Astalon: Tears of the Earth
Top Critic Average
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a great reminder of what small developers can achieve with simple graphics and simpler controls. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who craves some old-fashioned platforming action and isn’t afraid to die a lot. Just remember to turn off the flashing lights and screen shake if you’re sensitive to that.
An amazing game only dragged down a bit by luck or prior knowledge being required to make it through side areas earlier, plus the most unnecessary bit of artificial difficulty I've seen in recent years. It's called the Ruins of Trash and I just wanted to say that one more time. I'd write that on a brick and throw it through a window if I could.
With a great variety of environments, simple gameplay, and a strong line-up of enemies, Astalon: Tears of the Earth turns out to be one of the more successful action platformers we’ve seen in recent months. It will likely only last a handful of hours, but there’s a lot here to love, and it's a relative no-brainer if you’re a fan of high fantasy Metroidvanias.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth may be yet another in a long line of retro 2D action/platformers available for the Nintendo Switch, but it deserves to be moved towards the front of that line. Fans of the genre will find plenty to like here, so long as they're willing to accept backtracking as a core gameplay element.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a tough, but fair NES-inspired Metroidvania that tests your mettle and makes it worthwhile.
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a very, very simple mix of metroidvania-like exploration, and rogue-lite challenge, but a simple mix that works wonders. You'll die a lot, but you'll keep on returning just to get a little further on the journey towards the top of this treacherous spire, and learn of its secrets, with your skill and perseverance being your main tools. Don't miss out on this modern-yet-retro indie gem. 'Conglaturation!!!' LABS Works!
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a great looking rogue-like Metroidvania game with a good story. It is incredibly challenging and can get very frustrating with the amount of backtracking, collision detection issues and lack of direction of what you need to do to progress.
Astalon inserts itself into an ever-more-crowded genre that starts with "M" and ends with "vania," but it absolutely nails the joy of discovery and the satisfaction of progression, both through noticeable character improvement and the acquisition of unique items and powers. Underneath the solid gameplay lies an interesting story and premise, with neither trying to steal the spotlight from the action and exploration. A not-imposing set of achievements and unlockables, in addition to map and items found percentages push the longevity score even higher, and ultimately I just had an incredibly tough time putting this one down. Anyone who loved whipping through games like Bloodstained, Axiom Verge, and similar indies should do themselves a favor and delve into the amazing adventure that is Astalon.
To sum it all up, Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a wonderful example of what “modern retro” really means. It captures the look and feel of classic 8-bit games while bringing the gameplay bang up to date with lessons learned from some of the very best titles of the last 30 years. If you’re a fan of open-structure, exploration-centric platformers, this should be high on your shopping list.
Astalon: Tears Of The Earth feels like a long-lost NES game that gamers would still be playing 3 decades after its initial release.