I love finding an indie game that feels like it was developed by a big studio. It’s rare to find a title that ticks all the boxes and feels complete, with solid mechanics, quality graphics, funny characters, and realistic challenges. Having said this, Chillin’ Wolf has created an adventure that includes all of the above and more! The game in question, and of course the one we’ll be looking at today, is Necroboy: Path to Evilship and I’ve been experiencing all it has to offer from in front of my PC screen.
NecroBoy: Path to Evilship is a charming and ghostly little puzzler that takes you on a journey as NecroBoy, a fledgling necromancer who begins to learn about his powers. With the help of his trusty servant, Lackey, NecroBoy uses his wicked abilities to resurrect his NecroMinions so he can use them to manipulate a variety of contraptions, and aid him on his path to evilship.
Thanks to the commands coming down to a few simple buttons, it was easy to control NecroBoy and his minions as I summoned them to move objects, flip switches and obey my every whim. Accessible controls don’t make the solutions to brain-teasers any simpler though, and I soon discovered that these puzzles weren’t always as easy as they appeared and a little bit of mind power was necessary. As I made my way through each level of the crypt, I navigated down each path, occasionally raising NecroMinions from the dead so they could assist me on my journey. This became a little repetitive at times, but it wasn’t useless. Every minion that joins your crew plays a part in helping you reach the next level. The more minions you have, the more physical powers you gain, such as having enough weight when you direct your posse to a giant button.
Over time, the puzzles became increasingly more difficult, but never to the point where I was pulling my hair and cursing my character. The biggest frustration was accidentally getting stuck in a room because of a wrong move I made, leaving NecroBoy unable to summon his minions. Thankfully, NecroBoy: Path to Evilship gives you the option to restart a level if you find yourself in this sort of predicament.
There isn’t a steep learning curve and the little tutorial at the beginning displays the keys needed to control your character and use your powers. That’s something I always appreciate in games. Even when it comes to easier titles, it still helped to have a good idea of what you’re doing from the off. When you get into the actual adventure, the gameplay is enjoyable, but it does become a little bit predictable and mindless at times. Having different game modes could add some complexity and allow players to reach new personal goals, perhaps collecting objects or coins to level up NecroBoy.
My favorite part of NecroBoy: Path to Evilship is the art style. The cartoonish, childish appearance makes the setting less spooky, giving me Bowser’s Castle vibes; and if you know me, I’m a sucker for all things Mario. This is thanks to those foundational years in my childhood when I’d participate in Mario Kart tournaments with my friends while consuming all I could of that particular IP. I actually found myself a few times stopping to admire the beauty of NecroBoy: Path to Evilship‘s environment, if you can call a burial ground attractive. The chiseled stone, the unearthly shadows, the glowing lights illuminating my path, and the rich colors all added something really special to the aesthetic. I applaud the designers for making me feel comfortable in a setting that typically causes people to flee in fear.
The symphony of colors is paired with a melodic soundtrack that is the cherry on top. I love how the theme drifts between the subtle tones of a harpsichord followed by the gongs of a bell ringing ominously in the shadows. Mix that in with the creaking sounds of doors opening and NecroBoy wielding his powers and you have an amazing gothic-sounding accompaniment.
NecroBoy: Path to Evilship offers so much more than I was expecting, but I don’t want to give away too much since part of the fun is in the mystery. If you are looking for a puzzle game that comes with a few enemies along the way minus the combat, this game is worth checking out. Find it on Steam and enjoy the adventure into necromancy if you’ve got a knack for this kind of sorcery. I’m sure you’ll have a wickedly good time.
NecroBoy: Path to Evilship
Gameplay - 7.5/10
Plot / Writing - 7/10
Design / Visuals - 9/10
Pros + Colorful, whimsical graphics balanced by a gothic soundtrack + Simple and intuitive gameplay with fun little puzzles + Entertaining characters with spunk and personality
Cons – A few minor glitches where NecroMinions don’t cooperate or vanish – Storyline is a little silly and juvenile
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