The Messenger is a 2D action platformer that flawlessly switches from a 8 to a 16 bit. At the halfway point in the game, this title changes from an an action packed platformer to a expansive metroidvania style. If you are looking for a new indie game on the market, I would recommend this title.
The Messenger has easily become one of my favorites on the Switch to play. It has a pretty solid story line behind the game, clever yet humorous dialogue throughout, and also a very pristine retro-themed soundtrack to go along with it.This game takes me back, and gives me the feel like i’m back in the 90’s playing the games I loved and grew up with on the NES.
The story of the Messenger starts off with you playing the part of a nameless Ninja, who is given the responsibility by a legend, known as the western hero, who grants knowledge and protection over you while you deliver a scroll. This is the key to saving the survival of the human race from a demon army, who’s plans are to eradicate human civilization throughout the world. The human population has all been wiped out except, for a small populated area on a cliff side village, on the western area of a fallen world.
The remaining survivors, including the nameless ninja, are confined to this small village. They’re training day and night to keep the existence of the remaining human population.
The Messenger is a fast paced, sword swinging, ninja shurken throwing, wall scaling adventure. There is an immense skill tree throughout the game, which gives you the choice, in which ability you decide to choose from.
You will be able to purchase these abilities, when you save up enough Time Gem (currency) from killing your enemies throughout the game. Some examples of the abilities you can purchase are; Increase in HP due to a breastplate, ranged attack ability, and enemy drop globe, which restores Ki charge.
This is just a few examples of what to expect. If your wondering what a Ki charge is and I’m sure you are. It is the amount of ranged you have (shurkins to throw.) You originally start with three.
In this image below you can also see a chest at the entrance door. The chest can only be open by collecting power seals which are scattered and hidden throughout the game. You need to collect 45 to open the chest. I’ll let you play through and find out for yourselves what comes from the chest after collecting all the seals.
When you die, and trust me you will quite a bit. You will get the pleasure of being greeted by a sassy flying imp, named Quarble, who’s sole goal is to bring you back to life, and take some of your time gems in return. While also making remarks to you about how many times he has had to revive you and to stop sucking, basically. When revived by Quarble, you will re-spawn at the last checkpoint you made it to.
These checkpoints are spread out throughout the levels. If you spread out enough, to where it can be highly annoying if you don’t make to the next save point without dying, you’ll have to restart from the previous point. Quarble will follow you around and collect X-amount of time gems before dissapearing from hanging over your shoulder.
The combat throughout the game is fluent and feels natural. The controls start off simple but can become challenging after unlocking a few abilities, that require precise double button pressing, mixed with well a timed reaction to successfully stay alive and kill your enemy. Each distinct area presents more challenging enemies and obstacles. While also keeping enemies from previous areas still imprinted on the areas.
The boss battles each have their own personality and challenge. The difficulty ranges for each boss. It can be challenging and frustrating, dying regularly, while facing them and feel somewhat impossible at times. You will eventually figure out their movement pattern and be able to have your own strategy in place. It’s fairly easy to take them down at that point. The image I’m sharing, below, is a boss I struggled with, not too far into the game, after having an easy time with the first couple bosses.
I thoroughly enjoyed this title and a shoutout to the Developer Sabotage. For producing such a fun packed platformer, with extensive replay value, and hours of content. I have not been sucked into a platformer so immensely, since back in my NES and SNES days. It was truly enjoyable to get to relive the reason I fell into the video game world in the first place.
Right now you can snag this title up on the Eshop for only $20 and for all it offers in the game play and hours on content, I would highly recommend making the purchase. I am fully aware the Eshop is packed with tons of games like this, and the Indie world is taking over the Eshop. But if your looking for something to play at this point in time, this game is on top of my list. This title is also currently listed as top ten on Eshops best seller list.