character-switching mechanic is a decent one, as proven out by the likes of The Lost Vikings or even the Trine series, except in this case with the characters being thrown into more of a Metroidvania feel overall. One character is able to dig and grab items, another is more nimble and able to double jump most critically, and another is useful when curling into a Metroid-esque ball to go through tight areas. I suppose given the somewhat lackluster controls, I should be thankful that you’re not regularly required to take on foes, and while there are some boss battles (which may be the best area where the game succeeds) they’re also more puzzle-focused than towards action.

    I suppose for the right crowd, people who appreciate exploration and working on environmental puzzles but not fighting, perhaps this could feel like a better fit, but it’s hard to dodge what feels like an at-best middling effort on all fronts. It’s true that not all games need to impress you visually or blow you away with tight precision controls, but it’s fair to expect some areas to shine and overall Arcadia: Colony fails that test outside of perhaps its interesting boss battles, but that’s obviously not a huge portion of the game. Ultimately it’s one of those titles where I wish I could walk away being more impressed, but I’m intimately aware of the pretty substantial gap between what it has delivered versus its competition, and that’s impossible to push aside.


    Justin Nation, Score:
    Fair [6.0]
2024

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