[Nintendo Switch] Saviorless Review

by EdEN, Owner

Saviorless from Dear Villagers and Empty Head Games is a dark fantasy action-platformer with hand-drawn art. Learn more in our Saviorless review!

Saviorless from Dear Villagers and Empty Head Games is a dark fantasy action-platformer with hand-drawn art. It presents to us a grim story of a boy named Antar, as told by Narrator Tobias, who is joined by Narrator Arimbo and Narrator Len. Antar is on a quest to reach the land known as the Smiling Islands, a distant location that has long been forgotten. But, as the aforementioned individuals say, it’s up to a good Narrator to never allow a protagonist to reach his goal! It seems that, in this world, each Narrator is tied for life to a specific story, and it’s because of this that the journey is always presented the same way. But what if something finally changed along the way?

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Your first stop will be the Sanctuary of the Herons, where you’ll get to learn the basics of the game. Once you gain control of Antar, you’ll be able to walk around by using the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the A button as needed. You can interact by pressing the X button. This will allow you to read signs, activate levers, read notes, talk to other characters, and open chests. Antar can also crawl through smaller openings to reach new areas. Since he can’t attack enemies, Antar will need to run and jump to escape from danger while using contraptions to buy him some time. That is, until the moment he finally becomes a Savior.

After a gorgeous animated cutscene is over, Antar will be reborn as a masked avatar with a penchant for vengeance. Or, to be more precise, we’ll witness this cutscene ahead of his transformation as part of what he thinks is a dream. By that time, he’d had other “dreams” before, which were actually visions of what was happening around Antar during his journey. But once you find someone else who managed to become a Savior, you will start to realize that things are not as good as you thought they would be. You’ll have to keep in mind the very important rules for all Saviors:

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I. Time is the enemy.

II. Never look back.

III. Destroy everything.

IV. Kill everyone.

It’s thanks to the Savior that you’ll be able to take on some of the deadlier monsters and bosses that stand on your path, trying to stop Antar from succeeding. The Savior will swing hard at enemies with the Y button, but his power won’t last forever. You will also be able to dash by pressing the B or R buttons, which will be used for platforming and avoiding incoming attacks. Why would you need to avoid attacks if a Savior is supposed to be all-powerful and immortal? Because the whole immortal part is just a fairy tale!

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You see, a Savior does have immense power compared to a regular human, but his life is finite, and thus, his energy can be extinguished. You will notice a special bar that appears above the Savior’s head. This will dictate how long you can remain in this state, and the bar will drain at a steady pace. You will lose even more energy if you’re hit. You’ll need to destroy the hanging corpses all around you to gain the upper hand and recover your lost energy before it’s too late. Later on, you’ll have to break what looks like coffins for some rather large creatures.

While exploring each location as Artan, you should keep an eye out for the pages that Dasein, the Chronicler, has lost along the way. He’s been busy detailing Artan’s adventure through the Smiling Islands and will be very much up-to-date with what Artan has been doing… except for, you know, the pages he’s lost to the wind. Collect all pages, and he’ll reward you by opening the chest that is next to him so that you can collect a special item. And if you’re missing some pages for that area, you can have him “erase” Artan to be sent back to the start of that area with the collected pages intact so that you can grab the ones you’re missing. Are you up for it?

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Saviorless is a dark fantasy action-platformer with hand-drawn art. It brings us the story of Antar, who goes on a journey to the Smiling Island in order to become a Savior… which ends up being not what he was initially expecting. The game’s focus is certainly on the platforming segments and on Artan’s quest since the Savior and combat are introduced late in the game for what can be roughly the last hour – of a 3-4 hours running time. This is why there’s not much enemy variety, which might rub some people the wrong way if going into this one expecting a game with a lot more combat. Saviorless is out on Nintendo Switch with a $12.99 price tag.

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This Saviorless review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by
Dear Villagers.

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