Title: Elliot Quest
Platform: Steam, Windows, Linux, OSX, Wii U, OUYA, Fire TV

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Action RPG
Players: Single player

Written by Bad Demoman 21st January 2015

Out of all the Legend of Zelda games, Legend of Zelda II may be the most divisive. Some hate it because it's so very different from the other Legend of Zelda game. So needless to say, there's been loads of indie games that draw inspiration from the more conventional, top down games in the Zelda series. Link to the Past must have spawned hundreds, possibly thousands of indie games by now. However, Elliot Quest is the first I've seen to be inspired by Legend of Zelda II making it a bit of an oddity, slotting in between the Zelda inspired games and the Metroidvanias.

Now from a game with a name like Elliot Quest, and going by the pleasant, vibrant 8-bit style graphics, I fully expected a fairly light-hearted adventure. Not very far in to the game, we find the protagonist deliberating over his missing wife and attempting to commit suicide, only to discover he can't die. He has been inflicted with a curse that renders him undying (I happen to love when games explain game mechanics, such as respawning, in the story!). Seems like not such a bad curse, except that it is slowly turning Elliot into a demonic creature known as a Satar. So needless to say, not quite what I was expecting. Throughout your adventure, Elliot's thoughts will appear onscreen to get some insight into his feelings in the current situation, or a little bit of back story. He wonders why bad things are happening to him, or is reminded of previous events in his life by certain locations. It goes a long way towards humanizing Elliot and making him a convincingly tragic character.

As a result of the inspiration from Legend of Zelda II (although various aspects of the game also seem familiar to other NES classics), Elliot Quest really absorbs itself into the conventions of NES-era gaming. Combat is very simple – You start with a bow as your main weapon. It has a falling arc, which can be utilized to attack enemies safely. The bow sometimes feels a little unimpactful, especially against some of the stronger enemies. With his bow and his striking resemblance to Pit, Elliot reminds me a bit of Kid Icarus. Also available are various magic spells which can be used for both fighting your foes and solving puzzles dotted about dungeons. My favourite is actually the first one you get, the Tornado. This turns Elliot into an invincible cyclone of doom for your enemies, stunning most enemies and killing some. These spells are pretty fun to use, but much like the Legend of Zelda series the puzzles are far from complex. Elliot Quest has a fairly basic levelling up system, where any enemy killed gives you EXP but dying will remove some of it. Levelling up gives you one skill point to upgrade an aspect of your abilities. The upgrades available are fairly small boosts, such as increasing your range or fire rate. It can be a little bit frustrating to lose EXP from your deaths, but nowhere near enough to be a real grievance. Unfortunately, with this heavy emphasis on NES conventions, some bad aspects come with it. There's no explanation for controls or mechanics, which I'm sure some people will like. I found it annoying how items never had any explanation for their use. For some key items, you'll simply be told its ''stored at home''. If you're unfortunate enough to have used a health potion while at full health, just to work out what it does, you may be puzzled that it hasn't done anything.  This most frustrated me when using shops, where walking into any item will instantly buy it rather than having to press a button. Even here, no explanation for the items use will be given.

A large bulk of the game will be spent traversing areas in between dungeons, and exploring the dungeons themselves. The dungeons follow a fairly standard format of being based around various different elements, such as fire and wind. The dungeon designs can be fairly interesting, but the games approach to difficulty results in checkpoints sometimes being very few and far between. Call me bad at video games all you want, I simply did not find it fun to retrace my steps especially considering that drops for health seemed exceedingly uncommon. I found there were often areas in the dungeon that were either impossible or very difficult to get out of, like points of no return. Dungeon design like this makes any interest significantly reduced. Since you receive the item of the dungeons by beating the boss, rather than somewhere in the middle as Legend of Zelda games usually do, means that puzzles and boss fights don't get to make use of the item. Perhaps I'm just a bit too used to the standards of Zelda, but it bothered me a little that the game didn't make much use of thematic puzzles.

My main issue with Elliot Quest is that it doesn't really do anything new. The uncommon inspiration from Legend of Zelda II might have mattered more if we hadn't seen far too many Metroidvanias in recent years. This doesn't prevent it from being fun by any means. Elliot Quest is definitely a solid game that I would heartily recommend to fans of old school games and Metroidvanias. And if you're one of the few that loves Legend of Zelda II – you owe it to yourself to at least try this one out


Simple and fun mechanics

Surprisingly tragic story

Fitting and vibrant retro graphics


Little explanation for items and where to go

Does very little new

Some annoying elements of dungeon design

Final Verdict,

Ellito Quest gets a 7/10.

Written by,
Bad Demoman

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