6Souls – Review
Follow Genre: Action-adventure platformer
Developer: BUG-Studio
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platform: PC, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X
Tested on: Switch

6Souls – Review

Site Score
8.5
Good: Platforming gameplay is fun, Great music
Bad: Needs some more checkpoints
User Score
9.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)

BUG-Studio is a small indie game developer from Russia who has been focussing mainly on pixel games with a retro touch. Their most recent project is 6Souls, a 2D action-adventure platformer that is both old-school in feel while also reminding us of recent classics in the genre such as Celeste. With over eighty levels that slowly scale up in difficulty, getting through this castle won’t be an easy task. Thankfully you’ll have a doggy companion with you the entire way!

Story

Like any good fantasy tale, 6Souls starts out with the protagonist setting out on a quest. In this case, his name is Jack, a young man traveling with his dog Butch to find fancy relics. Along the way, they discover a mysterious castle that once belonged to the Clifford family, though all the members seem to have disappeared and the castle is infested with nasty creatures. Jack and Butch will need to fight and platform their way through the various rooms to discover what horrible curse has befallen the castle and its residents.

Graphics

6Souls uses pixel-art, which is an artistic choice that’s probably not everybody’s cup of tea but works pretty well for this game. The fact that the characters and set-pieces are so tiny means intricate detail is often lost, and this can be a bit of a shame, especially when it comes to enemy design. Nonetheless, the levels themselves look great and there’s actually a lot of diversity in how they look despite the entire game taking place in one castle. A lot of creativity also clearly went into designing the bosses, which are an essential part of the game.

Sound

The music in 6Souls is pretty great, boasting a full soundtrack of 8-bit songs that really set the tone for the adventure you’re embarking on. And as you might have guessed from the above comment, that does mean there’s some excellent boss music in this too. All the expected sound effects are present, and while there’s no voice acting in the traditional sense, the characters talk in a sort of endearing gibberish language that somehow becomes quite fun to listen to. More importantly perhaps, when playing as Butch the dog, there is a dedicated bark button for all your barking needs.

Gameplay

6Souls is an action-adventure platformer, meaning you’ll be needing to combine fighting enemies with platforming across challenging terrain. Each chapter is a series of levels consisting of rooms, and if you die, you’ll need to start from the beginning of the room again. While this is a minor inconvenience at first, later in the game when rooms become incredibly big, dying near the end of them will have you screaming and wishing for a checkpoint. When you reach the very end of a chapter, a boss fight takes place.

To defend yourself against these bosses and the regular monsters lurking inside the castle, Jack can use a sword for close-range attacks and a bow for long-range. You also have a shield, but its durability means you can only use it a handful of times before it will break. It recovers between rooms though. Jack has three hit points that also heal between rooms, so you have a bit of leeway. Environmental hazards such as spikes are an instadeath however.

And there are plenty of those environmental hazards since platforming is the second major element of 6Souls. All the classic gameplay elements are present: jumping, grabbing onto walls, hanging from ledges, climbing. As you proceed in the game, you even unlock more intricate powers for Jack, such as a quick dash you can use once while in midair. The rooms grow gradually harder as you go on, making it fun for the player since you’ll also have to slowly increase your skill to keep up with the difficulty level of the game.

Sometimes you’ll come across an area you can’t get to unless you crawl through a tight space. That’s when Jack will send out Butch to save the day. When you play as Butch, you don’t have any weapons, and stealth becomes your best friend. Butch also can’t use any of those special platforming skills, but he does have a handy double jump that’s unique to playing him. As both characters, you’ll be able to find optional collectibles, which don’t do much but can be interesting if you care about a 100% completion rate.

Conclusion

6Souls brings us a solid retro action-adventure game where the platforming elements actually turned out to be more enjoyable than the fighting ones. The writing is genuinely very funny, especially Jack and Butch have a great dynamic that adds to what is an acceptable but rather cliché plot. If you don’t get frustrated by a lack of checkpoints, this is the game for you.

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Rating: 9.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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6Souls - Review, 9.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Jessica


Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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