Aborigenus – Switch

Aborigenus is described by publisher Drageus as ‘a small adventure platformer with RPG-elements in a primal world.’ They were not kidding when they said small. You can complete Aborigenus in about 20 minutes. There are a handful of levels for you to tackle all rounded off with a last boss fight. You should not be put off though as this little adventure is rather charming. As they say, great things come in small packages.

Your adventure starts in a tribal war between two factions. Your warriors have not returned and you fear they have been captured. A strange shaman has attacked your territory and you must rescue your tribesmen. Simple enough and there is not much more to the story as you progress. Lack of story aside this 8-bit inspired platform romp has a lot going for it. The characters and enemies are unique and the game certainly has its own style. After the lovely visual cutscene your adventure starts.

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You start your journey with a basic jump and attack. The spear is your main weapon and you pull the right trigger to unleash a sharp thrust. You also start with a stealth skill that enables a single strike blow to your foes. You duck by pressing down and thrust your spear as the unexpecting enemies are vanquished. Tricky old school platform sections make up the rest of the gameplay that require you to have some pixel perfect reflexes.

The levels all have a barren plane feel with sporadic tree lines for you to explore. There are a few different routes to take but there are no real secrets to speak of. The platform sections have vines to climb and as you navigate your way through the enemies become tougher. The later stages have tribesmen from the rival faction that are best avoided unless you wish to increase your experience.

  • aborigenus
  • aborigenus

You level up automatically by killing enemies and each level grants ability points to spend. Upgrading your spear attack skill or adding moves such as projectiles are all done on the character screen. You acquire a fireball spell midway through the game after bringing a witch a flower and this adds to your move set. Your stealth and fireball each have their own gauge that slowly replenish over time. The level up system is very basic and the difference to your character are minimal.

Visually Aborigenus is lovely with vibrant pixel art and smooth animation. The colour palette is fitting with the game setting and you can’t help but enjoy the scenery even if it is a little bare in places. The effects are basic but do their job and the end game boss is impressive. It is a shame the game is so short as the level design and look is charming. You will be drawn into the world only to have it end suddenly.

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From our playthrough the best aspect of Aborigenus is its quality tribal drum soundtrack. One of the levels has you riding a giant chicken Donkey Country Country mine cart style and the music is excellent. We were impressed at how the music pumps up inline with the action. The sound effects are basic but again keeping with the theme. You will want more after hearing it and completing the game. The presentation is Aborigenus’ stand out feature.

For a short, budget game there is lots to love here but there is little replay value. Once the main quest is complete you can restart and try to improve your character by gaining more experience but there is no reason to. If you enjoy classic platforming action with tight controls then this is a decent title to spend an hour with. If you want something deep with longevity then this will not satisfy your taste. Such a shame there was not a few more levels but what is on offer is quality. 

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