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Islets Overview (Switch eShop) | Nintendo Life

Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Kyle Thompson, creator Shipois back with another weird but wonderful addition to the Metroidvania genre. Islets is a beautifully hand-drawn story of connection and adventure in a world literally torn apart. Taking on the role of a self-doubting mouse dreaming of reconnecting with the world and bringing life back to normal, this charming game will have you scouring every corner of an incredibly vast map.

The story of the Islets follows Iko, one of a hundred adventurers whose goal is to reunite the islands. However, the people of Sky City are quick to share their disappointment at how many are actually returning. Iko has a charming and hopeful attitude despite not saying anything for most of the story; instead, our hero only speaks through written letters to fellow adventurers or directly to Mika, who patiently awaits his return home.

While the islets are full of enemies and troubling god-like figures, it’s a surprisingly rewarding adventure. Rather than solely focusing on in-game combat or exploration of these forgotten islands, the story tends to direct the player more towards interacting with the people they meet along the way, even if these characters can sometimes have a slightly suspicious nature. While there is a sense of freedom in Sky City, Islets has a subtle way of directing the player to follow a relatively linear storyline.

Islets Overview - Screenshot 2 of 4
Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

However, despite the fact that the story is relatively simple, the Islets give little guidance on how to exactly where to go. Sure, this encourages the player to explore the world until their hearts settle, but knowing you’re on the right track seems impossible. Luckily, there is a way to put direction signs on the map, but that comes at a cost. Not to mention that you will have to go to the merchant in Sky City and buy each marker individually once the previous one has been found.

In order to connect the islands, Iko must explore every corner of every map to discover the electromagnetic core. It seems easy enough at first, but you’ll have to go through every twist and turn of the island’s beautiful, hand-painted landscapes. As you progress, Iko gains various skills applicable to previous areas, so you will have to travel a lot between islands to find hidden collectibles and sometimes access the next area on the map. Even though it’s an integral part of the gameplay, this repetition gets a little tedious. And with portals being used so sporadically for fast travel, it seems like a lot of time is spent traveling rather than fighting or even enjoying the scenery.

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Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Savepoints also seem to be few and far between, especially when they are desperately needed. In most boss fights, Iko has little to no health left, but after defeating one of them, it will probably go through a few rooms before another save spot appears. Thus, as with travel between realms, healing and salvation also become something of a back and forth movement. When the game starts, players can choose their difficulty, but even on the easiest difficulty setting, a few boss fights still show no mercy and will force you to return to the save statue repeatedly.

Traveling between islands, you take to the skies in a somewhat rickety aircraft that doesn’t hesitate to evaluate a particular satellite. Although these occasions are short, they are really cute. Initially, the only control over the aircraft is the direction in which it travels, but as you collect equipment and upgrade equipment, the aircraft becomes an essential weapon in the adventure. Armed with turrets and a satisfying teleportation ability, what was once a mode of transportation will become a tool to help save Iko’s world.

In between flights, airborne boss fights will prevent certain areas from being unlocked. They often force you to use the latest aircraft upgrades and are great practice for the battles that await in the next area. While some encounters require Iko to exclusively dodge opponents’ attacks, others will rely heavily on teleportation and well-timed retaliation – and how well the fight goes depends on how well the map has been explored, given how much potential parts for improvement are scattered across it. every island.

Overview of the Islets - Screenshot 4 of 4
Shot on Nintendo Switch (pinned)

Likewise, each island hosts at least two boss battles. They start out softly and gradually increase in difficulty to reflect the development of the story. However, these encounters never feel stagnant and the repetitive mechanics aren’t as frustrating as expected. Each unique attack pattern is relatively easy to remember, and to be honest, dodging, using cloud arrows to create platforms, and tactically striking has a huge replayability. While you can’t face the boss more than once in a single playthrough, we certainly would like you to!

Despite the fact that Sky City and its surrounding islands are inhabited by insects and demonic magicians, Islets is undoubtedly a great game. Adopting an art style almost similar to Studio Ghibli, every area Iko explores is filled with detail. From the enchanting hanging gardens of Estrait to the rainy plains of Wolfpine, every area demands your full focus on exploration. Varying in content, color palette, and enemies, these islands are a joy to explore and make repeating your previous steps a little less annoying.

The sheer amount of detail fuels the captivating nature of the Islets and, combined with the soundtrack, will keep any player hooked for hours. The music that accompanies the game matches the exciting development of the story, the soundtrack begins to create an eerie atmosphere the further you progress. Boss battles are intense and intense while you have a charming, Cuphead– as an upbeat nature, and the theme of each area is not so intrusive as to detract from the gameplay. Instead, it’s soft enough to go unnoticed, but still helps create a true sense of immersion in the beautiful land of islets.

Conclusion

Islets promises a surprisingly rewarding story with lots of classic Metroidvania mechanics, and it certainly works. Beautiful landscapes and inhabitants of the island create an unforgettable trip. Filled with monstrous rivals, tense time-based platforming, and a few well-hidden puzzles, this game is more than just a run-of-the-mill metroidvania. Aside from the eight hour campaign, there are enough collectibles scattered throughout each island to keep players coming back, and to be honest; it’s hard to leave behind an enchanting cast of creatures.




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