Two Parsecs From Earth
Developer: ABX Games Studio
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Platformer, Action
Platform: Xbox (also available on PS4, Switch and Steam)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 15/10/2020
A code was provided for review purposes
Two Parsecs From Earth has landed on Xbox and pushes itself as a simple 2D platformer. What I love about Ratalaika Games is the fact they publish some truly unique indie titles. You genuinely don’t know what to expect, and that is the beauty of choosing a game with their name branded on it. In Two Parsecs From Earth, you play as robot Z3-L1. He has had some truly terrible luck when his ship makes a crash landing on planet Dimidium. His ship smashed to absolute pieces and the contents are spread across the planet. I’m sure you’ll know where this is heading, but it is your job to locate all the missing parts and collect them. Collecting the parts is going to be the goal in order to rebuild your ship and get back to your mission at hand.
You’d think collecting a few bits would be easy, wouldn’t you? The problem is robot Z3-L1 has also incurred damage in the crash landing. To get started you’ll be required to fix your limbs and learn how to function again. During the process, you’ll also unlock access to special abilities which are the meat and potatoes of this game. You’ll be able to select up to three special abilities each time you play through Two Parsecs From Earth. These differing abilities give you eight different outcomes to your experience and also alternative routes and pathways each time.
Upgrades People Upgrades
So you may be wondering how these abilities work and how they may determine the outcome of the game. You can shrink, teleport, double jump, dash, and even pass through floors and walls. Which one you choose is totally your choice during the playthrough. Brace yourself for many frustrating deaths as any slight touch from an enemy trap will have you gritting your teeth. The reason for this is the fact that it will return you back to the start of that segment. You’ll quickly learn that sometimes you will navigate an area of the level and won’t have the correct ability to return. This became a real bugbear as you lost significant progress, leaving you scratching your head.
It is great though that Two Parsecs From Earth is a constant challenge. I liked the fact you had to keep your wits about yourself and be on the ball with how you progress through the game. Even though the juggling of abilities can be a slight annoyance, it does make for multiple playthroughs and longevity. There is a slight addictive nature in wanting to plod on and retain all the cargo and ship parts in order to repair and take off to safety.
Visually, Two Parsecs From Earth is vibrant and colourful. It verges on what I would state as cartoon style. The appearance was crisp on the Xbox Series X with no issues in the performance, not a bug in sight. The audio used here is nothing to shout from the roof about. It is what you’d expect from a typical platformer title. The sounds from the use of abilities were the highlight here. Even though there are difficult to master elements to this title, I’d absolutely say it is a casual indie game that anyone can pick up and play.
Once the first run-through is complete, (if you make it that far) you will have the option to select a New Game+ mode. This essentially is the same premise and doesn’t change a great deal, but it does chuck in some extra elements to discover and keeps the game slightly more interesting. There is a real sense of intrigue to run through the game again just to see if you missed anything. I tip my hat to developers at ABX Games Studio for introducing this to the game to extend the replayability.
Would I recommend Two Parsecs From Earth? If you enjoy casual platformers with a sense of challenge and differing outcomes then I’d say go for it. There are some frustrations with the use of abilities and how they impact the routes you can take, but this adds a sense of fun. It allows you to work things out and almost introduces a hint of puzzling into the mix. With a simple pick-up and play control system and aesthetically pleasing visuals, you could easily engage with this for minutes or hours and still have great fun. One playthrough may be enough for most, but will you return for more?
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
You can purchase Two Parsecs from Earth on the Microsoft store here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.