While everyone else shrugged and accepted their fate, Atlas Wept and wondered if there was any hope left in humanity. Thankfully for this retro-style pixel art RPG, it comes in pairs (and one loyal companion) who could change all that.
Inspired by the Japanese classic game series Mother (or EarthBound in certain countries), Atlas Wept is developed by Kbojisoft and co-published with the backing of Wings. Described as a “Humanist retro-style game about sincerity and empathy, featuring friendly robot dogs and evil smiley faces”, it might seem too much to unpack for one game. Because it is, yet the playthrough proved that initial skepticism otherwise.
For starters, you have the option of navigating through Atlas Wept either by using a keyboard or gaming controller. In addition, you have the opportunity to test out power-ups at your disposal, defensive strategies, and attack accuracy through encounters with those “evil smiley faces.” Unfortunately, these said creatures relish the idea of cutting you down to size and you are tasked with vanquishing them before progressing further. One interesting feature to note is that the fight sequences do remind one of classic 90s Japanese games synonymous with the Nintendo Gameboy platform.
While there is no circular capturing device to collect the fallen foe (trust us, you would rather not after seeing them while playing Atlas Wept), you can however pick up other objects such as notes for the Stamp Book, coins, and as it transpired, other characters once the purple hoodie is lifted off to another chapter.
Stuck on an undisclosed planet and plunged into unchartered territory, two groups seek to find answers of their own in Atlas Wept. The pairing of Dezi and Charlie is tasked to investigate a sinister presence that has been terminating personalities in its path toward destruction. While on the other side of this universe, Hal discovers the power of friendship through his adventure time with vivacious Lucy and that sentient canine Gigi. Regardless of which stage you are at while playing Atlas Wept, expect lots of aimless navigation with a purpose, exploring potentially hazardous areas and explosive action.
Planning to take the safe and conservative route while focusing on being objective-driven? Not a chance and your partner will make sure of it. Remember those grotesque creatures that we mentioned at the beginning of Atlas Wept? As it turns out, they are a regular fixture during your encounters. The main difference, however, is that you have a numerical advantage (be it Dezi & Charlie or Hal, Lucy, and Gigi), and each character comes with individual abilities while healing each other when need be. Moreover, you have the option to increase their attributes individually and modify power-ups after each successful encounter.
Despite the sombre-sounding premise, this bleakness of Atlas Wept is remedied through a heartwarming storyline and uplifting dialogue between characters. Tragedy is the classic recipe for feel-good moments, and Atlas Wept’s retro-style pixel art RPG landscape generates bits of happiness (especially after defeating the monsters).
Ready to project powerful joyful beams?
Atlas Wept is available now on Steam.