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Ashworld – Pixeltastic Open World

Published by Sam Eskenazi in Action
15 Feb 2018

Ashworld is an open world survival game with pixel-tastic graphics that puts the player in a post-apocalyptic monster-filled world.

At the start of Ashworld, the player is quickly introduced to a variety of plot-driving characters who push you from objective to objective, eagerly hoping you’ll take care of all their problems, including a stolen dog and angry gang members.

The gameplay is different from other top-down survival games that the game description might lead you to believe. Instead of survival defense or whatever you might expect, you instead fight enemies as they sprint towards you, sometimes running you down with their car. You fight them while kiting to the side, spamming the Attack key frantically and hoping you don’t get murdered.

However, you have no real way of knowing what kind of damage you’re actually taking, as your health bar is insanely tiny and goes down seemingly arbitrarily. Enemies don’t really seem to do any kind of consistent or actual damage, instead of proving a small challenge for you to overcome.

Enemies don’t really seem to do any kind of consistent or actual damage, instead of proving a small challenge for you to overcome.

The key problem with Ashworld is that everything feels hectic, insane and confusing. You honestly have no idea what’s going on right from the outset, yet very little is ever explained to make it easier to understand.

However, the art style is remarkably unique, giving the player the opportunity to look on a grand, pixelated 2D vista of an apocalyptic, desiccated world. The buildings and surroundings are detailed and rich, despite the seemingly low quality of the graphics. Alongside this, the map itself that you explore is highly detailed, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a great deal of background surroundings.

The story that propels the player forward is pretty random, offering merely the vaguest and most general attempts at keeping you interested. Moving from faction to faction, silly quest to silly quest, you will beat up, chainsaw or run over all kinds of evil people stopping you from your quest of… being generally helpful.

The combat itself is surprisingly interesting despite the lack of clarity, with a huge variety of weaponry and options available to destroy your enemies. Cars will come screeching from off-screen, knocking you down to attempt to kill you without having to get into range. Unluckily for them, you seem to possess absolutely superhuman strength, allowing you to pulverize droves of enemies with just your fists.

The art style does get in the way of the combat from time to time, obscuring the enemies fighting you and making it seem like a pile of floating dust has accumulated on the screen, rather than a drove of enemies. You will frequently accidentally pick up boxes or dogs because you thought you were punching an enemy – no matter though, because nothing can really kill you.

Ashworld clearly seeks to be a full and complete experience – it wants to offer a new kind of survival RPG, one with a unique art style and open gameplay.

Ashworld clearly seeks to be a full and complete experience – it wants to offer a new kind of survival RPG, one with a unique art style and open gameplay.

The real problem with this is that general objective is too large – the different elements all get in the way of one another. Is it open world, or it story based? The combat could be interesting, but the graphics gets in the way.

Despite its hodge-podge quality of design, Ashworld is a decent open-world RPG, allowing you to experience the horror of humanity untamed. Too bad you can’t really see what’s going on.

Our Rating

ProsCons
NoneThe beautiful graphical style sometimes covers up the actual pertinent information.
Rating
6.5/10
Price: $3.99
Developer: OrangePixel
Price: $3.99