ReviewsReview: 6Souls

Review: 6Souls

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Searching for priceless treasures can be life-changing and enthralling. Moreover, finding something that has been lost for decades is well worth the time and effort. However, you need to be careful where you start your hunt. Searching through dilapidated, spooky venues will only end in tears. 6Souls revolves around these ideas as you follow the adventure of one man and his trusty pet pooch.

Developed by BUG-Studio and published by Ratalaika Games, this is an action-adventure platform title. Its retro-inspired aesthetic and simple but captivating story will keep you interested in each of the ten chapters. Utilising two difficulty settings, and character-specific mechanics, the story is underpinned with some basic puzzle elements. Moreover, it’s an old-school game that will remind you of Sega Mega Drive or SNES gaming. This will therefore tug at older players’ heartstrings.

Avoid the spikes.

6Souls is straightforward but revolves around a whacky plot. 

This single-player experience asks you to control Jack and his faithful companion Butch. This heroic adventuring duo must work together to explore a long-abandoned eerie castle. This clichéd setting is allegedly full of treasure, and Jack can’t wait to get his hands on it. What the pair don’t know is that the castle has a bleak history and they are unwittingly going to disturb the ghosts of the past. Subsequently, a simple treasure hunt becomes more complicated as Jack and Butch venture deeper inside. 

The story has some wonderful twists and turns across its ten chapters. This impacts your character choices and how you navigate each stage. You must learn to use Butch’s agility, stealth, and speed to crawl through tunnels and evade detection. Whereas Jack can dash, climb, leap, and attack his foes. Each stage is filled with dangers and these must be overcome to find the treasures, collect keys, and get out alive. Each chapter culminates in a boss battle! You must use every mechanic to avoid being struck and to defeat them once and for all.

A lack of challenge and new powers.

None of the levels is overly challenging, yet they require precision, patience, and some degree of planning. You must be flexible in your approach and accept the limitations of each character. Furthermore, it lacks the complexities of its peers, but this complements the retro style.

The completion of each chapter rewards you with new power. These mystical abilities allow you to jump further or higher and you’ll reach otherwise inaccessible locations. Alongside this, Jack finds a bow on his journey. This enables him to create new platforms and attack his foes from afar. It was an excellent way to traverse great chasms and annihilate your enemies safely.

Don’t mess with the monster book.

The combat is lacklustre and death is a slight annoyance. 

When every chapter ends with a boss fight, you expect there to be a degree of difficulty. Sadly, 6Souls is sorely lacking in this department. Each enemy can easily be slain or avoided completely if you are a pacifist. Unfortunately, there is no reward or benefit from fighting, so running away is your go-to option. Furthermore, this was disappointing, as I wanted the adventure to be thwarted by danger as well as tricky puzzles. However, disappointingly, it wasn’t to be! This lack of complexity continues in the boss fights. Each encounter could be riveting, yet you simply spam the attack button to kill each boss. I desperately wanted the combat to be harder and more rewarding, but this never materialised.

Each chapter is cut up into bite-size stages that must be overcome to progress. This was a fantastic idea, as it made the action manageable and easy to play casually. But the developers missed an opportunity to increase the difficulty as the death mechanic doesn’t test you. Dying will reset your progress during any of the small stages, but I would have liked to see it punish you further. You never truly fear failure, and this undermines the action. The thought of having to redo a chapter would have increased the tension and longevity.

6Souls is gloriously old-school. 

6Souls is brilliantly old-school in design and look. The pixelated sprites, simple stage design, and garish colours gave it a dated aesthetic. I loved how the scenery varied through each chapter and this prevented it from becoming boring. Furthermore, each chapter ends with a story defining cutscene which was excellent to watch. I adored how the plot was pieced together and unveiled. It was fantastically extravagant, absurd and worked perfectly with the genre.

Retro gaming perhaps lacks originality and the well-trodden audio is guilty as charged. The familiar tunes and clichéd approach is suitable and serviceable, but it won’t amaze you. I didn’t dislike it. I just wanted something unique and unusual. This issue sadly flows through the sound effects as well. The dated noises match each action, but it won’t leave you feeling inspired. 

The cutscenes are great.

Clumsy and problematic controls. 

A dated game needs an old-school control setup. 6Souls delivers this but to the detriment of its gameplay. The clumsy setup sadly undermines the combat elements, and this leads to unnecessary frustration. Alongside this, the button mapping never felt intuitive, and I was constantly making errors. This could have been a user issue, but I failed repeatedly because I always pressed the wrong buttons. This was annoying and frustrating and could put some players off.

With collectables galore, ten chapters to explore, and a second difficulty option to unlock, there is plenty to do. Yes, the gameplay isn’t complex, but it’s fun and addictive, nonetheless. It is quintessentially retro, and that makes up for its shortcomings. Completionists will love the simple achievement list, but this reduces its challenge further still.

6Souls is absurd and wonderfully retro. 

6Souls starts as a simple treasure hunt but quickly evolves into an absurd tale. I loved the madness that unfolds and happily became swept up in the story. Its simple mechanics and lack of difficulty may annoy some, but this should be countered by the harder difficulty. I adored its retro ways and recommend you to buy it here! The castle is full of treasure and history and demands a brave adventurer to unearth both. Do you have what it takes, or will you leave empty-handed?

My video review with footage captured from my Xbox Series X, enjoy!

SUMMARY

6Souls is a fantastic old-school action-adventure title. With simple mechanics, puzzling elements, and ten chapters, this will keep you busy. Work together to find the treasure and complete each stage.

+ Retro graphics.
+ Serviceable audio.
+ Easy achievements.
+ A wacky story.
+ Great old-school mechanics.
- The controls are clumsy.
- Failure isn't a concern.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: 6Souls6Souls is a fantastic old-school action-adventure title. With simple mechanics, puzzling elements, and ten chapters, this will keep you busy. Work together to find the treasure and complete each stage.<br/> <br/> + Retro graphics.<br/> + Serviceable audio.<br/> + Easy achievements.<br/> + A wacky story.<br/> + Great old-school mechanics.<br/> - The controls are clumsy.<br/> - Failure isn't a concern.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>