Canyon Capers – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Platformer, Retro, Casual, Indie, Action
Developer: Crazy Moo Games
Publisher: KISS ltd
Platforms: PC

Canyon Capers – Review

Site Score
7.5
Good: Almost authentic retro gameplay and visuals albeit upgraded
Bad: Terrible interface design, no real storyline, sound can be irritating after a good while
User Score
6.5
(4 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (4 votes cast)

The original Canyon Capers platform game was released in 1992 for PC, Atari ST and the Commodore Amiga. Over the years, the game has been rediscovered by many fans of the games that we now call retro games. This has brought the original crew together to bring us a remastered version of the game that will serve as a homage to the original version. Not only are the graphics updated, there are seven new characters to unlock, news levels and worlds to venture in, new game modes and much more. We already know it’s a homage to the original title but will the game be able to bring a nostalgic feeling?

Canyon Capers

Story

While there is a small storyline in Canyon Capers, it is barely noticeable. You’ll find yourself playing immediately with no background story or whatsoever but there should be one. You will travel through various canyons and ancient ruins as either Dino Jr or one of his seven friends. As you venture through historical areas, you will come closer and closer to your end goal, namely the Golden Mollusk. The object, that has no background story either, is a source of all universal power and an incredible trophy to find but this is also where the storyline ends. I do feel that there needs to be more backbone to the story as this somewhat breaks the continuous loop of gameplay.

Graphics

The visuals in Canyon Capers are clearly a homage to the original title. The overall theme simply shouts “Canyon Capers” but it is also clear that the graphics has been fine-tuned to fit the modern needs of today’s gaming. Something that is clearly noticeable when comparing the games with each other is that the levels in the remastered version are significally bigger which is clearly visible with the usage of detailed backdrops. The graphics are still in a cartoonish style but they’re not overly cartoonish and not overly realistic. As far as I’m concerned, the graphics will truly give you that nostalgic feeling.

Sound

The sound is difficult to define. For the most part it seems to be some type of rhythmic electro orchestra. During the levels, the sound is even more rhythmic, ranging from soft drumbeats in the background to a fast trumpet that will remind you that time is of the essence. Overall, the sound is modernized but it still has the ability to remind you of the golden age games. The jumping pling sound and the cling sound when gathering golden coins in Mario style will certainly remind you of many games but even after all these years, they can get rapidly annoying.

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Gameplay

The menu interface is one that you will instantly hate. Not only is it ugly but it is also not user friendly. While you are trying to navigate the menu which consists of buttons and not text, a high score table can suddenly appear and is at times difficult to get rid of. First impressions usually mean a lot but in this case, the poorly designed menu interface is the worst part of the game.

Canyon Capers is a run-and-collect-all type of gameplay where you need to collect a certain amount of gems, coins, treasure chests, food and others before the timer runs out. Once you have collected everything, a vortex will open up somewhere in the map and you need to find it and pass it so you can move on to the next level. At its core, the gameplay feels like it comes straight from the 90s platformer which is brilliant for those that miss the good old days, or the original version of Canyon Capers. The gamepad works flawlessly and those that do not have access to a gamepad can play with the keyboard without any lag. As the core gameplay is very retro, so are the mechanics of the game. You do not have an overload of buttons you need to smash which makes controlling your character certainly easier. The jumping animation where the character is doing a back flip is slightly irritating, although this may be a personal opinion. The jump height is also quite low and not that far when jumping over a ledge horizontally which will frustrate certain types of players.

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The levels in Canyon Capers are not super easy but also not incredibly hard but the difficulty does increase overtime at a decent rate. You may want to learn the position of the items that need to be collected after a while so you may finish a level within the given time limit. Completing this without memorization can be done but it can be tricky due to the fact that you will lose far too much time running back and forth across the map. Beside needing to collect the requires items, there are several environmental hazards to watch out for such as fire and spewing lava. Additionally, you will need to pay attention to the various beasts that roam the worlds such as snakes, mice, birds, insects and even fishes. While you are rushing your way through the mazes of platforms, you may often find yourself accidentally hitting one of these dangers. Not to worry, if you do manage to hit a beast, you will shift into a ghost-like modus so you can simply cross the beast without any issues. If you do manage to die, which is highly unlikely, you will simply respawn somewhere nearby. It seems rather easy this way but the time limit and the run-and-collect-all type of gameplay balances it out quite nicely.

Each character has their own ability to help you advance into the game. For example, Dino Jr will display an arrow that points towards the exit-vortex while Dotty can locate gems. Mostly these abilities are easy to figure out but at times you may be scratching your head. Having eight different playable characters such as Dino Jr, Dotty and Afroboy with their own type of abilities makes sure that there is some variation in the gameplay.

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Conclusion

Make no mistake here, Canyon Capers is not a port of the original game. It is a new game that pays homage to the original title and they have succeeded in doing so. It is a great modern take on the retro classics, including Mario Bros but there is still room for improvements. The interface design for example is simply horrific and the sound is something you’ll learn to mute but these are issues that will not weigh heavily on the score as the gameplay itself is more important.

While Canyon Capers is not the greatest game on earth, it still manages to be an attractive and pleasant game for all ages to enjoy. It is also a lovely way for your children, nieces and cousins to experience the games we grew up with without having to hear that the graphics are too blocky.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Canyon Capers - Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings
Drydwen
Drydwen


Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

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