Title: Eagle Island Twist
Release Date: May 28, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Screenwave Media
Genre: 2D Platformer
Y’know, it’s been a good while since I’ve played a pixel-art style platformer, so I think it’s time I change that. Eagle Island Twist is an expansion of Eagle Island, adding a new story featuring a new protagonist and 45 new levels. Those who own Eagle Island will be able to update to the Twist expansion for free.
Unlike its roguelite cousin, Eagle Island Twist is an action platformer where you complete different stages, each unique from the last. There an incredible variety of stages to play through, and each offers a new set of challenges and skill-based portions to tackle.
The entire experience can take quite some time (and maybe a few Game Overs…) to understand how to proceed. For example, some stages might make everything your feet touch freeze, while some might hide the character from sight, and others might even zap you if you stay in one place for way too long.
Eagle Island Twist offers four different difficulties that affect your starting HP, healing, and ability usage. If you select the hardest option, hearts won’t drop from blocks, and the amount of crystals you can collect is also limited, limiting how many times you can use your partner’s special abilities. In contrast, the easy option gives you plenty of blocks that will drop hearts and a ton of crystals, giving you many opportunities to use abilities.
To defeat enemies, you’ll need to throw your trusty partner, Susako… into them. Yeah, you heard that right. You’re basically smacking that poor bird into goodness knows what to beat the baddies in front of you.
The amount of times I accidentally knocked poor Susako against a wall because I miscalculated my aim is far too many to count. But hey, Susako has several different abilities you can trigger by consuming one of the stones on the top left, so…maybe she doesn’t mind some extra contusions if your aiming is crap. But you can enable Auto-Aim from the Accessibility menu, should you prefer.
Speaking of accessibility, Eagle Island Twist has a ton of tweaks you can make to ensure the optimal experience, such as reducing screen flashes if you have seizures or epilepsy or increased contrast for some aspects of the game, among others. Such accessibility options in a game are always welcome.
As you proceed through the stages, you’ll collect seeds and also medals. Seeds are required to open chests that have a raven on top of them, and they are scattered across the stage.
Opening one of them will give you a random runestone that gives you a power-up, such as increased throwing speed or maybe invincibility after using a specific ability. The runestone will break after a while. And the more medals you collect, the more times you can retry the stage from the checkpoint if you meet an untimely demise. Collecting enough of them will also give you a golden or a silver medal for that particular stage.
The stages also offer loads of replayability because there’s always a new path you can discover inside them. Be it a mysterious path that leads to a bonus room chock full of Medals or maybe a shortcut that will lead you to the end of the level. The possibilities are endless.
There are also boss stages. While bosses can be quite tricky to defeat at first, they’re just like your regular stages. After dying a thousand times, you start to understand the gist, and…once you do, they’re pretty easy to complete.
Now, let’s talk about something you can do, which is cheating. You’re allowed to do some extreme gameplay tweaks, such as taking no damage or even having the runestones you get from the chests last an infinite duration of time. However, attempting to do so will disable achievements and forbid you from earning any awards from the stages, so…it’s your choice whether you don’t care about them or not.
Eagle Island Twist is a fun expansion with a large variety of stages to play through, whether you’re a returning player or new to the title. It delivers in quantity and quality of level designs with added challenges and accessibility for all genre fans to take on. This variety still comes at the cost of a few reused gimmicks, but very little holds this game from being entertaining.
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