Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure
Developer: Spoony Bard Productions
Publisher: Spoony Bard Productions
Genre(s): Action platformer
Platform: PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch (reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X (via backward compatibility)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 30/07/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure tells the story of our titular character who embarks on a quest to find his best friend Bob who’s been missing. While this sounds pretty straightforward, our little Alfonzo decides to collect as many fishes as he can on his quest to find his missing friend. Why do you ask? Well, it’s simple fish is Bob’s favourite food. So why not gather a snack while searching for your best bud.
Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure is a simple 2D puzzle platformer where you need to collect every fish within levels in order to complete them. While this sounds pretty straightforward, some levels have a layer of complexity as collecting a specific level’s fish isn’t as simple as it should be. Some levels feature a special flying goldfish that can pick you up and help you reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
Passwords Are Back… Albeit in Limited Usage
Alfonzo can also defend himself with his short stick and can also find and equip unique suits a bit akin to the Super Mario Bros. games. Suits can be used to solve puzzles or destroy specific blocks that hinder your progress. Interestingly enough the developers implemented a password system; which allows you perks such as 99 lives or unlocking boss rush mode. And yes, the game still saves after each level.
Unfortunately, not all is where in Alfonzo’s little world. While I can understand, appreciate and applaud the effort of making a NES-like game in the 21st century, the game feels tedious and boring. Games like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mega Man 2 were classic platformers from the NES era and they still feel and play better than this fish collector. Some levels can also be puzzling and frustrating where after a few tries, you’ll just hunt down the solution online.
Oozing 8bit Style
My favourite thing about this game is definitely its presentation. Both the visuals and the soundtrack brought me back to the NES era of gaming; colourful, yet simplistic and detailed for an 8bit looking game. Obviously, if you’re looking for a game to blow you away visually, this ain’t it. While the soundtrack is chiptune inspired and will remind players of a simpler time of gaming, don’t expect it to fly to the top 10 of the best chiptune score.
While it does feel like Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure is trying to recapture what I believe was the golden era of gaming, it feels frozen in time… in the Atari era. Not even Alfonzo’s cute outfits can save the tediousness and monotony of this game. They try to salvage this game with 90 levels including branching & secrets paths, but you’ll get bored after 5 levels. Sure it’s only £4 but you would be best served putting it towards a year of Nintendo Online and get access to classic platformers that play better, and offer more variety than this. A for effort. F for execution.
Rapid Reviews Rating
1.5 out of 5
You can buy Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure for Nintendo Switch on the Nintendo eShop.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.