Batbarian Testament of the Primordials is an action-adventure, RPG with a bucket full of dialogue choices too, and as it’s available as a playable demo now, you need to have a look.
Breaking into the preview section of the site, a.k.a. the demos, it was time for me to dip into some of the titles on offer during the Steam Game Festival – what with me writing all this news about them.
Having an internet connection that is on par with dial-up (my PC uses a USB network device I got for one of my Raspberry Pi’s), I was a bit limited to what I could download without having to set up the Steam beast downstairs while the wife was watching Queer Eye.
My first encounter was a small offering in terms of filesize, and without knowing anything about it, I dipped straight into Batbarian Testament of the Primordials, by Unspeakable Pixels and published by Dangen Entertainment.
Batbarian Testament of the Primordials is a retro platformer that has you play either a male or female barbarian that wonders a seemingly endless cave in an attempt to escape, but filling their loincloths with gold along the way.
Accompanied by a seemingly radioactive bat named Pip, you have the opportunity of luring good ol’ Pip to illuminate your way, in an attempt to activate hidden platforms to jump to the next area.
Far from barbarians, both characters are pretty pleasant; ensuring they nurture pet Pip by stuffing its face with berries.
There are two types of berries I encountered in the 20 minutes plus Batbarian Testament of the Primordials demo: an infinite supply that will guide it towards a switch and another that is a sticky variant that has Pip stay in place for a little longer, allowing you to pull an Indiana and roll under a stone doorway before it crushes your skull.
Playing on the keyboard, X was attack, and Z to jump. C was a throwing skill where you can either lob a stone or berries (using S or D) for Pip to activate light switches (not the conventional one, this is barbaric times), so that you can trigger a platform to jump further.
Throughout the brief playthrough, there’s a dialogue tree where you can select from a variety of responses to enemies and NPCs, or like in the opener, choose “Aaaaaaa” when falling to your assumed death.
Combat in Batbarian Testament of the Primordials is simple, yet swift and despite being accustomed to console controllers, the movement was tight using the keyboard, though I will be configuring my 8BitDo controller for the next game.
Because of the limited time to play, I was unable to experience everything – obviously – but there were a few things of interest such as the Boots of Speed which allows you to do a Super Meat Boy type sprint and clear wider gaps.
To be truthful, I was in a bit of a hurry towards the end as I wanted to keep playing but see as much as possible at the same time. Even though Batbarian Testament of the Primordials was a demo, there were a few example rest point to save the game, so as long as this feature remains for when the full release comes, bonzer.
At the end, there are a few pop-ups to detail what to expect in the full game. Typically I would cover this in a news piece, but as this is brand spanking new to me, so here are some of the features in the game:
- Step in the shoes of a barbarian who hates magic, accompanied by their buddy, Pip, a (magic) bat.
- A (magic) bat that says at least 5 variations of the sound *Squeak*.
- Dialogue choices!
- Fast paced combat and tight platforming in carefully planned encounters.
- TERRIBLE eldritch secrets to unearth and mysterious lore spread across the 300+ rooms of a forgotten abyss.
- Give directions to Pip, your radiant (and magic) bat buddy, with several types of fruits to shed light, apply magical auras, and solve puzzles.
- Open-ended exploration with multiple solutions to encounters.
- Multitude of secrets and optional challenges and puzzles rewarding you with additional XP and artifacts.
- Level up and progress your character to suit your strengths.
- Deadly traps! Massive boss fights! Stuff with really sharp teeth and tentacles!
- Several endings.
- Companions to join your party and help you in battle.
First impressions were excellent. In all honesty? I wouldn’t seek this sort of game out, but don’t cherry-pick with review titles as my instinct often lets me down. I’ll look at practically anything.
However, I’m glad I found Batbarian Testament of the Primordials, and while it’s only a preview of a playable demo, I wholeheartedly recommend it and have already added to my wishlist.