We could all do with a little less World sometimes but... Worldless?


So... if a turn-based Metroidvania game sounds odd to you then yep, you're not alone. For me this is a first, an odd combination of a traditionally action-based genre with turn-based combat... Yet somehow Worldless works. You move with the left stick, jump with ‘A’ and have a dart move mapped to ‘RB’, so rather than double-jumping you dart up to higher platforms or perform extended jumps. You attack enemies with Hack 'n’ Slash and magical attacks (with ‘A’ and ‘X’) and when it's the opponent's turn the same two buttons become your block buttons. Later you can also unlock a ranged bow attack, which can be used in combo with your sword attack for extra damage.

The objectives, while always clear, are not always easy to get to, and some of the creatures you come across would appear to be unbeatable at the start, so you either have to find another route or upgrade, grow and come back...

The combat is an odd mixture but works really well.

Fortunately, unlockable upgrades for your 2 different attacks (physical and magical) drop regularly, as you 'absorb' defeated enemies, and both have their own upgrade trees. Add elemental weaknesses and it all starts to get rather complicated, I was left kind of mystified as to how I managed to lose to some enemies.

The Worldless world is made up of various zones with platform ledges, tunnels and various different physical/mechanical aids (like appearing platforms or swings). These areas are demanding yet interesting sections, with gorgeous colours, smooth animation and pinpoint accurate control, Worldless seems to have it all...

The skill tree is just as stylised and minimalist as the rest of the game.

Unfortunately it falls into the category of “could have been great” but isn’t because of an age-old platforming no-no; sections where you can drop way back down where you started from. Some leaps require quick combinations of jumping with ‘A’, a direction input and a dart movement with ‘RB’, and frankly some are so difficult that they're just mean.

Worldless is without doubt an original concept, and good-looking in an abstract, heavily stylised way. Its problem is that it's a bit too "out there" to have much chance of selling well.

Many thanks to: Coatsink, Noname Studios, Thunderful and Plan of Attack for the review code.