A simple, indie 2D side-scrolling action platformer, Sofiya and the Ancient Clan has an approachable design that anyone can pick up and play. Unfortunately, cheap level design, repetitive enemies, and the lack of a checkpoint system are major issues that severely decrease the overall fun factor.
Playing as a witch, who wears a low-cut dress in-game but then a turtleneck in all cutscenes, it is your job to kill throngs of demons and undead monsters to stop a greater evil. The story is there but it doesn’t really make sense; it doesn’t matter anyway when all the player does is jump over the same platforms and hit the same switches. If there is one word to describe the gameplay, it would have to be “repetitive”.
Armed with a simple horizontal flying, limited reach magic attack and a double jump, navigating each stage becomes a chore as it is littered with enemies that take way too many hits. Compounding combat, the witch can only shoot one slow moving bullet at a time plus it is on a cooldown timer. It is much faster and more entertaining to jump over each enemy when possible. Sometimes that massive rock monster will block the path so you have to shoot him six times to destroy him, so combat is stupidly balanced and a chore. The few world capping boss battles are not much fun either.
The stage design is also boring and repetitive. The worst part, some stages can take several minutes to complete but the player is thrown back to the beginning upon death. Almost all enemies drop health and magic potions so you won’t ever die from taking too many hits. However, it is easy to die on those spikes or other one-hit death traps. It took me a few hours to complete the campaign earn the Platinum trophy but there were several times I rage quit for the day due to many unfair and cheesy jumps. The camera also moves in wonky ways and doesn’t also show what is coming next. Even the witch’s main walking animation is jerky.
There are so many things wrong, annoying, or terribly broken with Sofiya and the Ancient Clan it is difficult to find any bright spots. I guess it is a positive that you unlock the Platinum trophy through natural gameplay and the asking price is low, but it is still hard to recommend with gameplay that is composed of so much tedious and unfair design.
Not As Good As: Tiny Barbarian
Also Don’t Play: Dark Minute – Kira’s Adventure
Play It Instead: the Parasite Pack
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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