Narita Boy is a beautifully animated narrative-driven pixel art action platforming adventure where you find yourself transported into an old 80’s video game and become the saviour of its digital world.
In Narita Boy you take on the role of an avid video game player who finds themselves trapped within the world of a best-selling 80’s video game. It turns out you’ve been teleported there after the game’s supervisor program had activated the Narita Boy Protocol, due to “Him” and “The Stallions” infecting the kingdom and deleting The Creator’s memories. You must now set forth and use your techno-sword to save the kingdom.
The gameplay in Narita Boy features a mixture of exploration, puzzle solving, platforming and combat. As you progress you unlock new skills and learn more about the game’s fascinating digital kingdom. The demo has a very slow start, but things get a little more action orientated once you find the Techno-Sword and start fighting enemies.
The pixel art animation is jaw-dropping, the combat is a lot of fun and the setting is very intriguing. There are some big issues with it at the moment though. Firstly the platforming feels floaty and imprecise, making even a simple jump feel like a chore. Worse though is the swathes of impenetrable dialogue – Narita Boy is the extreme opposite of the “show don’t tell” principle, with masses of techno-babble-filled text that bewilders the player rather than enlightens them. It’s a real shame as it honestly feels like it would make for a much more interesting and enjoyable experience if they just cut the majority of the text out.
A lot of work has clearly gone into Narita Boy and its digital kingdom really is a beautiful and fascinating place to explore. If the devs manage to fix the platforming and the impenetrable walls of text then it could be a classic. It’s got tons of style and the combat is a hell of a lot of fun!