Itorah will transport you to a beautiful mysterious world.
Developed by Grimbart Tales and published by Assemble Entertainment, Itorah is a must have game. Especially if you are a fan of side scrolling platformers. This 2.5D has a cute plot, great music, but more importantly stunning visuals that will leave you in awe as you make your way through levels.
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Itorah follows the last known human as she tries to figure out answers. Where is she? Where are other people like her? What is going on in the world of Nahucan? As soon as her adventure starts she meets her companion, a snarky ax named Koda. As well as an adventurer named Ahui. Together they will travel across the forests and through ruins until they have all the answers.
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The plot is told in small scenes between levels. While it might at times seem rather simple at the start, Itorah tells the story of a tragic, bittersweet saga of sacrifice and loss. But it also isn’t too heavy, because the creators found a great balance between characters’ personalities and the story as a whole. Koda and Ahui bring a lot of the excitement into the plot through one liners that tend to be more sassy and light hearted.
For example when the three first sit down to exchange names, the idea that humans have not been around for a long period of time is made very clear. But it’s the way that Ahui makes a sarcastic comment regarding how the main characters won’t be confused with others that leaves you softly laughing.
What really makes this game a keeper is the visual components. To say this game is beautiful, almost feels like a disservice. The artwork is hand drawn and extremely detailed. As well as the color combinations make the world pop. Every new level just adds more to be amazed by. It truly is mesmerizing to the point it’s easy to forget exactly the purpose of the game and just enjoy the scenery.
Another element that added on to the beauty were small cutscenes of elevator systems, entering new areas, and of course intros of bosses. This game stands out for many reasons, but one major one is the artistic elements that connect it to ancient Mesoamerican themes. It’s clear how much Itorah is inspired by these themes and it is incorporated throughout the whole game from coloring, characters, and plot.
The music also played a huge role in setting the mood and atmosphere of the game. Tempo would increase in certain areas as the plot would thicken or levels would get harder. At the same time never overpowering the game. As someone who usually is not one to splurge and get the soundtrack, it has been on repeat while working around the house.
One of the great things about this game is that it works for a variety of players. This game is great for people who want to do speed runs and be competitive, while also great for players that want to just enjoy a more relaxed playthrough. It can even be said this game would be great for people who don’t play a lot of games but are looking to try something new.
This is very evident in the intro level that sets up the basic controls. Players aren’t overwhelmed with having to remember everything off the back, as well are given a little breathing room before enemies start appearing. Layered into the game are more abilities that will be unlocked like healing, wall jumping, and smashing through or down on barriers. Which only adds on to the excitement of players to keep wanting to play through the game, even if faced with a hard boss.
Sometimes with side-scrollers the game can get old because the levels are too similar or the level of skill needed isn’t increasing. With Itorah, every new stage increases the level and skill needed, including the bosses. Starting off with The Violet Knight is a lot easier compared to facing the monster in the ruins. As well as each boss has a bit of a learning curve to them that keeps players on their toes.
But while the bosses might be hard at times, requiring a few retries, it isn’t too hard to the point of wanting to quit. This is really due to the plot and overall imagery. Players will want to find a way to beat the bosses because the desire to unlock the mystery of the story is just too strong to ignore. Which in the end gives a prime example of why Itorah shines as a well balanced game.
Itorah is available now on Steam and GOG. You can also find it discounted in celebration of Assemble Entertainment’s annual Publisher Sale, which we highly recommend checking out. If this game sounds interesting to you, but if you still aren’t sure, check out the trailer below.
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