100% A Banger
After Knight Shift first revealed their game at PAX South in 2018, Elsie was given new life in the midst of the pandemic era when picked up for publishing by Platonic Friends and YouTube games master, Jirard the Completionist, the latter in his first venture publishing a game.
At the booth for PAX East 2023, Jirard met with fans and showed people the game, notating to InBetweenDrafts staff on the topic of publishing that he thinks a lot of creators like himself will begin similar efforts in publishing in great numbers over the next year, using their platform to share and elevate games with their audience.
Making The Old Feel New Again
Elsie looks and feels and sounds a lot like a classic Mega Man title and it wears that influence on its sleeves. Those aspects not only come through character design, weapon and enemies and soundtracks, but especially in how it moves and feels to control. While the game has come along in such a way that its art direction and sound design can draw in many searching for nostalgia, it thrives on its genre combination gameplay.
Elsie plays quick, and while it may be tempting to play like you’ve picked up a new Mega Man X sequel with the sliding and wall jumping, this android has so much more power packed in her punches. Firstly is the counter system, which allows for perfect parries that are super satisfying to hit, and if you want to survive these procedural generated levels, you’ll need to master it.
When you do, you’ll gain cash as you traverse, which you can spend on boons, upgrades, stat boosts and more. By the end of the demo, my mind clicked fully into rogue-like mode as though I was back in the saddle with Supergiant’s Hades once again, spending my time at rest areas to deliberate whether I needed more health, more SP, or to simply rest. The upgrade system prompts you to flip around for several minutes to figure out what stat boosts could work for a current build, and even if I die, the game feels so good to control I just want to dive back in.
Elise is easy to pick up and play, and I see Elsie having a massive variety, especially if you want to replay the levels out of order to give yourself that challenge to really push yourself. Elsie is due out in 2023 and will release on both Steam and Nintendo Switch, but you can play the demo on PC right now!