GAME REVIEW: Imp of the Sun

Developer: Sunwolf Entertainment
Publisher: Fireshine Games
Switch Release Date: 3/24/2022
Platforms: Switch, PC, PlayStation, and Xbox
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Get ready for a well paced, non-linear Platformer! Imp of the Sun is a blast to play, and if you’re a fan of the Ori, Zelda or the Soulslike series, you’ll be in for a treat. Imp of the Sun plays as an 2-D action adventure with engaging combat, intriguing puzzles, punishing deaths, and unique bosses that require pattern based mechanics to defeat. Let’s go over Imp of the Sun and these wonderful features.

Synopsis:

You play as an Imp named Nin, who was created by the final spark of the Sun. Traveling any
direction you’d like, you must find and defeat the four keepers to restore the sun, and save the
world from complete darkness. As you travel the land you experience a colorful world that’s
easy to immerse yourself into while exploring and engaging conversations with fun NPCs that
sell you little pieces of the story to keep you wondering.

Gameplay:

When playing as Imp you have four directions you can go to begin your adventure. Head West to the dry desert, east to the dense vine entangled jungle, up top to the high mountains of Andean, or down to the pitch black bone chilling underworld. As you start traversing the lands, you may discover yourself gazing at all the intriguing landscapes.

While exploring these areas, you’ll have to watch out for gut wrenching falls and pits that will take one life point away and respawn you above, and if that doesn’t make you shake, take on the dark underworld that gives you an eerie feeling when getting hit by something you can’t see. One bit I found very clever was that if you touch water going through a waterfall, it’ll lower your fire gauge, which is the energy you burn up for using abilities. Imp of the Sun offers a variety of different enemies with effective methods of beating them easily. Whether that means sliding under, dodging, attacking from above or my favorite; ricocheting their attacks back at them with a slash. Your main abilities are range, multidirectional slashes, dash, and self heal but you unlock a lot more unique abilities throughout your playthrough.

Leveling up consists of collecting orbs, which can be obtained by killing enemies, slashing pots, shrubs or finding hidden collection artifacts to give to “Suyana“ who is a little girl who wants to see her world back to normal.

When you die, you’ll lose a good chunk of your orbs that you have collected, so be careful out there! Additionally, if you die too much, you’ll receive a message encouraging you to level up a little more first. Checkpoint/save points are generously close together, in addition to being able to save at them, you can fast travel between other checkpoints, level up, and chat for lore on that specific area.

Each area has puzzles, locked doors, mini bosses, and objects to locate in order to find the boss of that area. There are also enemy zones that lock you into a small area to fight waves of enemies, but once you defeat all the waves without dying, the enemy zone lock won’t spawn again. The boss fights are very upbeat and full of different ways to approach damage, one example being a boss that is so big that he doesn’t even fit on your screen! You can dodge and damage its hand to make a way to climb up and do some heavy damage to its weak point. Even though I only just described one boss, all of them are unique and exciting in their own way, and you’ll have to pay close attention to their attack patterns and phases during battles in order to defeat them. Typically when their health is low, it gets more intense and will throw you off that pattern you just became so routine to. This overall gameplay constantly gives you a breath of fresh air.

Final Score: 4/5 Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Imp of the Sun is a stunning experience for platformer lovers and has great replay value. The
cultural art setting, unique inner fire abilities, and non linear experience makes for stunning
gameplay. I spent so much time just exploring areas and admiring the scenery. The constant
checkpoints made it easy to spend orbs before risking losing a chunk dying. The fast travel was very convenient because I unlocked all the boss fights first and fought them last after exploring for hours. The game has a great sense of mystery, and unfolding the story through gameplay kept my curiosity peaked. The music and NPC voices I absolutely adored, and each character I encountered was a bundle of joy.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Imp of the Sun developer Jose Varon, take a look below:

Imp of the Sun Q&A with Jose Varon

Q. Did you have any strong inspirations for creating Imp of the Sun?

A. We did, and they might not be what you expect! Our main inspiration were Breath of The
Wild for the freedom to beat each Boss in any order you want, and the order in which
you acquire abilities makes the game feel quite different. Dark Souls, because we
wanted challenging bosses that give you a sense of satisfaction when you defeat them.
And Shadow of The Colossus in the sense that we conveyed the narrative through the
world itself.

Q. Who are the biggest gaming influences that had an impact on your career?

A. I absolutely love Final Fantasy games, Zelda series and more recently I’ve been
obsessed with Elden Ring.

Q. How long was Imp of the Sun in development?

A. It took us 10 months to produce the PC SKU.

Q. How many members are on the Dev team? What do they specialize in?

A. On Imp we had 13 team members on the production side. 4 of those were audio team
that I provided from my other company The Audio Hive.

Q. What do you feel will stand out in your game to players more than anything?

A. I feel our strengths are the art, sound, music, narrative (it’s really good even though it’s
not very upfront) and the Inner Fire mechanic.

Q. What were the most challenging obstacles the team came across during development?

A. The balance between the creative team and the business side. You need some freedom
to experiment and unleash the creativity, but you also need structure in order to deliver
on time and budget. That balance was very important.

Q. Imp has delightful and stunning quick movements that make for a well paced gameplay. How did you manage to pull that off?

A. That was a lot of trial and error. We wanted a fast-paced game from the beginning, but
then the character felt very floaty, so we had to slow him down a little. The real Nin can
be appreciated at the end of the game, that’s why we added Eclipse Mode, so that you
start with a full Imp and experience the game in a very different angle.

Q. I absolutely love the cultural background setting, could you touch deeper on the culture and how it reflects in the game to you?

A. As our first game, we wanted to bring some of the culture of the team who was
developing it to the world. That’s why we created a lore inspired by Incan and Pre-Incan
cultures. We even recorded 6000 years old instruments from a museum!

Q. What can we expect in the future from Sunwolf Entertainment?

A. We’re working on a new IP that we’re very excited about. All I can say at this point is that
it’s an RPG.

A big thank you to Jose Varon and the Sunwolf Entertainment Team!

Imp of the Sun can be purchased on Nintendo Eshop for $19.99 and has a demo currently available for download. Will you be picking up this game? Let us know in comments, or hop on over to the Boss Rush Discord!

5 thoughts on “GAME REVIEW: Imp of the Sun

  1. Glad to finally come across a good video game reviewer who doesn’t feel the need to tell me his politics.

    Like

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