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Greak: Memories of Azur Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Fast Facts

Greak: Memories of Azur
Developer: Navegante Entertainment
Publisher: Team 17
Genre(s): 2D Platformer, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC, Xbox and Playstation)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 17/08/2021
Price: £15.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Let me start this review by saying how much I love hand-drawn animations. I play and enjoy a wide range of games, but visually, there is always something about the hand-drawn titles that catch my eye.

It was that fact, and that fact alone that led me to pick up a copy of Greak: Memories of Azur. I knew nothing going into the game, and in many ways, I prefer it that way. Going into a title with no preconceptions always gives a game the capacity to surprise.

A Simple but Enduring Story

Base camp in Greak: Memories of Azur
I loved spending time at base camp

Without giving too much of the story away, you play as Greak, a small little fellow whose homeland is under attack from a range of rather nasty creatures. Separated from your two siblings, the name of the game is to find your family, and along the way, find parts of a damaged airship that will eventually transport you all to safety.

There is nothing special or fancy about this story. It is, for lack of a better word, a classic tale. Greak also proves that you do not need to go too in-depth with your story to create a good game. This is coming from someone who loves story and lore-rich games.

Another Side Scrolling 2D Platformer?

Setting the scene for your adventure in Greak: Memories of Azur
You connect Part A to Section J with connectors P, I and C

I really enjoyed my time playing Greak. The world was detail-rich and as I already mentioned, the animations were just gorgeous to look at. There was such detail carved into things, I loved just wandering around exploring everything there was to explore.

As already mentioned, there is a clear pathway through the story. However, there are multiple side quests you can pick up along the way. These are given to you by the different members of your central hub. This is a traditional hub area, where you can upgrade items and talk to a range of NPCs.

I found the NPCs to be just as detail-rich as the world around them. Their dialogue and mannerisms were well thought out.

That said, however, Greak does flirt with the 2D platformer doldrums. Yes, it’s gorgeous, but looks alone are not enough to guarantee longevity in the hearts and minds of gamers. To be honest, while Greak was fun, there was not anything special to it that is likely to make it retain any hold on gamers.

I enjoyed my time playing it, but now that it is done, I have no burning desire to return for another playthrough.

2D platformers are a dime a dozen on the Nintendo Switch, and while Greak: Memories of Azur is in the upper levels of the peloton, it does not have enough to make it a genre leader.

Platforming and Puzzle Solving

Quest book for Greak Memories of Azur
What is your name? What is your quest?

When you start playing a game like Greak, you know pretty swiftly what you are in for. There is combat, there is platforming and there are puzzles. The combat is enjoyable but feels a bit light. I felt it hovered somewhere between button bashing and technique. Just as I started to believe it was one, the other reared its head and left me confused.

The platforming was entertaining, and the innate double jump ability was nice, but having played the Trine games I felt maybe more could have been done with the different character mechanics.

The key thing in this game for me was the puzzles. They were fun and interesting. A few of them had me stumped, not because they were unsolvable, but it was a matter of getting the right angle on things, and putting a little bit of thought into it all.

The puzzles and the cuteness of the graphics are certainly the two elements that bring this game to the perch it currently rests on. A few changes and it could have been a memorable offering.

Decent Controls with Occasional Sluggishness

The controls in Greak: Memories of Azur were decent. The characters had a rapid and fluid movement. However, the combat could occasionally feel sluggish. This is not to say there was any lag or input delay, but merely that the movements felt sluggish and betrayed the general movement speed of the character(s).

It is only a minor complaint but when it hits such a key part of the story, it does begin to grind on you by the time you see the credits roll.

Lack of Co-Op Play Options Seems Strange

Cooking is always fun even in war ravaged Azur
Every game needs recipes and cookery classes

Despite being a game that sees you independently control multiple characters in order to solve puzzles progress through the story, there is no co-op play allowed.

It almost feels as if this is one of those things that was missed because it was so obvious. The game is perfectly set for at the very least a couch co-op experience. However, no, it is a single-player game.

Personally, I’m not a big co-op gamer. However, I can see how Greak has to go down as a missed opportunity.

Final Thoughts on Greak: Memories of Azur

I really enjoyed my time playing Greak: Memories of Azur. It is a detail-rich game that has a lot to offer. I will freely admit I spent a little too long searching for ingredients and trying different combinations to unlock recipes.

There is a lot to like in this game. For those that love the 2D platformer genre, then this is certainly a game that is worth a try. It might not be a game that lives long in the memory, but it is an enjoyable title while it is being played. Ultimately, you can’t really ask for more than that.

Rapid Reviews Rating

3.5 out of 5

You can buy your copy of Greak: Memories of Azur from the Nintendo eShop today.

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