With the revitalized appeal of classic gaming, seen in recent releases of NES and Super Nintendo Classic consoles, A Hole New World is a solid attempt at capturing some of this old school playability and nostalgia.
The city is being invaded by monsters from the Upside Down World! As the Potion Master, you must defeat evil with the help of your fairy Fay. Defeat bosses and grow your power to help rid the world of the evil from the Upside Down World.
This is a simple two button game, one controlling your jump, the second controlling your attack. Through the game you’ll collect crystals after defeating bosses which change the nature of your attacks, and will become a strategic part of your arsenal as you move through the game.
The gameplay is very smooth, and it harkens back to an age where games were much simpler in their design. Regardless, the game ramps up the difficulty and challenges as you progress through the levels.
The most unique mechanic in A Hold New World are the holes within the maps. Jumping into one will flip you into the Upside Down World, which should be fairly self-explanatory, though your y-axis controls reversed. As the game moves on, the change between normal and upside down is used as an interesting traversal method through levels, and this is where the game stood out for me.
The bosses are very challenging, as you’re given a single life to beat them. Players are able to continue throughout the game, helping make progression easier. This is not an overly long game, but a fun short arcade style romp.
Sound and Graphics
Once again we see another retro style title released on the Xbox One. The 8-bit style graphics are recreated beautifully in the game. The story has some very nice pixelated art cards and the game’s graphics are certainly very beautiful. One minor area of concern was slowdown in the frame rate when there were a lot of sprites on the screen. The game could likely use a patch for this.
The soundtrack and sound effects are also all very vintage and help lend themselves to the experience.
A Hole New World is an excellent throwback game, and should definitely satisfy gamers who are looking for a little retro flavour in their collections. There were a few instances where bugs seemed to be a bit of a problem, namely with framerates, but also with a save file that was erased somewhat inexplicably.
Minor frustrations aside, the game is fun, and the unique mechanics of the Upside Down World add some nice dimension to the game.