The Cub Review – Video Game Nostalgia From Mars

If I wasn’t already hooked by the promise of a return to the alluring world and intoxicating stylings of Golf Membership Wasteland, Demagog Studio would have simply as simply caught me with its main advertising beat for The Cub – a difficult parkour platformer impressed by the licensed side-scrollers of the 90s like Aladdin, The Lion King and The Jungle E book. That’s the good things proper there.

In case it wants an introduction, this world that the studio has established throughout their earlier sport and now The Cub is one in every of a doomed Earth, not liveable and with the extremely wealthy having lengthy since fled to Mars to determine a brand new society. Caught down listed here are solely the ruins of cities that after shone with the hubris of mankind, and all the natural world that deigned to adapt survive on this harsh new world. Together with, towards all odds, at the least one small human little one – seemingly in a position to tolerate the poisonous environment and now raised by a pack of wolves. If you happen to have performed Golf Membership Wasteland, this little one will hopefully be acquainted to you because the story in The Cub is a direct hyperlink to that sport.

However with out gifting away an excessive amount of, battle on this sport comes by means of some people from Mars who return to Earth to do a spot of recon earlier than discovering the existence of this dwelling human. Naturally, the response is to hunt and seize the kid, and so begins an exciting trek throughout numerous hauntingly stunning post-apocalyptic backdrops. The place GCW had gamers putt their away round ranges, The Cub is a extra simple platformer and one which lives as much as that 90s SEGA inspiration with treacherous environments to navigate the place a single misstep means dying together with aggressive mutant wildlife and, after all, these pesky people.

The kid is frail and missing trendy concessions like a well being bar, so instantaneous failure looms always, although checkpoints are rather more forgiving than in these rage-inducing Disney classics and the platforming itself feels strong and responsive most of the time. Crucially, the sport’s brisk three-hour runtime churns by new concepts and challenges at an honest tempo so that you just’re by no means beating your head towards the identical wall for lengthy. If you happen to’re something like me and performed far an excessive amount of of the Oddworld video games on PS1 you’ll already really feel well-versed in staying alive right here with loads of exact jumps and enemies that may solely be quietly averted however by no means defeated.

Throw in some gentle collectibles, main encounters with the three important people which can be searching you down and loads of unbelievable views rendered in a definite model that mixes basic and trendy visible strategies, and also you’ve already bought the recipe for a profitable little sport. However whereas the platforming is strong and the core story is intriguing, one of many largest issues that The Cub has going for it’s the return of Radio Nostalgia from Mars. 

Identical to in Golf Membership Wasteland, your complete time with the sport is soundtracked by an ongoing radio broadcast from the purple planet that options an eclectic mixture of late-Earth tunes interspersed with presenter chatter, public service bulletins and engrossing “survivor tales.” It labored splendidly as a backdrop to golf and it really works simply as properly behind your journey as The Cub. There’s simply one thing extremely grounding a couple of radio broadcast and Demagog is aware of learn how to craft a fictional one which I might completely, genuinely take heed to at each waking second in actuality. It’s so neatly embedded on the planet, too, coming by on a Martian helmet that the kid finds on a corpse and proceeds to put on all through – even reducing out once they go underground or sounding muffled throughout quick swimming sequences.

If Demagog Studio continues to make video games like this, set on this world and with this distinct and entrancing vibe whereas taking part in round with totally different gameplay types, you may guess I’ll be there each time. Although it’s short-lived and there are locations it might be improved, like displaying lacking collectibles within the chapter choose display screen and tightening some sequences, it’s a implausible strategy to spend a day and an important tackle these basic platformers it pays homage to.

Conclusion

The Cub is a brief however candy little tribute to licensed Mega Drive platformers that revisits the implausible world arrange in Demagog’s earlier sport, Golf Membership Wasteland, and comes out simply as placing and memorable. Crucially, the nice and cozy tones and funky tunes of Radio Nostalgia from Mars are again to have you ever vibing in your seat for a handful of hours as you throw a small, mutant little one into mortal hazard over and over.

Positives

One other nice go to to this placing post-human Earth

Radio Nostalgia From Mars is as unbelievable as ever

Pays homage to classics whereas nonetheless feeling trendy

Would not overstay its welcome

Negatives

Would possibly really feel too quick for some

The occasional finicky platforming sequence

No strategy to monitor collectibles

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