Nightmare Boy – Xbox One Review
“Nightmare Boy is truly something a bit different”
I always love something that`s a little bit different. Whether that`s a new AAA title that we`ve not seen around before, or if it`s an ID title (Which tends to be the most differential games you`ll find – Have a look at the ID market – I bet there is loads there that you didn’t even know about) that`s brand new to the market, I do love it. And even more so, when it`s a developers first project – and in this case, it comes from Spanish developers The Vanir Project, and the game in question, is one of Nightmare Boy. Nightmare Boy is released today on Xbox One, but is it something that`s going to be a good and enjoyable addition to the market? In my opinion, yes, I think so – It`s an enjoyable game to jump into. Carry on reading for my full Xbox One review.
Nightmare Boy is developed by The Vanir Project, and published by Badland Games and is a platformer that combines action and adventure together. It tells the story of Billy, who appears to be in a dream world as he takes fight in Donorok, a state of Noctum, which is all over the place now. The king has disappeared, and there`s a lot of disorder between the monsters, dreams and mongos that make up the state. Billy must fight through to wake up from his dream, and to escape what would be his ultimate nightmare.
From the start, something that you`ll recognize early on is the way that The Vanir Project have taken to Nightmare Boy with their graphics, and for some of the older mature gamers who will remember the days of the 90s and retro graphics, will be in for quite a nice surprise. The whole design within the game is quite fantastic, and I do love some of the backgrounds that come across in the game. It`s a nice throwback and something that I think has worked quite well and it`s quite a nice way it`s been created and crafted. Cartoons and hand-drawn designs are apparent, and I do love a game where we get to see some hand-drawn work (Which I must say not many ID games tend to do it – or more that I`ve played over the past few years – Perhaps this is something through we may see going forward in the future).
So, onto the game, and a bit similar to other platformers, you must collect items as you explore your way through the levels, and in this case, you`re going to be having a mix of collecting gems, taking our monsters and enemies (Which in hindsight will give you even more gems), defeating bosses (Which will give you access to spells that`ll help you as you travel through the game – think of an upgrade skill which I`ll go into more in a minute) and saving other children (Which normally lead to the bosses). There`s a number of children to save, before you can wake up from your dream, and some of these are going to result in some horrific bosses which can be a bit of a nightmare to try and defeat (When you come across a child that needs saving or asks you to do something – Most likely the chances are that you`ll be approaching a boss level fairly soon) and in Nightmare Boy, you`re going to find some of the bosses will take some practice to beat. I found the best way with some of them was to take out some of the environmental obstacles that will also be against you (For example, one of the bosses had two caterpillar like creatures on the wall that would fire a light beam out and if hit would knock down your health – I found it a lot easier to defeat that particular boss once they were down). Health will slowly regenerate throughout the game, and you can pick up heart like items that will increase your health all the way back to the top.
As the game goes on and the further into the game you, the more you`ll find Billy will be able to do things such as have a better health, double jump up into the air, and climb to walls. The more children you save and the more bosses you unlock, the more you`ll upgrade in terms of spells. This makes Billy stronger and will ultimately make things a bit easier for you.
Nightmare Boy is not a game that`s going to ask a lot of you in terms of the controls, and be ready to truly bash your X button in for a long time, as that`s the melee button – Which when you have a lot of enemies and monsters coming towards you, whether that`s on the ground or in the sky, be prepared to hit it a long of times, and take some breaks after periods of time (Trust me, your finger will most likely appreciate it).
Nightmare Boy is a game that I must say I`ve really enjoyed my time with so far. It`s a game that is beautifully crafted and is a good throwback in terms of its graphic fidelity to the 90s and fans of the cartoon drawing will be very appreciative of what`s on show here. The Vanir Project have done a tremendous job of offering a game that`s going to be fun, but challenging, and offer a good balance between the two. It`s a great little title to open their development with, and I`d be quite keen to see what they have got planned next. But, Nightmare Boy is worth the pick up and play if you`re a lover of the platformer games and is something a little bit different.
Developer: The Vanir Project
Publishers: Badland Games
Review code supplied by Badland Games