Around The World: Adventures – Graphical Confusion

Published by Sam Eskenazi in Arcade
3 Feb 2018

Around The World Adventures is a beat ‘em up game with limited scope and one specific purpose. Kill everything.

At the very start or Around The World: Adventures, you are plopped down on a small circular planet, able to move left and right and jump and shoot. Enemies begin spawning from your left and right, forcing you to mow down waves of poor, defenceless monsters as they rush towards you.

You have a limited pool of ammunition, as well as little boxes that hover in the air, Mario style, that offer you the ability to gain money to power up a bar beneath your health bar.

The key problem is the intense speed that new enemies spawn. Sometimes you can find yourself frantically mashing keys in a desperate bid for survival, while the enemies push in at you from every direction, where previously there was no one.

Every moment playing Around The World Adventures is spent frantically moving left to right, trying to grab boxes the moment they drop, as well as watching for the oncoming enemies’ direction. This continuous frenzy of checking all angles of the screen is exciting, but distressing. There is no moment of calm contemplation, no real enjoyment of the gameplay, as the entire experience is spent in constant panic.

Around The World Adventures tries to evoke in the player a sense of the arcade, the time spent as a child with fast-paced, intense and low pixilation action games. That ephemeral sense is created, but the graphical style is confusing and seems at odds with its intent.

The graphics try to invoke that retro feel, yet are too brightly coloured to be believed, whereas they are also so low in pixilation that it isn’t entirely clear what’s going on. Even in the combat, the only real thing actually going on in Around The World Adventures, you can’t really tell what’s happening other than by looking at your rapidly depleting health bar.

Besides that overt signal, it’s very difficult to actually be able to tell what’s going on at any one point. The graphical style is somehow both too retro and not retro enough.

The graphical style is somehow both too retro and not retro enough.

Around The World Adventures seeks to bring the player back into their youth, with frenzied combat games and mindless aggression. However, the lack of any kind of diversified gameplay, combined with the utterly confusing graphical style and overhwlming amount of things on the screen at any one time, means that the experience is one of confusion and irritation.

Around The World Adventures could be a fun little beat ‘em up, but instead offers only irritated confusion.

Our Rating

The combat is intuitive.The graphical style obscures the actual game. The actual gameplay is confusing and lacks long term reason to continue playing.