Escape From Naraka is an interesting game. Image an infinite runner game such as Temple Run but you control the movement from a first person perspective. I didn’t know what to make of it at first but it definitely grew on me.
The game is essentially a first person puzzle platformer. The goal of the game is to successfully navigate the level and reach the end while gathering all the collectables for a high score. The game eases you into the levels by having mostly simple jump puzzles and some sections where you have to crouch under obstacles. And then it slowly ramps up the difficulty by giving you abilities.
The first ability is an ice projectile that can trigger switches as well as freeze platforms and enemies in place. They use this in interesting ways. For example, some sections have disintegrating platforms so you must freeze them as you’re jumping on them to get to the next check point. The game is quite fast paced and you have to think and react pretty quickly.
The second ability is a dash. This helps you navigate mid air obstacles as well as get past some dangerous enemies. The need to use abilities isn’t the only reason for the increase in difficulty. The game introduces a lot of hazards in the environment that can instantly kill you. Combine dangerous enemies, hazards that result in instant death, and the need to be constantly moving and using abilities and you have a pretty frantic game.
To top it all off, some of the levels have boss encounters. The fourth level is the first time you will encounter a boss, a giant monkey. The first stage has you bait the monkey to throw rocks at supporting columns. Once all the columns are broken, the floor will break leading to the second stage. For the second stage, you must kite the monkey around as you lead him to break barriers and destroy the once protected rune stones before you can escape.
It was pretty difficult and hectic the first time around. And that is the charm of Escape from Naraka. It’s a very challenging and fast paced game that tests your reflexes. The inclusion of an online leaderboard made me want to go back and replay all the levels to get a higher score. The game definitely took me by surprise and subverted my expectations.