“Pharaoh Rebirth+” is Quirky Metroidvania Fun!
Pharaoh Rebirth+ is a new platforming adventure published by Degica that hit Steam on March 17, 2016. It comes to us from Krobon Station, originally releasing sometime in 2015 in Japan, but having been lovingly translated and updated for this current world-wide Steam release.
The game sets us in the role of Jonathan, an archaeologist who, along with his rival Andre, was transformed into an animal sometime ago as part of a curse. The game opens with his discovering a lost oasis somewhere deep within Egypt, but thanks to Andre’s recklessness, the two are placed under another powerful curse that will kill them in seven days if they don’t travel all over the desert seeking out seven Holy Grails. So far, from the time I’ve spent with this one, I absolutely love the lovingly-crafted 16-bit aesthetic the game is presented with, which speaks of the mid-to-late 1990s and how games looked with late-SNES or PlayStation titles. The music is also absolutely fantastic and will keep you humming some of the tunes long after you’ve walked away from your computer.
Although the game is presented to us in a series of linear “stages,” each area is a winding, maze-like “dungeon” that will remind some of Super Metroid (and the 2D and 3D games made since then), the RPG-style Castlevania titles, and La-Mulana (itself a sequel of sorts to an older game called Maze of Galious from the MSX days). While you’ll be able to get through the levels in the prescribed order, you’ll gain new items and abilities along the way that will allow you to access new areas and secret/hidden items in previous parts of the current stage as well as stages you’ve already visited. This, coupled with all the stat upgrades from items, as well as a detailed system of collectibles, adds a lot of replay value and extra play-time to the experience.
I really enjoy the overall graphical style, soundtrack, play style, and the witty and fun dialogue of the game. It all flows together rather greatly in my opinion.