The Way, was originally released on PC in 2016 where it lay in wait for SONKA to remaster and release a port for Nintendo Switch. The Switch version made it’s appearance a in April of 2018 but didn’t see the attention it deserves.
|DEVELOPER||PUBLISHER||RELEASE DATE||GENRE||PLATFORM TESTED|
|Puzzling Dream, Sonka||Playway||May/2016||Platformer||Nintendo Switch|
A deal on the Nintendo eShop has seen The Way Remastered on sale for $9.99 AUD or roughly $7 USD, making it a great bargain for fans of the 1986 Super Pitfall, itself being a remake of the earlier Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns.
Granted, in today’s video game climate, players are typically looking for exciting visuals, in depth game play, and lately a flurry of micro-transactions and loot crates. Well, the latter two are completely absent from The Way Remastered, however, a detailed and captivating story, combined with plenty of puzzles and nasty creatures is everything a platform enthusiast is after.
The story follows protagonist, Major Tom, who after tragically losing his wife, sets about a mission to abscond with her body,heading out in search of an alien race who can save her.
Each location you play through houses numerous puzzles which often require you to back-track, pick up items, unlock doors and carefully plan your route.
Wrong turns, or poor timing of actions can be catastrophic in The Way Remastered, not just because of the alien creatures lurking in shadows or holes in the ground, but also due to the most common killer in the game – falling.
Much like the infamous and challenging Pitfall games from the 80’s, The Way Remastered requires you to navigate across wide, yawing caverns, high pillars and vine covered walls. Some situations call for slow and precise movements, while others must be tackled with speed and agility, such as the first “boss”, a giant spider-like creature that quickly scales the wall behind you, meaning one wrong move and your webbed.
This is not a game for players who shy away from having to repeat steps, as trial and error is the main method utilized to see your way to the end of Major Tom’s adventure.
Visually, The Way Remastered is a stunning example of pixel art, creating a depth and detail that are almost wasted on us due to the many distractions and dangers. Some parts of the game are slowed right down, which provides an opportunity to enjoy the world around you. So make the most of these moments.
Something that was quite surprising about The Way Remastered was the amount of content the game has on offer. This isn’t a platformer that you will blast through, although there are plenty of speed run guides out there for those so inclined.
Taking your time, and piecing together each puzzle is a therapeutic experience which consequently adds a depth to The Way Remastered that will give you hours of play time.
So, what’s wrong with The Way Remastered?
While SONKA’s remaster of Puzzling Dream’s platformer is full of interesting and satisfying moments, it’s not without it’s faults.
Controls are simple, easy to use and minimal, with the only inputs being direction with the left stick, aim with the right stick, jumping with B, interaction triggered by A, and your laser pistol/equipment with R. The only problem here is the delay between actions that plague the game.
There are many times where you can come undone simply by not being able to turn and shoot fast enough, or struggling to jump when you planned. There is also a very frustrating occurrence when trying to descend, which sees Major Tom grabbing a ledge that you were trying to go under, this triggers the animation state of pulling himself up. The only way we found to combat this is to crouch when dropping from ledges close together. This seems like a minor issue that SONKA had the chance to fix and either overlooked or rushed through the later stages of development.
Adding to the negative points, there isn’t much desire to replay The Way, unless you are keen to speedrun it, which most gamers aren’t interested in.
Once you complete the game, there isn’t anything more for you. No additional content, no extras the second time through or variations that create a different story.
The cons of The Way Remastered are certainly outweighed by the story, and fun gameplay, as well as the modest price. $9.99 is a fair price, although after the current deal ends the price will go back up above $20, which is harder to justify.
The story wraps up neatly in The Way Remastered, leaving little room for a sequel, however, if SONKA managed to squeeze another chapter into this title, perhaps as a prequel, it would be a welcome addition.
Some gamers are of the belief that story driven games are dead, and the future is paved with high resolution, MMO titles with vast maps and competitive battles. The Way Remastered is a good example of how a nicely crafted story, and minimalist design can produce a well rounded game, with plenty of content.
Perhaps you are just in need of a break from battle royale and hunting for loot, or you want a taste of 80’s style pixel animation wrapped up in a space explorer love story.
What platformer would you like to see remastered? Let us know in the comments below.
The Way Remastered
- Nice UI and easy to learn controls.
- Compelling story and addictive as fark.
- Beautiful pixel art that perfectly captures inspiration from classic games like Pitfall.
- It is far too easy to make mistakes, timing jumps is frustrating and difficult.
- The game could really do with a bit more story.
- It would be more enjoyable if instead of unlimited lives, they made it slightly less impossible to accurately navigate tight spaces and large gaps.