In Effie, when Galand is cursed with old age after lazily refusing to help a witch in disguise, he sets out to get the spell reversed. However, he can only do this by defeating the evil witch and proving that he’s pure of heart.
This fantasy 3D action-adventure game has everything you’d expect from the genre: platforming, puzzles, and combat. It’s clearly inspired by games like Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Spyro, and Crash Bandicoot, but does it come anywhere near these legendary franchises?
Light-hearted humour and aesthetics to match
While Effie isn’t going to win any Oscars for its story, its narrative is clear enough to give your character enough purpose to venture through some magnificent landscapes, hop over platforms, and beat the living daylights out of the enemies that he encounters.
The game’s narrator, who’s telling the story back to a young girl, has the opportunity make the same kind of knowing jokes that Bastion did throughout. I really like the game’s aesthetic and humour and the cartoonish proportions make it clear that this isn’t a game that’s taking itself too seriously.
I really loved the game’s cutscenes and it’s clear that a lot of thought and care was put into planning them out. The game was made by a small team that probably didn’t have the time or resources to create bespoke animations for every cutscene, but their clever use of cinematography does a lot of the heavy-lifting during these scenes and it’s some of the best I’ve seen from an indie game.
Sadly, the camera during gameplay isn’t anywhere near as good as it is in the cutscenes. Cameras in 3D platformers and action games have always been a pain and the one in Effie doesn’t work very well on its own. Let’s just say that you’ll spend a lot of time with your thumb on the right stick.
The combat is really easy to pick up as it’s rather simple. It’s not as refined as it would be in similar AAA games but the game is forgiving enough to make up for its shortcomings and wont punish the player. You’ll very quickly take the combat system as far as it goes and more advanced players might be left wishing there was a little something more for them to sink their teeth into.
Effie is the kind of game that you’ll probably enjoy if you like 3D action platformers and want to play something relaxing as it’s not particularly challenging. The combat involves quite a bit of button mashing and if you’re happy to do that for a few hours, you’ll have a good time.
The price might be a little steep for how short it is, but Inverge Studios are clearly a talented bunch and worth supporting if you’re a fan of indie games and the genre.