This PS2-era fantasy platformer – influenced by Maximo, as well as Jak and Daxter – made the jump from PS4 to PC earlier this year, in all its shield-swinging glory.
Here, you play as warrior Galand. Once a strapping young man, the unfortunate fellow has been transformed into an elderly gent by a witch known as Melira. While Galand may now be ancient, he’s still agile. A dapper fellow, in fact. His quest is to try and reclaim his lost youth.
The graphics are beautiful and vibrant, boasting some delightfully contrasting colour schemes, and the controls are simple to learn. Rather than defeat evil with a sword, Galand takes a multi-purpose shield into battle which doubles up a hoverboard. The board is incredibly fun to control, and rather satisfying too thanks to open outside hub world being littered with ramps and boost pads.
Galand’s shield – known as ‘The Runestone’ – gains upgrades throughout the adventure. These include a 360-degree boomerang attack and an earthquake-inducing ground slam which is perfect for defeating the goblin-like enemy roster. Incidentally, this game is best played with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard. A telling sign of its console roots, perhaps.
Occasionally I found myself backtracking as there is no task list or even a map to inform of your current quest. There is, at least, a narrator which helps guide you through the levels while making some amusing quips. Some of his advice is a tad unnecessary – it’s pretty obvious a key is required to unlock the door ahead, for instance. Galand’s chest-smashing animation scenes also grow tedious, featuring a slow-mo feature resembling dreaded lag.
The enemy assortment mostly consists of ghouls ‘n ghosts which are satisfying to defeat. The boss battles should provide a break from the common enemy types, but no – there’s some recycling present, suggesting the developers were faced with limitations. Boss battles do at least feature some nice effects, which helps elevate things.
Another downside is that once you have completed a chapter, you cannot return. You’ll soon learn to explore every corner of the map and collected everything before progressing.
Despite some minor flaws, Effie is visually pleasing and both a fun and playful experience. It doesn’t outstay its welcome either, making it an easy recommendation for platform fans new and old.