WarriOrb (PC) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 28.08.2020

Review for WarriOrb on PC

Developed by Not Yet, based in Eastern Europe, WarriOrb, which began as a small hobby project, grew into the developer's first full release, and was also lucky enough to win two awards. Being a fairly small company, it's very exciting to see what it has in store. In other words, time to
crack those summoning knuckles and get started.

What's on offer here is a sad story about failed resurrection and its consequences. When a wizard tries to resurrect his daughter, he accidentally binds a powerful demonic soul to a toy in the room, creating the titular WarriOrb - a small ball-like being, with long gangly limbs. The story is fairly light, but it does have a varied and colourful cast that has Rareware-style "bleh, bleh" voices that are not very endearing. It has humour in its dialogue, with some rare but pretty good quips between the wizard and protagonist, which are full of sarcasm. Each level has at least one NPC to chat to, who typically has some sort of very pronounced character trait that is played for laughs creating some genuinely comic moments. When it boils down to it, the story isn't the focus, but it does its best to keep players busy, and provide them with some funny and dramatic moments.

Screenshot for WarriOrb on PC

Gameplay is advertised as being challenging, and in a way it is, but maybe not for the reasons the developer wanted. Being a ball with arms and legs, it would really have played to the characters strength to have some sort of momentum-based puzzles, but in actuality the gameplay is incredibly stiff, and lacking in momentum in general. This is a 2.5D platformer, with some unique points. Moving left and right while the level pans around feels alright, and is responsive enough. Jumping is less responsive, and can drive some frustrating moments when trying to climb over spikes or water, as the character catches on edges and loses the high in the jumps, or slips off an edge due to the slightly odd collision.

What is quite neat, and kind of drives a comparison with the 2D Metroid titles is that by holding a trigger button the protagonist can roll into a ball and bounce around, slide under traps and more - this is the unique element of the character design being well deployed as a game mechanic. Overall the traversal controls okay, but is not at the level of, say, Trine or Hollow Knight, which are both good comparisons for this particular game.

Screenshot for WarriOrb on PC

Time to mention combat, and it is here were WarriOrb started to lose the attention it had garnered. It's just sloppy to control, the character swings a sword around with little grace or quick response, leading to quite tedious combat, where something fast and flitting like in Hollow Knight would have felt better. It's simply too ham-fisted in its execution, and lacking in the method its slower speed suggests would be present. It's something that, unfortunately, raises the difficulty in a rather unsound manner. In fact, many aspects of the relatively steep difficulty are driven by an underriding unfairness in the system. Instead of having a difficulty curve it seems to rely on having a single difficulty level which actually feels bland while progressing.

Screenshot for WarriOrb on PC

The tone of this review may seem scathing but that would be disingenuous if it continued. The developers is very active, and has issued patches to try and address similar problems being experienced by players, and the team clearly put a lot of time and effort into building this title. It's oozing with charm and atmosphere, and has plenty of visual flourish highlighted by a fantastic visual style reminiscent of the Trine series.

The 25D levels are well-designed, and have an air of... "Darksoulsiness," crossed with some more whimsical elements. Muted colours of areas are punctuated with little colour flourishes, which aim to highlight intractable or collectable elements. It's genuinely quite nice to experience. Finally, the musical score that accompanies the levels is very nice as well, and does its job to build the atmosphere in each area.

Screenshot for WarriOrb on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

There is a solid game in WarriOrb, which has some well-designed elements and curious story moments. Unfortunately the experience is marred by flawed implementation or design in the core gameplay that makes this feel more frustrating than challenging. It is definitely something that will appeal to the few rather than the many, but that may mean that it's playing to strengths that this reviewer clashed with. It would certainly be very interesting to see Not Yet develop more titles in the future.

Developer

Not Yet

Publisher

Not Yet

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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