Review: Elliot Quest

Brace yourself for one of the best games available on the Wii U eShop!

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 03/21/2015 11:00 4 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
Editor's Choice
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Amazing, unguided exploration; Multipurpose items; Unique leveling system; Enemies require different fighting strategies.
Poison Mushroom for...
Minor glitches and frame rate drops.

I am so sick and tired of adventure games trying to hold my hand. I’ve played games that have extensive tutorials that take way too long to finish. I’ve played games where the characters tell you exactly how to defeat a boss or explain the solution to a puzzle that I’m supposed to figure out myself. Then when a major objective is completed, these kinds of games will just tell me exactly where I’m supposed to go next.

Elliot Quest, being the exact polar opposite of this in its design, laughs in the face of those kinds of games. Upon starting, you’ll be thrown into the game’s world with no sense of direction whatsoever. No one is going to shout “Hey! Listen!” at you or tell you that “There’s a 99% chance that you will need to progress to the right in this area.” No one is going to explain to you how your character controls. Instead, you are tasked with figuring out everything there is to know about your character and the game’s world itself, which makes Elliot Quest one of the most refreshing games I’ve played in years.

Ansimuz Games, creator of Elliot Quest, chose to design the game this way because it wanted to make something that resembled Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The similarities do show, as the game features a similar overworld filled with tons of areas to explore, side-scrolling combat and platforming, and a leveling system that improves your character after obtaining a certain amount of experience from battles. The way you progress is also very similar, as you have to find and complete all major dungeons in order to beat the game. There’s an order in which you have to tackle these dungeons, but you’ll have to figure out what that order is through your own exploration.

The items and magic spells you find throughout the game are fantastic because they often have multiple uses outside of what you would expect. When you get an item, the game doesn’t really offer an explanation for how it works, so it’s up to you to figure it out yourself. For example, completing the first dungeon gives you wind magic, which turns you into a miniature tornado. My initial instinct was to use it as a weapon that sucks in enemies, but as I progressed, I found out that I could also use it to make myself invulnerable, pull out-of-reach items to solve puzzles, and jump higher in windy areas.

Figuring out the multiple ways to use an item is incredibly satisfying because the level design challenges you to think about the ways you can use your inventory differently. You’ll see a valuable item or an area that you need to get to, think about all the possible ways to progress, and then finally have that “Aha!” moment that solves the problem in front of you. Or, you’ll find that the inventory you have won’t allow you to progress, but then later find a new item that does exactly what you needed. Elliot Quest is full of moments like this, as you’ll find yourself revisiting the same places over and over again to uncover secret areas that weren’t previously accessible. Players who explore to this extent will be rewarded with heart containers and magic potion bottles that will extend their health and magic capacities, respectively. If you’re able to find hidden blue crystals scattered around the world, you can also open up secret areas that may lead to optional boss fights, which greatly extends the replay value of the game.

Collecting heart containers and magic potion bottles are the only way to strengthen your character in the traditional sense. Even though there is a leveling system, its purpose is to customize your character’s abilities instead of just making him stronger. In general, strength determines the distance your arrows travel from your bow, wisdom allows you to use more magic, agility allows you to shoot arrows faster, vitality allows for better health item drops and health regeneration, and accuracy gives the player more critical hits. This works really well because it allows you to make the kind of character that fits your play style.

Allocating your stats in a way that works best for you is incredibly important because Elliot Quest is a challenging game. Some levels are really tough because there aren’t enough checkpoints or there are enemies that are hard to defeat. However, the game never feels unfair. Every enemy has a unique battle strategy that can be learned to help you defeat them. Not every enemy is as simple as mashing the attack button, but you can easily learn what each of their weaknesses are through combat. Even the bosses, which can be massive monsters that take up a good portion of the screen, can be defeated without an issue as long as you know its weak points and attack patterns. You’ll also never find an overabundance of unavoidable attacks, so when you’re hit, you will realize that the loss of health was your fault.

If you are the type of gamer that wouldn’t mind getting lost in an open world and enjoy figuring out how to progress without any help, then Elliot Quest is the perfect game for you. Quite simply, it’s easily one of the best games that you can download on Wii U and you absolutely need to play it if you love the genre. Granted, if you think you’ll find yourself getting frustrated without guidance, then this may not be the game for you. But if that’s something that doesn’t bother you, then you’ll find that Elliot Quest offers one of the most entertaining and rewarding experiences an adventure game can offer.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

4 Responses to “Review: Elliot Quest

  • 111 points
    roykoopa64 says...

    Sounds cool! Thanks for the review, I wouldn’t have given this game much notice otherwise. This may become one of my upcoming eShop purchases.

  • 849 points
    ejamer says...

    This game has gotten positive reviews from a number of sites – it wasn’t on my radar at all, but maybe that needs to change? It at least bears investigation.

    • 180 points
      Anthony Vigna says...

      There’s a good reason for that: the game was just announced for Wii U this year and kind of came out of nowhere. Even when I wrote an editorial about my most anticipated eShop titles on the site, I was completely unaware of its existence.

      You should definitely look into some gameplay footage of Elliot Quest and see if you like it, especially if you enjoyed Zelda II.

  • 459 points
    Drew Ciccotelli says...

    I knew this looked like a winner!

    I bought it the instant it released on the eShop entirely on blind faith and its similar look and character design of Cave Story!

    A+ wow! Yeah!

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