Avenger brings Android gamers a taste of Metroidvania
If you’re not already familiar with it, there’s a style of 2D action games that has come to be known as “Metroidvania”. This refers to the mashing of styles made popular by the traditional Metroid and Castlevania games. Players hack, slash and whip their way around a larger map, room by room, looking for treasure and leveling up their characters and weapons. It’s a tried and true formula that has been adapted very well by many other teams over the last couple of decades. CWA Games has come around with Avenger to take a stab at making a mobile game in this classic style, so let’s see how it holds up.
Avenger doesn’t do much to advance the formula that has been pretty much set in stone for quite some time, which is totally fine by me. It’s such a fun genre that there’s not really anything that needs to be added to it. Avenger pulls in the gothic atmosphere of games like Castlevania, making it more reminiscent of that series than any other. Your character and weapons level up quickly to bump up your stats, though I’m not sure how much difference it makes. Some of the weapons you’ll gather have magic capabilities that will enhance stats, or more often, attack larger groups of enemies at once.
The action in the game is surprisingly satisfying. The virtual thumbstick and action buttons are responsive enough to not get in the way of building your attack combos or hitting your jumps. With the ability to hit multiple enemies at once you’ll feel pretty hardcore clearing out room after room. The levels are also short enough to not require large amounts of time to complete, but this is not a game that fits into the “pick up and play” category.
The story in Avenger is almost impossible to follow. This game was clearly translated to English from some other language, and I think a lot of the details have been lost somewhere. The rooms and enemies also don’t change all that frequently, adding a feeling of repetition that will turn off some players. Many who are familiar with the style of gameplay present here won’t find much challenge throughout the game.
Avenger was definitely a welcome surprise for me. I’m not a huge fan of the “virtual thumbstick/buttons” control scheme, but found that here it actually worked pretty well. I really enjoyed the feeling of playing something that felt like a Playstation-era “Metroidvania” on my phone, and the graphics really reminded me of that time. Despite its narrative faults, Avenger is an easy game to recommend to anyone looking for an action-oriented game that shows off what’s great about the flexibility of mobile gaming.