Eastward is a game with a lot of heart. It’s an action adventure in the style of Zelda from Pixpil where you play as Sam, a little girl who was found glowing in a cave, and John, the silent digger who found her. Together, they travel across a post-apocalyptic world, helping out the people they meet along the way.
The formula is simple. You go to a place, watch a cutscene, find a dungeon, fight some enemies, and do some puzzles.
Eastward truly shines in its story and presentation. Vibrant and well-animated pixel art brings the charming world to life. The environments are varied and dense with detail, and the over-the-top characters are memorable in appearance and personality alike. It’s a world I wanted to spend time in. However, the art deals in caricature, and at times this feels lazy. Notably, making characters who are implied to be mentally disabled ugly feels below a game that otherwise humanizes its characters.
If you don’t mind long dialogue sequences, can get through the slow early game, and find satisfaction in the passable combat and puzzles, you’ll find Eastward to be an incredible experience overflowing with heartfelt whimsy and terrible tragedy.
Eastward is available September 16 on PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch for $24.99.
Watch our full Review in 3 Minutes for Eastward.