Eastward is another beautiful apocalypse
This is my kind of apocalypse, I think: nature reclaiming urban spaces, school buses repurposed as makeshift bridges. I'll even take the mutant wildlife that needs battering with a frying pan. And look! It's real-time battering when I was suspecting turn-based. Eastward is alright!
This is an RPG in which dense pixel art meets modern lighting. The world is ending and two heroes are making their way through a cobbled-together world. One hits things with a frying pan, the other zaps things with magic. You can switch between them at will, separate them and draw them back together again.
Puzzles? You bet. Frying pan man bashes a raft through the water and then magic girl zaps obstacles out of the way. Battling? Absolutely: mushrooms that spew mushrooms, electrical slugs, a boss that comprehensively did me in. Shops and loot and levelling up? Absolutely. Eastward's demo is a perfect vertical slice. Lovely inventory screens waiting to be filled. Weapons waiting to be collected. There's even a cooking system that allows you to make meals that confer boosts and whatnot.
The whole thing reminds me a little of the Mario and Luigi games, despite the shift to real-time battling. And if there's nothing mechanically arresting that stands out so far, the art style is absolutely wonderful. This is a world that I want to explore. Just so long as I have my frying pan with me, obv.