I’m sure glad that I’ve had my eyes on Talegames upcoming 2D 16-bit metroidvania ARPG “Faeland” (the game is currently in development for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch), because the game has evolved quite a bit since I heard about the game for the first time in March of this year. That’s also the reason why I couldn’t turn down the offer to get the chance to play the PC alpha demo for “Faeland” (the full version of the game is said to launch in December sometime next year).

faeland sceptic soldiers

Faeland’s dialogs a pretty simple and straight forward, and most of the time they are rather entertaining.

Right off the bat, the first thing that I noticed when I booted up Faeland’s alpha demo was the really cool and beautiful graphics and artstyle of the game. I mean, Faeland looks like a 16-bit master piece on steroids (think “Super Castlevania”, “Aladdin” and “Lagoon”, but with today’s technology standards). So I sure felt a positive notion right from the very start.

faeland the market

There is a rather impressive market to be found in the alpha demo of “Faeland”. However, sadly enough you can’t but or sell anything in the demo. Nevertheless, you still get a pretty good idea of what Talegames aim for with the market.

Well, that’s just the half of it. You see, “Faeland” is like a mix of “Zelda II” (the combat), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“(the cool and funny dialogs + some of Faeland’s stages reminded me of TMNT’s stage to the NES), old-school “Castlevania” (the ghoulish, dark and evil look of the game), “Lagoon” (all the castles and the fantasy setting) and “Aladdin” (the platform aspects).

faeland items

Faeland’s item system brought me back to the old-school RPG’s of the 80s and 90s. The same could also be said for the other menus in the game (such as the map, weapon and gear menu).

Simply put, “Faeland” has managed to take the best parts from some of the best RPGs, platformers, action and adventure games of the 80s and 90s, and inject its own unique twist to it. So since I grew up during the 80s and 90s, I sure felt right at home with “Faeland”. As a matter of fact, while I was playing “Faeland” I felt the same excitement and joy that the kid version of me did when I played games such as “Super Castlevania”, “Lagoon”, “Aladdin” and “Super Metroid“.

faeland die by the sword

In the demo, you get to fight with a handful of different weapons (such as a dagger and short sword). Even so, my favorite weapon so far is easily the Claymore sword, which looks like a shorter version of Guts sword from the anime “Berserk”.

As for the controls, I did manage to play through the alpha demo with the help of my keyboard with no sweat (the controls are very simple and easy to learn but hard to master). Even so, I think that one should also be able to play “Faeland” with a gamepad, because I did notice a gamepad icon on the menu for the game’s controller settings. In other words, it’s not the game’s fault if you fail a jump, attack or defense move.

faeland treasure chests

I couldn’t help to think about the old-school “Zelda” “Final Fantasy” games when I opened up some of Faeland’s treasure chests (the part when you hold the just found item above your head).

That’s right, the blame is all on you if you die or end up being seriously wounded. I actually didn’t die a single time in the demo, but that’s mostly because you start off with a lot of items that allow you to heal yourself. Furthermore, I’m very used to playing RPGs, adventure, platform and action games. So I didn’t exactly have to spend all that much time to get a grip of Faeland’s basic gameplay aspects (most people should be able to get going with the game in less than five minutes).

faeland castlevania-like monsters

The last part of the “Faeland” demo brought me back to the days of “Zelda II” and the “Castlevania” games for NES and SNES.

I still had to learn the hard way that a badly timed jump could cost me dearly though (“Castlevania II Simon’s Questcomes to mind), because later on in the demo you get to fight some old-school Castlevania-like monsters who spit venom at you (or perhaps it’s acid?).

Long story short, if the monster’s manges to hit you with their venom, then you fly backwards. So if you’re in mid-air and near water, then you could end up swimming with the fishes. However, in the case with “Faeland”, the game just tosses you back to the very beginning of the stage that you’re currently playing through.

faeland boss fight

There is indeed a boss to be found at the very end of the demo for “Faeland”. However, you don’t get a chance to fight the said boss.

I didn’t have to struggle all that much with that aspect of the game though. I actually didn’t have to struggle with much of anything in “Faeland”. Sure, I did experience some bugs (such as the music lag bug), and I found the enemy A.i to be somewhat stupid, but other than that. Nope, I don’t got all that much to complain about. I just wish that the “Faeland” demo had been a bit longer, and that I would have gotten a chance to fight the boss at the end of the demo.

So, all in all, I did enjoy the alpha demo of “Faeland” a whole lot. So “if” the final version of the game ends up being as awesome as its alpha demo, then it’s going to a topnotch 2D 16-bit metroidvania ARPG with no doubt (we will know for sure when the game launches in December next year). That’s also why I have decided to give the demo a 4.5/5 grade!

Pros:
+ The game’s graphics and artstyle is beyond freaking awesome
+ Simple and smooth controls
+ A nice and suitable soundtrack
+ Faeland’s combat is pretty darn fun
+ Funny dialogs and jokes
+ The story is simple, but it’s also pretty darn interesting

Cons:
– The enemy A.i is rather stupid
– I did experience a music bug that made the music lag like crazy
– You can get stuck while opening up a chest (bug)
– There is a boss at the end of the demo, but you can’t fight the said boss
– The demo is rather short

Gameplay: 4.5/5
Graphics: 5/5
Sound/music: 4/5
Controls: 4/5
Replay value: 4/5

tgg grade 4.5 out of 5

Verdict: 4.5/5
I think it’s safe to say that Talegames got something truly cool, promising and interesting in the making with their upcoming 2D 16-bit metroidvania ARPG “Faeland”. That’s also why I really hope that the final version of the game will be just as great as its alpha demo, because if that’s the case. Then there is no doubt in my mind that “Faeland” is going to become a indie smash hit on all platforms.

Title: Faeland
Developer: Talegames
Format: PC
Genre: Adventure/2D platformer/RPG
Resolution: Highest possible on PC
Release date: 2019-12-XX
Difficulty: Normal
Spent time: +4 hours
Average grade internationally: N/A
PEGI age rating: +12
Price: TBA

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Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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