Xeonjia: Ice Adventures
for Android

Mr Creosote:
Company: DeepDaikon
Year: 2019
Genre: Puzzle
Theme: Apocalypse / Misc. Fantasy / Fighting / Humour
Language: English
Licence: Freeware
Views: 617
Review by Mr Creosote (2024-04-06)
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Japanese action adventures played in cartoony top-down perspective continue to be a thing. A deep longing for the innocent NES days, I guess. With a whole generation of middle-aged guys pining for those times, catering to this nostalgia sure increase the chances of getting played. A hero's journey about being the chosen hero to save the otherwise doomed world at play, the game does lure its players into a feeling of being right at home. Until Xeonjia reveals its true nature.

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Which happens right when stepping into the outside game world. By virtue of being frozen to ice, the ground is extremely slippery. The only means of movement is to slide into one direction until you hit an obstacle. Then, from there, you can haul yourself into the next direction.

The core challenge, therefore, really lies in planning movement. Each screen is a little geometrical puzzle about reaching the opposite exit while ideally picking up occasional items on the way or encountering characters to talk to in specific places. Hidden bonus items or special tiles spice things up a little. Looking beyond the cover, it therefore plays very much like one of those games in which you place reflectors to direct a laser to specific positions. Just spiced up by being less abstract and feeling sort of adventurous.

Occasional tactical battles provide some variety. The nice thing about them is that this does not feel out of place at all. Why? Because no fundamentally new challenge and mechanic is introduced. Taking place on slippery world tiles like the rest of the game, the challenge lies in doing smart moves to attack enemies while not exposing oneself too much.

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Not very intricate artificial intelligence ensures that this never becomes too challenging. Anyway, as usual in modern games, endless retries are possible. At the expense of sitting through the scene's introductory dialogue again which, especially for the final confrontation, can be a bit annoying. Otherwise, the whimsical humour which certainly shows the developer doesn't take his world too seriously works well.

After having finished it once, will I play this game again? Honestly, probably not. Yet, in the few hours it took me from start to finish, I felt entertained. Having digested it in small bites here and there, while on the road or otherwise having had just quick five minutes to spare never hurt the experience. The design accounts for this sort of modern-day behaviour pattern well. A thouroughly sympathetic, unpretentious little game.

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Mr Creosote:
You're about to embark on an epic journey through several kingdoms. On a mission of no less than to save the whole world. But, you know, as the main evil henchman says at the end, himself and the hero are not that different. Yes, it's a huge bag of trite clichés. Though presented in a self-aware, ironic way. At its core, Xeonjia: Ice Adventures a humble, entertaining game.
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