Feeling a little down that arcade machines are few and far between these days champ?
Long to pump dollar coin after dollar coin into the old cabinets?
Then I have a treat for you. Eternum Ex scratches that itch.
Eternum Ex Review
You play as the Fabled Sir Arthur of legend. Instead of him being a gallant sword-swinging Knight of yore, he is a wizened old man who beats monsters with his walking stick.
And his quest? Find the fountain of eternal youth! Odd quest premise but sure, why not? Everyone wants to be young again, right? Right?
The game itself perfectly encapsulates the retro arcade feel. Levels are crammed full of crazy things going on while you frantically jump around and collect stuff to advance.
The aim of the game is to collect the treasure chests littered around each of the levels to increase your overall score. Collect them all and move onto the next level. Simple.
Red chests can be collected instantly by walking over them. Green chests also require the player to strike from below to unchain and reveal the treasure within.
The more hits the more the chest is worth. This also works on the red chests but it uses what scarce little time Sir Arthur has to collect ’em all. Once you’ve found each chest, a portal opens to the next stage on the journey.
There is story mode which allows saving after each world but a limited number of continues. The arcade mode does not allow saving but has unlimited continues. It emulates the pocket full of coins we all had as young kids in the arcade.
Each stage is a single room that gradually swarms with nasties. These include the humble goblin to hero seeking banshees that make a beeline as soon as you cross their vision.
Enemies scale in difficulty and form more intricate patterns as the game progresses. Later, monsters encountered early in the game become buffed up versions that force the player to rethink thier previous tactics.
After four of these stages, you’ll reach the boss level and it throws the previous ones on their head. There are no chests to collect and instead you’ll tackle a vertical climb to the top avoiding nasties before you reach the world boss.
Die, Die, Die
One touch from any creature will kill you and remove a life from poor Sir Arthur until none remain and the game is over. You will take multiple tries at each level until you find your groove because this game is punishingly hard at times.
Fear not though, scattered throughout these levels are various power ups for Sir Arthur to use. One turns his walking stick into a fireball hurling instrument of retribution while another carpet bombs the level with fireballs.
These fireballs bounce around and slay enemies at random providing a much needed reprieve.
The audio in Eternum Ex is spot on with retro tunes to accompany your ques. Through the crispness of the Switch’s speakers, it was a joy listen to. Audio in Eternum Ex changes as you venture to different levels or fight the different bosses.
Eternum Ex is overall a very simple game, it doesn’t “do” much but what it does do, it nails.
I was sceptical at first, but Eternum Ex quickly had me hooked and trying and get as far as possible. Before I realised it, long hours had passed!
Anyone looking for a challenge with a bit of nostalgia should check out Eternum Ex, your inner child will thank you.
Eternum Ex was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the developer.
Game Title: Eternum Ex
Simple, but challenging - 9.2/10
Right in the good feels - 8.7/10
Punishingly hard sometimes - 5/10