Title: The Adventures of Elena Temple
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PC
Audience: E for Everyone
Release Date: Switch: 13/12/2018, Volume 3: 19/12/2018
Price: £4.49 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code.
What the Developers say
Ever miss being a child, playing games at your grandma’s or in your old bedroom? Then look no further! The Adventures of Elena Temple is the classic you never knew existed. And the best part is that you can play it on virtual old machines that kind of sort of maybe existed. It’s not like you can remember for sure anyway, right? The game is a monochromatic puzzle platformer made to look as if it were created in the 80s. Overcome obstacles, figure out how to collect all the coins, find all the gems and remember your childhood while doing it! Progress through the game’s dungeon through non-linear exploration and keep an open eye for secrets to find.
Indie games are more popular than ever these days, especially with the rise of Nindies on the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, this means that the market has become oversaturated and at times some titles fall by the wayside. The Adventures of Elena Temple, from developer GrimTalin, is one of those games you should not let slip through the cracks. If you love old-school retro gaming, then this is one adventure you’ll probably enjoy taking.
The Adventures of Elena Temple consists of jumping and shooting through over 50 levels in a semi-Metroidvania 2D platformer. There’s very little variety in the enemies, hazards, and puzzles, with the typical disappearing platforms and spikes making appearances. Each level has many gold coin collectables to be found, and while everything can appear too much the same, part of the charm is the homage to gaming of yesteryear. Despite highlighting the limitations of the time, Elena Temple does just enough to make you appreciate games that try not to reinvent the genre.
Looks and Sounds
The developer took a unique role by presenting Elena Temple as an actual game that was developed during the golden era of platformers, well before Lara Croft hit the gaming scene. It is seen as being developed and ported to a variety of mock systems and handhelds with humorous write-ups explaining how poor sales were and why the developer focused on consoles like the ‘Some Toy’ instead of Nintendo’s Game Boy. Also, there is a nice reference to Lara and Nathan Drake from Uncharted fame stating before the two there was Elena, which received a little chuckle from me.
This history is taken to the next level by letting you enjoy Elena Temple on one of the six consoles with you being able to jump between them at any time. This does not affect the gameplay and instead is purely aesthetic, but it is a pretty awesome touch to be able to enjoy the game with entirely different retro filters. The music does not change depending on what console you’re playing on, unfortunately, but the handful of chiptune music is catchy and fits the adventure well.
Gameplay and Replayability
The jumping and platforming control well with Elena having the right amount of floatiness, well-placed checkpoints to decrease frustration, and some of the collectables and secrets offer the game’s most exciting parts. While everything looks generic, and this is by no means as deep and fun as similar platformers such as Super Meat Boy and Celeste, what is here is solid.
It should be noted that Elena’s adventure is very brief with 100% completion achievable in just a few hours. However, at a price point of only £4.49 and gameplay that could feel repetitive at greater lengths, the whole package is just right in terms of content. Depending on what you’re looking for though, Elena Temple does not offer much of a challenge.
You will die many times and it is no cakewalk, but with instant respawns, no ‘Game Overs’, and fairly once dimensional stage designs, it’s safe to say that Elena Temple is not old-school in challenge. I personally enjoyed being able to explore these levels without much worry, but others might be disappointed that other difficulties couldn’t be chosen. Luckily, Elena Temple is elevated, not by its actual story because it’s you basic Tomb Raider scenario, but instead by its made up development history and presentation.
Overall, despite its simplistic graphics and even more straightforward gameplay, The Adventures of Elena Temple is a fun old-school platformer that pays excellent homage to games of the past. I never felt that it outstayed its welcome with a well developed fake development history and unique presentation. Elena Temple really does feel like an underrated gem from gaming past, warts and all.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase The Adventure of Elena Temple on the Nintendo Switch eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/The-Adventures-of-Elena-Temple-1373002.html