A classic tale retold in pretty much the best way possible.
The Journey to the West is one of most adapted stories when it comes to modern media. There are books and games in droves about the subject, so what would Unruly Heroes have to add the subject matter? Quite a lot actually, considering it made it to the Indie Highlights booth at Gamescom 2018. While that might sound a little cynical, the fact of the matter is that Unruly Heroes is very well made game. In the packed realm of 2D platformers, it is really hard to stand out, but the game did make me a believer at the end of it.
Like I mentioned at the top, Unruly Heroes is based on The Journey to the West and it takes that concept in a new direction. You will be able to play as four different characters, each with their own skills and abilities. The demo starts initially with Wukong, who is the fearless monkey of the crew. He can use his stick to strike enemies, change into an eagle for his special attacks and move elegantly to the air. What only he can do, however, is place his stick at special spots and create a bridge in the process. It will help to cross mighty gaps or endless rows of spikes.
In single-player, if the character passes out or you press a specific button, you will instantly change into the next hero. As you are playing alone, you will be forced to do so when the puzzles require it. Sandmonk (the brute) is only capable of destroying certain walls, Sanzang (the sage) can throw energy orbs to reach switches and Kihong (the pig) can float up into the air. This is all combined with sharp and precise platforming that forces you to stay on your feet. You will do a lot of jumping and wall hanging to get certain spots just right. Personally, I found myself using Sanzang the most. The float the character is similar to that of Princess Peach which ensures that you can make the right call.
After playing Unruly Heroes for a while, I really started to enjoy the gameplay’s feel. The fancy attacks that the characters can perform are quite fun, which makes slashing enemies an absolute blast. When you aren't attacking foes, you are platforming or puzzling. The task at hand really changes a lot, which made the couple levels in the demo really varied and entertaining. I was bummed when it was all over, and I wanted to see where the story would go. It takes a more free approach to the story, all the while providing a beautiful world to get through. Seriously, the style was incredibly well done with plenty of detail found in the various backgrounds.
Outside of a regular solo adventure, Unruly Heroes can be played with up to four players. In a special world, called the Underworld, you will be playing as children versions of the main characters. You will be using special spirit power to shoot at everything that moves and cling yourself to various objects. It creates a more equal playing field, forcing you to really communicate at very step. I really laughed my behind off as we went through the level showcased. The game also offers Player versus Player mode, where the four characters duke it locally or online. I didn't get a chance to try this myself but it certainly looks very neat. You will constantly grab each other, use new specials and so much more nonsense. Unruly Heroes really seems to have it all.
Unruly Heroes left me super impressed and happy. It takes the original Chinese lore and does something incredibly creative with it. The four different characters are varied and the gameplay itself is incredibly entertaining. There is a constant fluid motion that pushes you through the game.You use the best pieces of every character and string them together for that one run that can rule them all. Unruly Heroes will release before 2018 comes to a close.