Young Souls mixes punk and medieval to create a fresh, fun beat-em-up with RPG elements.
In Young Souls, the teenage twins Jenn and Tristan have had a tough hand dealt to them in life. After a freak fire, they are suddenly fending for themselves with nowhere to live. Along comes a kind, quirky scientist who adopts them, giving them much-needed shelter and stability. Life in the new town is boring, but one day while exploring the mansion, they find a portal to a different dimension and begin a quest to save the world.
There are two worlds that you will be jumping back and forth between. One is the typical human side that we are familiar with, but there’s another world, similar in appearances but also completely different, where goblins and other monsters thrive. This alternate world full of magic and monsters eventually becomes a tool to the twins, where they can upgrade abilities and buy and sell items that can only exist in that world. It’s a neat concept on the unlikely heroes trope, for sure.
Combat is mostly melee with some additional magic and abilities thrown in. You are able to block and dash to avoid attacks, but the fighting mostly remains similar to traditional beat-em-ups: fight a group, move to the next area. Bosses offer stronger attacks and require precise blocks and timing, giving you a chance to really test your skills.
Single-player pairs you with an AI companion, or you can also play co-op with a friend, sharing in the carnage together. Both characters are fully customizable from head to toe with armor and weapons, but you can also customize your clothes on the human side, as well. Young Souls makes it easy to play your way, with your preferred weapon, and look stylish while slaying.
The art design reminds me of Broken Age or Psychonauts and provides a clean aesthetic that showcases fluid animations and colorful design. The dungeons are quite detailed with something always going on in both the foreground and the background, adding depth to the otherwise dark and dingy environments. It was refreshing to find that each enemy had a distinct design to them and I didn’t feel like I was fighting “Goblin Red A”; instead, there are unique enemy classes with nuanced fighting styles for each creature.
Young Souls offers a role-playing beat-em-up with a heavy lean on story and customization. Throwing down against hordes of baddies is fun and exciting and the game has a unique art style that makes this cartoon-style brawler as gorgeous as it is fun to play. The twins may have the attitudes of typical teenagers, but the coming of age story that they find themselves intertwined with seems to suit them well.