Developed by Glowforth
Published by Wired Productions
Available on Steam for PC and Mac
LAST INUA is a 2D side-scrolling platform game which follows the story of inuit Ataataq and his son Hiko. An evil force named Tonrar is coming to spread darkness upon their Artic land and Ataataq’s son Hiko is the only one who can help stop it. Hiko possesses powers that can help rejuvenate and bring back to life the stricken three mythical Gods of the land, who together can fight off Tonrar. Despite his powers, Hiko is very weak and needs the assistance of his father along the the dangerous journey to help him get to his destination and fulfill his destiny. Ataataq’s brute strength will come in handy for frail Hiko as the two traverse the icy terrain littered with deadly foes.
What’s striking about LAST INUA, which grabs your attention from the start, is the beautiful graphics. This game really is a work of art, made all the better by the fact it has platformer elements. The background design will give you the chills as you play the game, as though you were actually there yourself. The audio compliments the visuals quite well too to reinforce the environment experience for the player, such as Hiko’s father Ataataq climbing the icy ledges with his ice pick grips or when squelching through the insides of a polar bear.
In the game, the player has the ability to control three different players: Ataataq, the father who’s brute strength and ability to jump higher and farther will come in very useful indeed; Hiko, who can transport between balls of orange light and who’s survival is paramount to battle Tonrar; and finally, a blue ball of light which can help build platforms and walkways where they never existed before, which helps with travelling over tricky terrain with steep drops or spiky pits. Using the Xbox Controller for Windows, a simple press of the Y button allows you to swap between the two inuit characters with the blue ball of light only available to use when controlling Hiko by using the directional pad. There are times when Hiko cannot get any further during the level, which often means that you have to switch to Ataataq to progress and knock down any obstacles in Hiko’s way, which often come in the form of large boulders which need to be smashed or blocks of ice that need to be pushed. The levels aren’t timed in any way, with the player able to switch between the two characters and complete the platform at a leisurely pace. However, some occassions there are deadly foes on the warpath which forces the player to continuously swap characters quickly and move them to the desired location to avoid being killed. These instances are few and far between, with most of the gameplay requiring the player to jump from ledges, smash and push obstacles and in the case of Hiko, teleport and create walkways.
The difficulty level of the game is quite easy, with the odd sections which need to be timed correctly or need special attention to so as to not fall to your doom. The only real challenge comes during the reawakening of the three Arctic gods which require Hiko to collect blue balls of light whilst flying. This section of the game is where LAST INUA stops being a side-scrolling, but instead heading in all-directions. Whilst the premise sounds easy enough, the narrow caverns these levels present are coated in spikes and moving walls, which, along with the ever accelerating and decelerating flying ability, make the aim of collecting blue balls of light that bit trickier. However, a few attempts, patience and a steady hand, these levels can be overcome.
LAST INUA is a stunningly beautiful game with engaging gameplay fueled by its aesthetic beauty and cute characters. The cutscenes do a good job of moving the simpe story along, complete with subtitles, symbolic imagery and mythical tales.
It may be a short and repetitive game but LAST INUA is a wonderful gaming experience that young and older gamers can enjoy. For those wanting a little bit of challenge, there’s a set of 17 acheievements to unlock via Steam as well as Steam trading cards.
If you like mesmerising artwork and indie platformers, do check out the magical LAST INUA, which will give you a little glow inside despite its frosty theme. A great game for the winter months!