One of the latest games published by Eastasiasoft is El Gancho from developer Sidral Games. It’s a new pixel-art action platformer where you’ll be jumping and swinging through levels in your quest to stop an evil empire and save your friends.
El Gancho is set in the same universe as Task Force Kampas which was also published by Eastasiasoft. You don’t have to have played that game though to understand anything in this one so you should have no worries about that. The story in El Gancho focuses on the Pogovon Empire which has come to invade planet Cocodu and to capture the cocos. Their purpose behind this is that they plan to use the unlimited happiness that the cocos possess to power their weapons. Who would’ve thought that so much happiness could be used for something bad? You’ll be playing as one of the coco’s which look like little dinosaurs and you’ll have to save your friends and planet.
Your coco is armed with the ability to jump and to swing with a lazer-hook. You also have another special ability and there are 10 different cocos you can unlock and play as with each one’s special ability being unique. Levels in this game are procedurally generated so no two runs will be the same. The goal in each level is to move as fast as you can to leave a trailer behind that kills enemies. The faster you go the longer said trail gets so you want to try and jump and swing from platform to platform as quickly as possible. You also need to search every nook and cranny for captured cocos to save them. Take damage from an enemy? Just find some food around the level and heal yourself back up.
The game mixes things up when you run into the six boss fights as you have to use things other than just your abilities to take them down. When you finish the main mode or want to take a break from it you can jump into the challenge mode to play some levels that aren’t randomly generated. These were more enjoyable to me and I usually find that to be the case for any game really. Randomly made levels can just never match ones made by an actual person. As for the visuals the retro pixel art look is fine but you really are just looking at a lot of rocks in different color tones for the most part. The music in the game is enjoyable at first but there is a lack of tunes so I got tired of listening to the same thing pretty quick. As for the trophies there are 16 in total including a Platinum. It will take you a bit longer than some other games from this publisher to earn them all but it still is pretty easy overall.
El Gancho is a fun pixel-art action platformer but one that isn’t a must play. The randomly generated levels and fast paced gameplay can make it addictive to want to give it one more run but there are also so many other options out there to get this experience from. It’s very affordable however so if you’re looking for something on the cheap to get a lot of play out of then this is worth a try.
*El Gancho is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.