Eastward — A beautiful pixel world and a fallen society

In a broken future, a miner, John, finds a secret lab containing a single resident. The two start off on a journey to change the world, heading eastward.

Eastward, from developer Pixpil and publisher Chucklefish, takes place in a near-future world decimated, with a plummeting human population. Despite this, the world is still densely packed, haunted by the remains of the society from before. It’s a beautiful, if sometimes eerie, world, with that highly detailed pixel-art we have come to expect from Chucklefish signings.

Back in the nineties, where Eastward definitely takes cues from, how we thought of adventure, RPG and metroidvania games had yet to be defined fully. Eastward exists within those boundaries, featuring exploration and intent reminiscent of Link To The Past and Secret of Mana’s sparsely populated lands and directional, real-time combat. Visually though, with its more extreme character designs and quirky robot, scientist and proto-nature-filled story, it summons up memories of Earthbound.

Eastward’s decaying cities, dusty hallways and rogue machinery make for a compelling setting, one filled with some clever platforming puzzles and interesting characters. However, it is really the strange interplay of fallen society and unknown nature that make it stick out to me the most.

Despite seeing the game back while at EGX, we’ve held back on running this article until extended gameplay of the game became available, so you can find a fifteen-minute video of the game embedded into the post now. It shows the movement and bomb puzzles as well as introducing some of the weird and wonderful wildlife that fills the world. The various characters showcased in the video below have some quirky traits and personalities, further showing off the unique aspects of this world. There’s even a boss battle at the end.

You can find out more about Eastward on the game’s website and Twitter, or follow the developers on the Pixpil Twitter and Tumblr.

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