Developer Supra Games has just released their new game Supraland on consoles and they describe it as a first-person metroidvania puzzle game that is a mix between The Legend of Zelda, Portal, and Metroid. That is quite a bold claim to make especially for a game from a smaller team. We’re talking about some of the most influential franchises right there that they are comparing their new game to. Well after putting a considerable amount of time into it for review I have to say that their description is pretty spot on.
In Supraland you play as a red stick/toy like figure in an interconnected, tiny sandbox kingdom. You are from the red kingdom and apparently people from the blue kingdom have done some not so appropriate things to those in the red kingdom. This just won’t stand and so you set off for the blue kingdom to make things right. The story isn’t particularly deep or engaging but that’s OK because the gameplay and exploration in this game more than makes up for it. Now I said that this is a tiny sandbox kingdom but I’m not actually talking about the size of the world. What I meant by that is that you are basically a toy so everything in the world looks really large to your tiny character. The world is actually quite big and full of things to do whether they be quests to complete, enemies to take down, or puzzles to solve.
Any fan of the metroidvania world design will love what they find here. All of the areas you go through are interconnected. I passed by many areas that I couldn’t access my first time through but once I gained a new ability later on, I was going back to see what sorts of secrets I could find. Things to seek out and find can include new abilities along with stat bonuses that will make you stronger. Coins you gather can be spent at shops on upgrades. Something that didn’t bother me about navigating the world but might others is the lack of a map. Some players may end up finding themselves a bit lost on how to get back to an area but I didn’t have too much trouble with it.
The puzzles in the game were constantly surprising me as they don’t really repeat themselves. Now while the game takes inspiration from Portal you don’t actually use portals in this game. Instead what that means is that it constantly forces you to use your brain to figure out the new type of challenge it’s presenting to you. Puzzles can involve using all kinds of different things such as paint, electricity, and more. If you ever find yourself struggling on how to solve one you should look around as things or people near you could provide a hint. You should also think over all of your abilities as that can usually bring a solution to mind as well. The one area besides the story that isn’t great is the combat. Your weapons include a sword and a gun but neither one feels great to attack with. There also aren’t a lot of different types of enemies to fight so you’ll being seeing the same ones over and over again during your playthrough. The boss fights in the game are probably the best part of the combat as they involve more mechanics than just shooting or hitting them.
The graphics in Supraland were another high point for me. All the of the locations I went through looked colorful and sharp and the draw distance was really good for a game from a small team. There is a lot of variety in the biomes you go through too which I really appreciated. The game also runs super smooth which again was quite surprising given how good it looks and the number of objects and enemies that can be on-screen at a time. On the audio side there is no voice acting but the written dialog is pretty great and quite funny at times. If you’re a fan of pop culture then you’ll like all the little references this game makes. Those interested in the trophies will find 60 of them in this game including a Platinum. It’s a varied list that will have you doing a lot of different things but it should come natural to anyone who completes everything this game has to offer.
Supraland takes a whole bunch of ideas from some well-known games and manages to combine them together to create what turned out to be a pretty memorable experience. It constantly surprised me with new puzzles and exploring this well-designed world was a joy from start to finish. The combat isn’t great and the story is mostly there to give meaning to what you’re doing but those two things alone don’t take away too much. Supraland is one of the bigger surprises of 2020 to me so don’t let it pass you by. Also, while I reviewed this on PlayStation 4 the game is currently on Xbox Game Pass so if you subscribe to that now you really have no reason to not try this.
*Supraland is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.