A while back, I had the distinct pleasure of happening upon a truly unique pixelated platfomer: Eagle Island. Showcased at a modest Southampton gaming convention, I was immediately drawn in by the colourful screens and what looked to be snappy platforming. Without monopolising too much time on the controller, I happily took a Pixelnicks business card and committed Eagle Island to memory, following it’s progress wherever I could. What resulted some two years later is a fantastically fine tuned finished product–the wait was so very worth it.
You play as Quill, a master of owl manipulation. Two faithful companions at his side–but unfortunately one enters our plot as the villainous Armaura captures and whisks the bird away. It’s up to you and your remaining sidekick Koji to retrieve Ichiro and restore order through classic side-scrolling confrontation!
Watch the Eagle Island trailer below:
Immediately what caught me was the customisation to one’s game. It’s truly meant to be tailored to how YOU like to play: from the menu screens with little tweaks like screen shake, or dim backgrounds, to the incredibly well done balanced difficulties. If you like a bit of challenge, or maybe you’re like me and your coordination is a 4/10 at best, you have the option to play any way you like, without missing out on content. It’s no walk in the park–even on an easier setting there’s a fair amount of work to be done, but it’s certainly not impossible and really flourishes with fun–punishing aspects removed.
So what does makes Eagle Island fun? In addition to the plucky platforming, you have different behavioural multipliers thrown in to keep things nice and spicy. With limited slots to fill, you’ll come across tokens which house different abilities and perks. Perhaps it’s getting a instant callback on Koji, or adding another heart of health. The cool thing about these tokens is that you tend to start running across more than you can use, so shuffling around–finding your strengths and weaknesses and remedying them becomes a smart mini-management game of strategy.
View some Eagle Island screenshots in our gallery:
Eagle Island is gorgeous in every sense of the word. A real testament to pixel art and what modern technology can do with it. The animations are incredible–run cycles, owl movements and combat, and eye-wateringly cool enemy designs. Each are fluid and so well thought out that they can’t help but shine against an already stunning background. A big fan myself, I can’t help but appreciate all the work that went into each individual asset that were so clearly made by serious enthusiasts. A retro heart with modern style–Eagle Island nails the genre into place without breaking a sweat.
Still working my way through–it’s hard not to stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Everything is so lovely to take in that pulling a leisurely pace through seems to be ideal for this player. Still, I’ve traversed mountains, hopped in some mine carts for a treacherous ride and went fully subterranean–the content I have encountered is complex and challenging, with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. Eagle Island is no doubt going to be an amazing game to watch others play as well, especially with speedruns. As I mentioned before, I had an eye out for Eagle Island for quite some time and can’t say I was disappointed. Pixelnicks successfully created a wonderfully balanced unique adventure–one that I can’t recommend enough!
Eagle Island was reviewed using a digital code supplied by the developer.
Publisher: Screenwave Media Developer: Pixelnicks Release Date: 11th July, 2019 Reviewed On: PC/Steam Also Available On: Nintendo Switch