Wirewalk()↳ will give you some sort of nostalgia with its Game Boy Color visuals while still offering solid gameplay.
Genre: Action Adventure
Release date: 23 Sep, 2021
Wirewalk()↳ is an action-adventure game with similar gameplay to the dungeons in the old Zelda games. It also tries to give the same nostalgia feeling to it by presenting it with Game Boy Color-like visuals.
The visuals look similar to Game Boy Color games with their low-resolution sprites and limited colors. It tries to offer some sort of customization by letting you change one dominant color in the game through collectibles. Some designs might look weird and hard to visualize due to their low amount of pixels, but the ones that do are usually not important. However, the font that is used in the options can be hard to read – I couldn’t even differentiate between 4 and 6.
All you’ll get from the story is the premise. There is a virus in town, and people are advised to be careful with it. There is no background on who you are or what you did, but the game apparently assumes that you already know everything. The story doesn’t seem to be the main selling point of the game though, so this is understandable. Bosses and everything that leads to it has no connection or whatsoever, including the final boss fight that gives more questions than answers. I just assumed that bosses are placed randomly without any reason except to fulfill the dungeon theme at this point.
I want to say that the gameplay is similar to the old Zelda games, but it’s only partly true. The game separates itself into dungeons and non-dungeons, with the first one being similar to the game that I mentioned. The non-dungeon is simply just a very vast town that can be annoying to traverse due to its size, offering a lot of buildings that might or might not be beneficial for your next run. Your only purpose in these areas is just to either find a code that can be used to access the next dungeon, finish simple side quests, or look for optional collectibles.
The game has 3 dungeons with a different theme in it. As I said before, it is designed in the same way as dungeons in old Zelda games, offering a lot of interconnecting rooms with various purposes. Different rooms have different objectives to clear, whether it’s to finish an obstacle course, kill all enemies, or simply solve a certain puzzle with your brand-new items. Some rooms will also be locked, requiring you to fetch keys from other rooms with a certain objective.
I like how new dungeons promote the use of new items, with you having to use the said items throughout the dungeon. However, clearing the second dungeon can be problematic to people who are new to these kinds of games because it requires you to know of a certain mechanic. Some items also need to get used to because of their unique mechanic – you will not always be swinging everything that you have like a sword, and some of these items might be needed to beat bosses.
The game always introduces new enemies with a unique mechanic in each dungeon. Most of them will require your brand-new item to beat, although you need to figure out how to use them on the enemies. It’s nice to see how diverse the enemy are, including the bosses.
Bosses are slightly hard from the normal enemies with their bulky HP and varied attack, but they aren’t difficult as long as you get used to it. You’ll need to learn their attack pattern or even remember a solution of an obstacle course to land a fatal hit and defeat them.
Length and Difficulty
The game might only last for 2.8h, but the playtime is good enough for me. There are already 4 items that you need to switch out every now and then, and I’m not sure if it’ll be enjoyable to switch between more items if the game introduces more dungeons.
The game isn’t hard. It might be stingy with healing items, but you will always be teleported to the dungeon entrance whenever you die with almost everything intact. Some puzzles and secret rooms will be reset, although I found that beaten enemies will usually stay defeated.
It takes time to traverse the vast town.
Intel Core i5-9300H 2.40GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
As someone who likes to play the old Zelda games, Wirewalk()↳ scratches that itch for me. Dungeons are always unique with their different focus and the new item additions help to enhance the gameplay. It has everything that I loved from the old Zelda games except for the absence of an open-world area, which is not suited to this game due to how the worldbuilding is implemented. However, the game can be quite expensive for the playtime that it offers, so I can only recommend buying it on a sale.