Giga Wrecker Alt comes from Game Freak who has taken a break from Pokémon to take a stab at the Metroidvania genre. Set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by killer robots, players are cast as Reika, a girl given a cybernetic arm.
Reika’s arm can control rubble and debris and use it to create weapons, platforms and more. The core of Giga Wrecker Alt’s gameplay is Reika’s ability and forms the basis for combat and puzzle solving.
It’s a unique and interesting mechanic that remains so for the duration of the game. It’s not quite enough to make Giga Wrecker Alt an absolute must-play, but the game is still absolutely worth your time.
Giga Wrecker Alt Review
At the beginning of Giga Wrecker Alt, Reika is trapped in a prison constructed by the robots who have overthrown the world. Confronted by a mysterious girl who calls Reika “kind” before trying to murder her and prevent mankind’s extinction. Before she can though, the robots — known as Ajit — kidnap the mysterious girl and leave Reika for dead.
In order to stay alive, Reika makes a deal with a scientist who gives her a cybernetic, prosthetic arm. The arm is what gives her the power to control debris and what lets her survive in this world.
Initially, Reika is only able to create balls of debris which can be used as a blunt instrument to bash. It’s not long before she has the ability to create platforms, swords, drills and more. Each of these weapons is used both for combat and for solving the never-ending puzzles thrown at you.
Some of these puzzles are super simple and involve you making a platform fall into the right spot. Others are much more complex and require you to direct lasers into a certain location or cause a platform to swing over a chasm and launch you across it.
These puzzles are cerebral and always satisfying to solve and thankfully, if they get too difficult, there’s a companion there to help you.
Exploration also plays really well. Much like any other platformer, you run, jump and fight as you go but Giga Wrecker Alt benefits from the excellent art design. For a post-apocalyptic world, it’s surprisingly colourful and alive. The animation and artwork are reminiscent of the style found in The World Ends With You. It has an anime aesthetic, coupled with a hand-painted, almost water-colour look.
The world is littered with burnt-out vehicles, toppled buildings and broken remains of humanity, but it looks really pretty. Which is odd. There’s always a lot to look at in the background and it makes for some interesting theory-crafting about what exactly went down.
It’s crisp and high-resolution and looks especially good on the Switch in handheld mode.
Making your way around the world and following the story does suffer a little from a lack of signposting. I was lost more than once as I tried to find the next checkpoint. The map isn’t much help as its design is really confusing and so, a few times, I wandered aimlessly until I found what I was looking for.
Another minor issue is that the game’s physics doesn’t always go the way you want it to. Sometimes objects would bounce off in a random direction or fall opposite the way I wanted them too. Thankfully, most rooms and puzzles feature multiple glowing platforms that can be used to rewind time and try again. These platforms also become part of the puzzles in some instances as you need to rewind to make different uses of the debris and platforms.
Not Bad At All
Like most games in this genre, you’ll come across some pretty hectic bosses. Luckily, they give you plenty of time to learn their moves and beat the crap out of them. One aspect of combat in Giga Wrecker Alt I really like is the indicator to show you whether you have enough debris to damage an enemy.
As enemies come in all shapes and sizes, some need more debris than others to take damage. When you have absorbed enough, the enemy will glow blue to indicate it can be damaged. It’s a simple, visual indicator, but effective and stylish.
Which is a good summation of Giga Wrecker Alt itself; effective and stylish.
It’s not the greatest Metroidvania you’re ever going to play, nor is it the greatest physics-based puzzle platformer. It is, however, a lot of fun and an interesting experience that will entertain you. Played on Switch, it’s perfectly suited for handheld mode, which is my preferred way to play.
Giga Wrecker Alt is a perfect travel companion and a great example of Game Freak’s non-Pokémon talents.
Giga Wrecker Alt was reviewed on Switch using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game Title: Giga Wrecker Alt
An interesting take on the Metroidvania genre - 8.1/10
Physics-based debris puzzles - 8.3/10
Great, 'hand-painted' visuals - 8.7/10
Puzzles, Combat, Platforming and more - 8/10