Astalon: Tears of the Earth

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a game by LABS Works
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 9/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: 2D Platformer Games, Action Adventure Games, Pixel Graphics Games, Underrated Games
Astalon: Tears of the Earth
Astalon: Tears of the Earth
Astalon: Tears of the Earth

A love letter to a bygone era of action platformers, Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a challenging and unique game that will put your platforming skills to the test. Featuring a lovely 2D, Metroidvania-style visual style, the game’s anime roots will definitely appeal to Japanese animation fans, especially those familiar with the works of Ryusuke Mita.

As long as you have no problem with punishingly hard games, you’ll have a blast coursing through the game’s hundreds of challenging rooms. Let’s take a look at what makes Astalon such an interesting platformer, and how it distances itself from other games like it.

An Interconnected World

At first glance, Astalon: Tears of the Earth might look like your usual 2D platformer; that means separate stages and worlds that are different from each other. The truth, however, is that the game’s world is deeply connected, feeling more like a platforming Metroidvania.

Speaking of Metroidvanias, Astalon features three interchangeable main characters to play as: one is a warrior, another an archer, and the last one is a wizard. This mechanic resembles what we’ve seen in Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse and, most recently, in Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon. As you make your way through the Tower of Serpents, you’ll eventually come across campfires. Not only will you be able to save your game at these locations, but you can also use these moments of respite to strengthen your characters and learn more about their past.

Embrace Death

Most games have some kind of penalty for dying; Astalon isn’t like most games, however. Dying is just a part of the game, as each time your character perishes, you’ll be able to come back stronger. After your characters enter a deal with Epimetheus, the Titan of Death, they gain new abilities and powers to help you make progress. Additionally, scattered throughout the Tower of Serpents are powerful artifacts that open up new gameplay possibilities. This is a somewhat common element in many Metroidvanias, but your progress never feels stalled in Astalon.

You’ll need to collect every upgrade you can if you wish to beat the game, though. Astalon is not an easy game, and its many enemies and bosses will put your skills to the ultimate test. Each enemy has a particular weakness, meaning that choosing the right character for every segment of the map can make a crucial difference.

Retro Platformer Style

The game’s 8-bit visual style looks like it comes straight out of the NES era, with colorful sprites and surprisingly detailed characters scattered throughout. It’s also worth noting that the game has a unique anime art style that’s been designed by Ryusuke Mita, a mangaka better known for his Dragon Half series.

The Tower of Serpents is a dark and imposing place to explore, full of rooms with dark motifs and rich mythology hidden in the game’s backstory. Graphics aren’t the only thing that reminds us of NES games: the soundtrack (composed by Matt Kap) is also a blast to hear. Just keep in mind that platformers of the 8-bit era are a bit harder than we’re used to seeing these days. As such, Astalon can be recommended only to players looking for a challenge.

9

Astalon: Tears of the Earth is an impressive, retro-inspired platformer with tons of cool mechanics and a polished presentation – as long as you don’t mind challenging games.

Pros:

  • Impressive 8-bit visuals
  • Great soundtrack
  • Fascinating setting and characters
  • Solid controls

Cons:

  • Can be a bit too difficult for some players

Download Astalon: Tears of the Earth

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

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