WASD Coverage April 2024 - Nano Apostle

Article by Adam Ray

WASD has given this game reviewer so many things to literally write home about. Games I'd never even consider picking up if it weren't there for me to sample in a hall of nearly one thousand other Otakus. Some games gripped my attention, and some piqued my interest. Some are not worth recalling. But there was one game that brought my attention back for multiple plays and utterly gripped the attention of my dear friend and Mystic Muses teammate, DisAsteroth.

Nano Apostle is a pixel art, boss rush action game by PQube. There is something about its deeply difficult, highly polished, and well handled combative gameplay that dug meat hooks into the soft tissue of my brain that had me and my friends hooked from the drop, determined to try our all to defeat the boss monsters. Fail, then try again. And fail again.

In the story of the game, there is a young girl given access to nanotechnology and told she must rid the world of cybernetic abominations. Only then will she understand who she is and where she came from. That's exactly as deep as a game like this needs to get. Sometimes I don't need to go on a riverboat journey of an interweaving narrative. Sometimes I want to beat up giant monsters with flying axes.

Nano Apostle is deceptively easy to know how to play. You have one attack button, one butt to block, to dash, and to shoot your nanites. That's it. Take those skills into a repeating run of boss rush battles. The difficulty comes from how heavy those bosses hit and how quick your reaction times are.

During your endless runs and battles against the bads, you have the option to fully heal yourself, but only twice per fight. After that you're on your own. You can handle the hits when they come through thick and fast from the monsters by parrying any physical attack with the block button and audio cues down to the split second, and with your nanites. When you hit a bad guy with one of those ranged attacks, they're marked by the nanites, which you see near their health bar. The more you concurrently hit them, the more the nanite points fill up and when they max out, your character heals a whole 7%. It's a start towards glory at the very least.

The character's progression between fights grows to handle progressively more difficult and highly varying styles of boss monster. In the demo alone, we get a berserker with heavy physical attacks but also a priestess who fills the battlefield with bullets akin to a Cuphead nightmare.

The pixel art style and top down gameplay gives us a real sense of nostalgia, and the difficulty barrier is set to tantalise a great many players. Except that kid who sat down next to me at WASD and completed the Demo in his first try. Grumbles in old gamer.

Nano Apostle is easily one of my highlights from the entire weekend and one I recommend anyone who loves frenetic battlers to pick up when it's released later this year. Play the demo for it yourself right here.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: George R.R. Martin Presents: Wild Cards: Now & Then

Thought Bubble 2024 convention & festival dates announced

Mystic Muses: A D&D Podcast