Developer Oniric Games, creators of the clever little stealth action game Silent Swords [$2.99], are throwing their hat into the “metroidvania” style platforming ring with their upcoming Elemental Rage. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, metroidvania refers to action platforming games with a large focus on exploration and acquiring items to unlock additional areas as you progress, and was coined following the popularity of games like Super Metroid and Castlevania Symphony of the Night which used the style to great effect.

Elemental Rage involves an evil sorcerer named Devan who has stolen all of the Elemental Spirits of a faraway planet, turning its inhabitants into dark enemies and threatening to kill off the planet entirely. You play as a character named Huna who must regain the Elemental Spirits and defeat Devan, thus restoring peace to the planet.

In true metroidvania fashion, the game will feature “one big level” with areas that are initially blocked off, but become accessible through exploring and discovering new items and abilities. The game will take place in the expansive castle of the planet’s Spirit Guides, which has been taken over by Devan. Huna will team up with Talis, the Spirit Guide of Water, who will act as the leader in an effort to get back the Elemental Spirits and regain control of the castle.

One neat idea is that your special abilities will be upgraded based on the elements that you collect. So for example, collecting enough wind spirits will upgrade your regular jump into a double jump, and collecting enough water spirits allows you to breath underwater for a greater length of time. It sounds pretty interesting and I like how the ability upgrades tie into the elemental theme of the game.

The iPad version of Elemental Rage is currently in review with Apple, and is expected to release sometime this week barring any complications. The iPhone and iPod touch version needed a bit more work, but should follow about a week or so after. Both versions feature high resolution graphics and fully customizable virtual controls. The early impressions from beta testers in our forums have been really positive, and as a huge fan of metroidvania style games I’m really looking forward to checking out Elemental Rage hopefully sometime this week.

  • starcat

    this looks like it might have been fun 15 years ago..

  • theshked

    This looks great, but is anyone else weary of buttons instead of touch and swipe controls in iDevice platformers?

  • squarezero

    If they work, why would anyone get weary of them?

    In any event, based on the demo I tested of this game, swipe-to-jump wouldn't work, since you need to control the duration (and height) of the jump.

  • GiHubb

    I love these kind of games (Robot Wants Kitty, Shadow Complex) but the gameplay here looks very slow and not very exciting. In the end, it's the controls and how the movement feels that make or break these games.

    • squarezero

      Trust me: it gets intense enough. But this isn't a timed game like RwK and LoE -- there's a much more involved exploration component, which makes gameplay feel more deliberate than in other short-burst platformers. There's also a story that, while familiar, keeps you involved.

      From what I was able to gather from the demo I tested, this promises to be a very nice game. The controls are spot on, the art and animation are simple but well executed, and the level design is challenging without being frustrating. I would hope that people don't judge it based only on preconceptions.

  • MisterDrgn

    I don't want to rule out a whole class of games without considering each individual case but...

    Every experience I've had with virtual controls (and granted, I've only had a few) has been negative. There are always lots of great games coming out for iOS. Therefore, I don't really see a reason to spend money on games that don't control well on my phone, when I can just get games that do.

    • GiHubb

      I used to have the same opinion as yours, that virtual controls are always bad, but League of Evil made me a believer. It had excellent controls and felt great. The same can also be said regarding Robot Wants Kitty and some dual stick shooters (Solomon's Keep, to name a favorite). However, back to this game, the video here looks very slow and the jumping looks floaty which concerns me.

      • MisterDrgn

        Oh, dual stick shooters are different. They're one of a handful of control schemes that work really well on iOS, in my opinion. It's the jump/left/right virtual button scheme that doesn't work for me. However, I haven't tried League of Evil.

    • Nick

      Try Soosiz. It's the only platformer in the AppStore I've seen so far that has perfect virtual controls. You can jump pixel perfect with it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2TCN4ALC3T7HA3BA24232WOV6I Matthew Keith

    Metriodvania to the max, it's supoused to be retro hence Metriodvania which is a retro style of platformer. Retro 4 Evar

  • Kashichiridoshi

    Why are all videos on toucharcade not viewable from ipad? Is there any way to fix it? Or is there something wrong with my ipad?

  • Robotron2084

    Poor graphics IMO.

    And I'm a retro fan, not a graphics whore. But these just look sloppy to me.

  • Pai-lee

    Well, cute graphics but....0% charisma. And compare this game with a castlevania series....

    Nice game anyway

  • the truth

    looks like a bad flash game

  • E_Domina

    one of the best metroidvania type games is spider man shattered dimensions on ds

  • ArtCoder

    Hi, I'm one of the developers of Elemental Rage. I just wanted to say thanks for all your comments, the positive ones and the others too :) I'm a great fan of metroidvanias and I'm sure if you are too you'll find a lot to like in our game.