From developers Mad Gear Games comes A Hole New World. Enter the Potion Master, saviour of the city. As you undergo the role of hero with only your fairy, Fay, and your potions to help you, can you save the city from an undesirable fate?
With a backstory given to you when you first start the game, you are thrown straight into the 8-bit world of chaos. There is no tutorial, so you are left stranded with Inverted World monsters coming at you left, right and centre. The layout of the map is set so that if you fall down a hole in the ground, you will go into the Inverted World, hence the Inverted World monsters. All this means is that your screen will flip upside down, and your character will be in another dimension. The lack of a tutorial doesn’t prove to be a problem, because the controls are relatively easy to pick up.
The game layout is similar to a Super Mario Bros. game, where you have a world to overcome, and then a boss battle at the end of it. Each stage is vaguely similar to the Nintendo game, in regards to the holes in the ground, the enemies lurking about, obstacles to overcome and collectibles throughout the mission.
This title’s graphics are that of a 2D side-scrolling game, with the Potion Master the focus of the screen. It also has parallax scrolling, which adds depth to the game, allowing it to seem more open. In certain areas of the game, you cannot return from where you just came. However, there are certain areas that will let you go back on yourself. This layout brings the player in more, and draws them into the sense that there is more to the virtual world of the Potion Master than the first inset. The whole game is drawn in pixel art, using 48 colours, plus 6 greys palette of the NES. The resolution is about the same as the NES but has been adapted into a widescreen ratio.
The ‘norm’ with games such as these are that there is multiple modes, and boss stages. However, it is lacking any variation of difficulty so what you see is what you get. There is no easy route out of your missions, so you have to fight your way through all of your battles; blood, sweat, and tears. After each boss battle, you pick up a new potion, which can be used in figuring out puzzles and destroying certain doorways or entryways. You originally start off with one potion as your weapon, which is rather basic, but you will be rewarded with more potions when you defeat a boss at the end of each stage. For example, when you defeat the first boss, you are rewarded with a lightening potion.
Health depletes if you get hit by an enemy, but can be regenerated if you pick up food, which is portrayed by a chicken leg. If you lose all of your health, Fay will be summoned to reincarnate you, in which you will spawn at the last checkpoint, should all of your lives have gone. Your score through the game is determined by how many enemies you kill, and whether or not you pick up any of the little blue gems that are scattered around the map. Each gem that you pick up is worth 1000 points, while each enemy you kill gives you 50 points. The game consists of Story Mode which has five different worlds, Story Mode +, Challenge Mode, End Boss Mode and multiple endings. Over the whole game, there are 30 different types of enemies to decimate, 7 boss battles and lots of secret characters to discover.
The game is reminiscent of an arcade game, similar to Nintendo Entertainment System-style games, and is guaranteed to take anybody back to the days of playing PacMan or such. With music to match the graphics, the 8-bit game is a perfect way to unwind on a stressful day.
A Hole New World is available from the Store at a price of £7.99 .
A Hole New World brings back memories of 8-bit gaming with it’s funky chip-tunes to accompany it. It’s difficulty will challenge players but is let down by the overwhelming amount of Inverted monsters on the screen at any one time.