league of evil

League of Evil (August 2017)

System:
Nintendo Switch
Publisher:
Ratalaika Games
Developer:
Ratalaika Games
Series:
Indie

Out of the many Nindies on the Nintendo Switch, few can pull off the feeling of not being an indie game; however, League of Evil is one of those rare Nindies that does just that.

While we hope a Super Mario Maker port or remaster comes to the Switch in the near future, we needed a game to hold us over until then. Thankfully, I can say League of Evil scratches that itch. League of Evil takes an interesting, 8-bit twist on the whole ‘create-and-play’ genre of video games. The end result may be a little lacking compared to other games in the genre, but it is still is a fun ride.

Advertisement

League of Evil – The Review

Catchy Music

The game’s music is catchy and sticks in your head. It’s enjoyable, and I sometimes catch myself bobbing my head or not paying attention to what I’m playing, all because of the background music. Imagine a classic NES soundtrack, like the energy zone in Contra. The soundtrack of League of Evil resonates a feeling of Nostalgia, even though it’s new and original. The music isn’t the peak of what the game can achieve, but it provides a high level of charm. All in all, it’s an enjoyable soundtrack but not the absolute best.

The Curse of Joystick Controls

Gameplay is a blast. Everything moves very smoothly and the controls are easy to memorize in about 3 minutes. But, there is a slight problem.

Usually with many 8-bit style games, moving with a joystick isn’t terrible in any way to control, but this game feels like it should’ve used the D-pad on the switch controller when playing. You move side to side at a fixed speed when the joystick is turned far enough to that side. This might seem fine, but it’s detrimental to gameplay. Here’s how:

When making my own level, I noticed that trying to jump up through a one blocked hole was very precise and hard to do. You have to be within a very specific amount of pixels to jump up, and even then getting to anywhere else with just a one blocked opening just doesn’t work well.

League of Creator Mode

The level editor in the game

In other terms of gameplay, we also have the create mode. Similar to Super Mario Maker, you can create a level with any blocks or enemies you choose and test them out. When you’re finished, you can share it with the world. League of Evil is probably the best successor to that game that we have on the Switch. If anything, League of Evil is a prototype of what the next Mario Maker could look like. You can easily select blocks and enemies and stages all without having to look down at a gamepad. It works surprisingly better than I expected!

It could use some work, however. I found myself repeating the same blocks and enemies, wishing I had more level editing options. At some points, it does feel bland, especially compared to the colorful world of Mario, but it gets the job done, and it does it well.

Playing others’ levels is a breeze. All you have to do is find one you want to play, download it, and then you can play it anywhere, even offline!

Concluding Remarks

So is it really worth picking up this Nindie?

Absolutely! I’ve played a few Nindies already, and this is the one I play more than others because it has the Mario Maker feeling. It’s a bit bland, has some controlling changes, and could be a tiny bit smoother, but it works well. It does what it’s intended for: to play and create your own 8-bit levels. The music – especially for an indie game – is phenomenal for just being chiptune. It’s memorable and really sets the tone of the game. An action game to create and play.

Overall, there’s a memorable soundtrack and some good improvisation from the original Mario Maker. However, it could use much more work. As for the time being, pick it up; it’s a great game!

League of Evil was purchased by Austen Glapa for the purposes of this review. If you have questions about how we score the games that we review, check out our Review Rubric page. You can also read our Ethics Policy for more information.

League of Evil

$7.99
League of Evil
8.7

Gameplay

8.8 /10

Visuals

8.5 /10

Sound

8.7 /10

Difficulty

8.7 /10

Pros

  • Music was catchy and really pulled me in
  • Game is quick and to the point, and depending on the level you choose can be easy or challenging
  • Controls are very smooth

Cons

  • Even with smooth controls, some tweaks could be made
  • Some levels are too difficult, and might require skipping them
  • Maker is a little bland



Austen Glapa

A Nintendo YouTuber, I have been playing games since I was a toddler and am expanding my collection day after day!