Possibly the most aggravating aspect of the game, especially when you pair it with the relative difficulty of dealing with the controls, is the way the save system works out. Over time you’ll be able to power Dandara up with new abilities, much like in any Metroidvania. On top of that you’ll be able to choose your upgrades that will boost health, your energy reserves for specials, or the potency of the effects of consuming the orbs you’ll find along the way. The problem is that the camps where you can save don’t come along often and it isn’t unusual to find yourself running low on health. This is where the challenge of combat, the disorienting nature of the movement and screen rotation, and the one-way sections in portions of the map converge to make your life a bit difficult. Unlocking new areas and making progress can be tricky enough at key points without throwing in sparse save points, the presence of that added dimension moves the needle of frustration a bit higher and it may be too much for more casual gamers. The hook of Dandara is most certainly its unique control style and whether or not you can master and enjoy playing that way. For people craving something different and who want to be challenged it throws quite a lot at you that you’ve never seen before and it can be thrilling. For anyone expecting things to be more traditional and perhaps a bit casual-friendly unfortunately it likely won’t be a great match unless you’re willing to push yourself. I’d be very curious to see what would come out of a sequel and how its style could be refined further. The bones of greatness are very much there, but to enjoy it you’ll need to be willing to put up with some rough edges.
Justin Nation, Score: