Many platformers have come out in recent years, with Hollow Knight and Ori and the Blind Forest being some of the most popular. Developer Kyle Thompson has thrown his hate into the ring with his second platformer Islets. His first foray into game development came from Sheepo, a platformer that allowed players to collect and take on the form of different animals in the world.
Now, Islets puts players in the role of a young mouse named Iko who’s looking to strike out on an adventure and save the world. Where Iko is from, there are four islands that used to be connected magically, allowing all kinds of creatures to live on them. While safeguards to keep the island together were put in place, they were forgotten about and the islands broke apart again.
Players will start their adventure as a young mouse looking about for adventure before your ship causes you to land on the first island. Here you learn the basic mechanics of the island, including how to melee attack with your sword and shoot your bow. The early monsters are fairly easy and either move slowly or have a predictable movement style.
While it can become overwhelming when there are a lot of enemies and projectiles, it’s still fairly easy to fight in this game. You have one melee attack so you can just spam that button while facing the monsters to get rid of them fairly easily. Once you become more comfortable with the controls, your movement will evolve and you’ll be able to take monsters out while moving quickly through an area.
Islets is a really pretty game but its images and visual effects don’t really change from level to level outside of the changing biomes. The game has interesting-looking monsters and bosses that range from cute to mildly frightening and this does well in playing into the aesthetic that the game is trying to build. It does fairly well establishing itself as a whimsical world and it comes off that way when talking to others.
The boss fights range in difficulty, with most of them having you avoid different types of projectiles. While they can admittedly be frustrating, they aren’t hard to tackle once you get familiar with the character’s move set. Being able to move around projectiles on foot and in your ship will become really useful as that’s what dealt the most damage during the playthrough.
Islets is a lot of fun when it isn’t incredibly frustrating. Like other platformers in recent years, the player will explore a map made up of different chambers. The player has no idea where each chamber leads or where their objective is, so they’re often left wandering. While this can be fun at first in a new area, it feels frustrating until you inevitably find out you had to go back to the starter area.
The Final Word
Overall, Islets is cute and will offer a lot of fun to those who’ve played other popular platformers in recent years. The cute world and characters offer a lot of charm and it’s always a pleasure when you come across a new creature. That being said, the combat is pretty repetitive and there isn’t enough information provided about your objective when entering a new area.
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