Pharaoh Rebirth+ was published through the indie game mag, Niconica Magazine, and was developed by Kroban Station. The game is a platformer in with an archaeological theme and has some interesting gameplay elements and pleasant visual design.
You play as Dr. Jonathan Banfield, who is in fact an archaeologist that has transformed into an odd rabbit like creature. The game starts out with you discovering Amshear, which is an oasis in Egypt, where you hunt for ancient relics. You discover that your arch nemesis is also hunting for the same artifacts and you both uncover an ancient sarcophagus. Your enemy Andre opens the sarcophagus, and you then both become cursed (as if being a weird-looking rabbit wasn’t bad enough). The curse means that the pair will die in a week’s time unless they can collect the seven holy grails. It all might sound a bit ridiculous, but I actually love a game that tries to have some sort of story as it makes the experience feel more immersive and gives a reason for the adventures you journey through.
The controls are a bit fiddly to get a hang of at first but they are customisable. I started out using a mouse and keyboard but decided to switch to a gamepad as I felt it suited the game better. What I also liked about the options in the game was the ability to play in the original Japanese version. It doesn’t sound like much, but having small options and extra additions make it feel like the game is trying to give you the best experience possible.
The core gameplay centers on platforming, which often has Metroidvania type elements throughout. The levels during the game are separated into stages that can be selected from the load screen and these can be revisited at any time. As you progress through the stages you will gain new abilities and upgrades that allow you to access areas in previous locations that used to be inaccessible. I always appreciate this kind of level design as it makes you want to go back and explore areas that you may have missed before. The game has three difficulty settings and I experimented with all of them. The hardest setting can get incredibly difficult, so if you want a challenge then go for it. The controls take time to get used to and doesn’t flow as much as I would like. Its more about taking on areas slowly and methodically in order to progress.
You attack enemies by whipping your long rabbit ears, which feels pretty satisfying. You can also block objects flying your way, grab onto ledges and glide, maybe being a rabbit isn’t so bad after all. You can also equip weapons like machine guns that fire tennis balls at bad guys. The game has a good variety of enemies and creatures that keep gameplay interesting. You can either choose to fight every enemy or you can even dodge and jump your way through each area. There are also boss fights that require you to think about which weapons to use and how to avoid incoming attacks. I especially enjoyed the design of the bosses and they added nice variety to the gameplay.
I love a game that has collectables and this has plenty of them throughout. Some of the items help boost your health and others are more precious treasures that increase stats and give you new abilities. These can be tricky to find, but they certainly do help you take on enemies and give you a sense of progression. Having plenty of collectables also adds to the replayability factor of the game and I think I will be heading back to see if I can find them all. I really enjoyed the varied level design and visual style of the world. The world feels vibrant, playful and genuinely interesting to explore. The overall presentation of the game is great and certainly feels like one of the games strongest features. The character designs are simplistic but look interesting and the environments are beautifully designed with vibrant colours. The soundtrack is fantastic as well, with catchy rhythms that help add to the pacing of the gameplay.
I didn’t know what to expect going into this game, as I’m a big fan of platforming games like Megaman and with so many of them out there it can be difficult to find a decent one. The world design and story is wacky, interesting and immersive. I liked the character design, which often reminded me of Indiana Jones. The controls can take some getting used to at first and I would recommend using a controller to play the game. I would certainly suggest giving this game a go if you’re a fan of games like Megaman or other similar platformers.
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