Bombservice makes the next logical step, and builds on their previous action games well.
Despite what some told me about Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight, I thought it was of the most smooth and fun action games that I’ve played in recent memory. When it finally came out on the Switch, I played the title two times in a single week. The first time was to enjoy the experience, while the second venture was to simply nail everything. When I heard that a spiritual sequel was in the works, I became real pumped for the improvements they could potentially make. What I didn't expect, however, is how much of a departure it would be from Momodora. Minoria not only plays smoother in some areas, they made a myriad of improvements that took my breath away.
If you’ve never played any of Bombservice's games, they are side scrolling action games with a focus on exploration. While the player can go on a straight path and get through the game as quickly as possible, you will have a better experience if you go off the beaten path. There are collectibles to find, new powers to gain and more interactions to be had. Some might call the titles straight up Metroidvanias, but there is a lot more world building in Bombserivce's efforts. Minoria is their biggest step in that direction to date, and it really shows how much they have evolved as a studio.
Minoria sees you controlling Sister Semilla as she tries to get rid of a distinct evil. The land is getting overrun by witches, and it is up to her and assistant Sister Fran to see justice served. Along the way, you will have to deal with the witches' followers and their magic. Massive bosses await you to bookend parts of the journey, shady characters will step in your way and deadly obstacles are showing no mercy. Minoria's world is filled with unique sections that you have to overcome and learn from. Unlike Momodora, the demo for Minoria had very little downtime and every screen had something good going on.
Sister Semilla's greatest asset are the moves that she can pull off. While Momodora already had a solid selection of options, Minoria ramps all of that up greatly. For starters, there is more focus on patience and then striking back. Semilla uses a combination of spells and swordplay to allow for a bit more distance. The spells in particular will go for those foes and allow for safety measures on a whim. Usually though, I kept it mostly to sword strikes, together with the defensive options. You can parry and dodge roll, allowing you to quickly get out of harm's way. Roll and strike became my way to play, though it doesn't help in every given situation.
The thing that impressed me the most about Minoria is the presentation. Bombservice has always been a fan of sprites, but they decided to step away from those. Instead, they opted for cell-shaded characters and 2D hand-painted backgrounds. The character models in particular are absolutely stunning with smoother movement than ever before. The impact between you and your opponents is very much greater and proved much more fun to watch. The new look allowed the developers to go with a very medieval European look that I honestly really love. Add a very moody soundtrack on top of that, and you got a game I will devour on my Nintendo Switch.
Minoria is set up to become Bombservice's biggest title to date. With a sharp presentation and smoother combat, they are elevating the type of action game they make. A lot of positive aspects of their previous games are still present, but they are taking a huge leap in the ways they lacked previously. If the game can hold up outside of my vertical slice, that remains to be seen. That being said, I walked away with warm feelings inside.