Eryi’s Action Review

When I first found out I was going to be reviewing Eryi’s Action I did a little Google research. The first search result I found was a forum user posting about what an obvious Mario rip-off it was. Having spend a considerable amount of time with the game, I’ve found that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, both games are platformers, but Eryi’s Action is so much more than a mere left-to-right jumping adventure.

Here’s the basics on the game. The game is a left-to-right platformer. You can jump on monsters heads to kill them, headbutt blocks to break them for items and you end the level by reaching a flag. You play as a chibi style girl named Eryi in a bright and colourful world, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this is an easy game. The game is hard as nails, but not because of difficult execution of moves, instead the game has a fiendishly tricky puzzle aspect to its trap based levels.

Let’s get this out the way right off the bat, you are going to die an awful lot of times in Eryi’s Action. You start with three lives, but hitting zero doesn’t cause you to have to restart, instead dropping continuously into negative lives. I completed the first world and already had a pretty sizeable number of anti-lives piled up. It doesn’t want to punish you for death, because its level design will punish you enough as it is. Certain platforms might turn into spikes if you jump on them, warp pipes might send you to a room entirely made of fire and spikes with no opportunity to escape, the world map might even try and kill you for trying to enter a world without being careful.

The game’s designers clearly understand classic 2D platformers like Mario very well, because they take all the things you’re used to assuming you know about the genre and setting traps accordingly. You will start off trying to play this game like Super Mario and you will suffer violent strings of deaths as a consequence. The game will very quickly and forcefully break you out of the habit of playing this like a Mario game and teach you to slow down and examine every screen for potential puzzles and solutions.

On more than a few occasions I would lose twenty or more lives trying to brute force my past a single trap. I would assume that I was obviously just not doing it right and that I needed to try a few more times to get it right, but I just couldn’t. You really have to stop when you hit one of these walls and completely rethink your strategy. Retrace your steps looking for an overlooked method to attempt. You have to think in ways that may be completely against your usual patterns of thought and that challenge is where this game truly shines.

Unfortunately the game does have a few flaws that prevent it being perfect. The characters movement and jumping arc are not always as tight and responsive as you would ideally like them to be, particularly when compared to Mario, and the game’s collision detection when jumping on enemies occasionally feels a little off, but this really wasn’t a huge issue for me. The game’s challenge is less to do with challenging jumps and more to do with working out what you need to do. For everytime I died due to poor collision detection with an enemy, I probably died 40 times due to walking into traps. These issues, in the grand scheme of the game, are pretty fleeting and didn’t really hamper my enjoyment too much.

Don’t let the cute art style and simple appearance fool you, this game is challenging. You’re going to need to bring your thinking caps for this one and be prepared to see the lives screen over and over again. The game is very addictive and is definitely one I would recommend to anyone who likes the idea of a clever puzzle platformer. Eryi’s Action pleasantly surprised me and is definitely worth trying if the concept interests you at all.

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