Pacing is a far more important consideration than most people give it credit for. Good pacing can reinforce a gameplay loop and make it truly addictive, whereas bad pacing tends to result in sections that are such a slog that many players stop playing and never continue. Cathedral is a game that doesn’t just embrace bad pacing—it builds a temple to it and worships at its altar.
Cathedral is a well-made and enjoyable action-platformer that's sure to please fans of the genre, as it showcases lots of strong level design, tough difficulty, and plenty of rewarding secrets. Even so, there's a sense that something is missing here to take the experience a step higher, as it's the epitome of 'just' another entry in an already crowded genre. All the same, we'd give Cathedral a recommendation to anybody who enjoyed Shovel Knight (or its many imitators) and is looking for something to hit that same appeal. Cathedral very likely won't be your favourite action-platformer, but it's got more than enough going for it to be worth your time and money.
If you've ever enjoyed a Metroidvania before, then you'll probably enjoy Cathedral. The fewer of the genre that you've played the better, however, as the lack of original creativity will wash over you easier with less experience and fewer points of comparison among Cathedral's peers. Otherwise, it's a perfectly competent example of the genre. It's just a pity that the Metroidvania genre, in particular, is so over-saturated that we just didn't need more of it.
Cathedral’s adventure is certainly an enjoyable one thanks to its solid level design and fun boss battles, but it is lacking in the innovation required to really help it stand out. The Nintendo Switch library is packed to the brim with Metroidvania-style adventures after all, and honestly, it doesn’t really offer anything that would make you want to choose to play it over the multitude of other titles available. Fortunately, Cathedral does offer enough quality across almost all facets of its design that it still manages to stand out as a worthwhile release in the genre. Sure, it might not do anything you wouldn’t have seen before and it does have a few flaws here and there, but the solid level design, the expansive world, and the fun boss battles ensures that it offers more than enough to pique the interest of Metroidvania-loving gamers.
As a simple and intuitive retro-style Metroidvania, Cathedral does a great job of presenting an enjoyable game world to explore.
Sometimes, due to overlong dungeons or unduly difficult encounters, it can be too much of a good thing, but more often than not it hits the mark.
A fantastic if not predictable game, a challenge for those that seek it
Cathedral is a pretty good Metroidvania-style game that can be difficult at times, though that tends to come with the genre. That said though, the game looks great and for fifteen dollars, I'd say its definitely worth picking up. As for me, I'll definitely be taking another trip through the game down the road.
Cathedral is a fine Metroid-like in terms of level design, but I just can't shake the feeling that it doesn't hit the balance between exploration and combat-the latter so often gets in the way of simply enjoying the former. If you're a big fan of the genre and are itching for a fresh take, Cathedral is a fine choice that, for the most part, gets it right. Just expect to get tired of fighting your way through every room.
In the end, I have very mixed feelings about Cathedral. I appreciate the style and concept, and even find the game fun a lot of the time. But all that is put at risk by questionable design and unbalanced difficulty. If you’re not afraid of a little pain, you’ll likely have a lot of fun. Those that are adverse to annoyance will need to decide if this game is worth the price of admission. That said, I do hope that developer Decemberborn AB is able to use my critiques to make a more balanced Metroidvania in the future. Because rough spots aside, there’s a lot that I enjoyed here.
It’s still fun to find hidden upgrades and access new areas, especially out of order, and overall this remains an enjoyable experience I aim to 100% someday in my free time, but if you were hoping for something as charming or well-crafted as the Alwa games, I’m sad to say you won’t get that here, but rather a simple and fun metroidvania that’s just a bit rough around the edges, yet still very enjoyable for fans of the genre.
Even though Cathedral may not be the most original, it is undoubtedly an example of a game that understands the genre well. Fans looking for a straightforward and challenging experience will absolutely love what Cathedral has to offer, whereas those who are looking for something more unique may not find what they want. Whether you enjoy the tried-and-true nostalgic experience or not, Cathedral’s non-linear world is filled with hidden areas, shortcuts, and treasure chests that will give players hours of happy exploration.
After years of being spoiled by so many stylish and creative takes on the genre, Cathedral has very little about it to stand out. Cathedral‘s lack of style or personality does not leave a lasting impact despite its rock solid foundation.
A pure metroidvania which doesn't get bogged down with superfluous mechanics, instead choosing to explore and push every facet of gameplay to its limit.
Cathedral is a side-scrolling platformer. It is a Metroidvania, meaning there are several collectibles to collect throughout an expansive world. As the protagonist, a nameless knight, travel through snowy mountains, undersea caverns, and abandoned mines with a mission to demolish a demi-god named Ardur.
Cathedral is a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. It was a lot of fun solving the puzzles and finding my way around the cathedral and surrounding areas.
By being simple in many ways, such as aesthetics and gameplay, Cathedral plays it safe and focuses on offering expansive and varied content. In that sense, the title is successful, proving to be an intense and fun exploration adventure, although highly difficult. As much as you have faced similar games lately, a visit to this mysterious and robust world is recommended, even if it is far from introducing innovations to the metroidvania genre.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
If you are itching for a challenging retro-inspired metroidvania that is backed by competent design, then open the doors to Cathedral!
Cathedral's real sin is that there's not much to make it distinct from other Metroidvanias on the system. It nails the retro look and the need for exploration. The lack of handholding is refreshing, and the combat is rather good, especially for the boss fights. It doesn't have anything else to pull in players, aside from the fact that the world you traverse is absolutely huge. If you're a genre fan who wants something new yet familiar to work with, Cathedral is the right game.
Cathedral is a hell of a challenge, but if you're up for taking it on you'll find a lot to love in this old school Metroidvania.