[Nintendo Switch] Lords of Exile Review

by EdEN, Owner

Lords of Exile from Squidbit Works, PixelHeart, and PID Games is a solid old-school-style 2D action game on Switch. Learn more in our Lords of Exile review!

Lords of Exile from Squidbit Works, PixelHeart, and PID Games is a solid old-school-style 2D action game on Nintendo Switch. It’s a game that has been inspired by the classic Castlevania trilogy on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), with a dash of Ninja Gaiden thrown in for good measure. The lands of Exilia have been overrun by deadly monsters, and it’s up to you to go on a quest for vengeance. You’ll be taking control of Gabriel on a quest for vengeance after the main bad guy kills his wife, and you’ll have to complete 8 levels of 2D action to succeed.

Lords of Exile Review - 1

Squidbit Works – a.k.a. czazuaga – took Lords of Exile to Kickstarter back in 2020, asking for €12,000 in funding for the game’s development. Once the crowdfunding campaign was over, and thanks to the support of more than 1,100 backers, the Kickstarter ended up with more than €31,000 in funding. With PixelHeart and PID Games working alongside Squidbit Works, the game has finally been released on Nintendo Switch.

It’s a more linear experience than the ones you would think of when the name Castlevania pops up. This one pays homage to the classic Castlevania experience, which means you’ll make your way through each level so that you can then take on the boss at the end. Defeat the boss, and you’ll be able to carry on with your quest. Rinse and repeat, collect some useful items, weapons, and abilities, and beat the main bad guy at the end. And credits.

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You’ll control Gabriel or Lyria with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the A button and attacking with your main weapon with the X button. Any sub-weapon you collect will be set to the Y button and will have a limit on how many times you can use it. Pressing down on the left analog stick or the D-Pad, along with the A button, will make Gabriel slide. Gabriel can also use a mighty downward thrust by jumping and then pressing down and the X button once up in the air.

During your adventure, you’ll find sub-weapons such as a fast and nimble throwing dagger, a large scythe that flies in an arc and deals considerable damage, bombs that explode a few seconds after being thrown – while dealing considerable damage – as well as a weapon that is rarer to find out in the wild. You can get a double scythe that can home onto the nearest enemy, dealing good damage in the process. At least you can buy them with your hard-earned gold – more on this in a bit.

Lords of Exile Review - Boss

When you reach a boss battle, odds are you won’t be able to beat the boss on your first try. You’ll first have to pay attention and learn a boss’ movement and attack patterns so that you can find the right time to strike. Once you beat a boss, you’ll be rewarded with an ability, which you can check by opening up your inventory by pressing the – button. The first one you’ll get is Forge I, which will increase the attack range of your sword. After that, the second boss will reward you with the Agility ability, which allows you to perform a second jump midair.

You will also gain a companion early during your journey who will help you with its mystical power. Gabriel is cursed, but he can actually use this in his favor. Once your curse gauge fills up -which you can check right below your health bar – you’ll get to summon the Katsu Shadow. While the Katsu Shadow is active, you can press and hold down the X button to send a shockwave that can destroy special walls so that you can clear a path for Gabriel. Once you gain a second Shadow, you’ll be able to quickly change between them by using the L and R buttons.

As you defeat enemies and find hidden treasures, you’ll get to collect gold coins for your cause. These can be used to bet on a slot machine if you’re feeling lucky and think you can boost your money or obtain the item you need. Another option is to use gold coins to purchase items at bonfires. These include a small potion for five coins to restore two of your lost hit points, a beating heart for 10 coins that will completely restore all of your lost health, or spending 30 coins to buy some powerful bombs! The further you progress in the game and the more you use the store, the higher the prices will be in order to balance things out.

Lords of Exile Review - 3

Lords of Exile is a solid old-school-style 2D action game on Nintendo Switch. It’s a game that mixes 8-bit visuals and a 16-bit gameplay feel with a Sega Genesis/Megadrive soundtrack for an excellent experience that you should definitely check out. Once you beat the game, you’ll unlock the additional character, Lyria, along with Boss Rush Mode and Speed Runner Mode. Lords of Exile is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price tag.

This Lors or Exile review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by PID Games.

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