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|OT| Eastward |OT| Earthbound & Down

Maiden Voyage

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Sep 5, 2014
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Developer: Pixpil Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Release date: 16 September 2021
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Nintendo Switch
Price: $24.99 ($22.49 pre-order price) USD
Metacritc: PC (85) | Switch (84)
Opencritic: 84 Average & 93% Recommend



Eastward is an adventure game with RPG elements, set in a beautifully detailed decaying world, where society is starting to collapse as the human population shrinks to an all-time low. As the world around falls to ruin, you play as a hardworking digger John, who must guide a mysterious girl named Sam through dangerous decaying cities, inhabited by strange monsters, and even stranger people! Inspired by 90s Japanese animation, the visual style of Eastward has been brought to life using a combination of a modern, innovative 3D lighting system and a rich retro-pixel artwork.

Details
  • Single player, dual character adventure RPG with puzzle-solving and dungeon elements
  • Join John and Sam in their emotional journey across a world falling to ruin
  • Meet a quirky cast of characters and encounter strange monsters and distant cities
  • Beautifully rich pixel art style, created using a combination of modern 3D lighting and retro-pixel style artwork
  • Soundtrack composed by Joel Corelitz (Death Stranding, Hohokum, The Unfinished Swan, The Tomorrow Children, Gorogoa), with sound design from Irish studio, Hyperduck Soundworks

🟨 ABOUT

Eastward is a beautifully detailed and charming adventure game, from Shanghai-based indie developers, Pixpil.
In the near-future, society is starting to collapse, and the human population is at an all-time low. A deadly toxic presence has spread across the land, destroying and devouring everything in its path.
Those who could escape the miasma flocked to underground villages to start a new life. But for a hardworking miner and a mysterious young girl, the hope of a thriving outside world beckons…
Escape the tyrannical clutches of Potcrock Isle's subterranean society and join Eastward’s unlikely duo on an exciting adventure to the land above! Discover beautiful yet bizarre settlements and make new friends as you travel across the world by rail.
Contains adult humor and some mature themes.

History
Development started on Eastward at Pixpil’s Shanghai office in 2015, with only 3 team members, using a game engine of the studio’s own making. Built around pixel artist Hong Moran’s original intricate post-apocalyptic pixel designs, and the team’s love of the Mother and The Legend of Zelda series and older Japanese animation styles, Pixpil were inspired to create a narrative driven RPG with a soft sci-fi storyline. Since then not only the ambitions of the game has grown, but also the team, now sitting at 10 members strong as they work towards the PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch release on 16 September 2021.

🟨 GAME FEATURES


Discover the wonderfully weird world of Eastward. Climb aboard the cross-country railway which spans this decaying continent, stopping off to explore its bustling towns, curious campsites and shady forests.


Fend off peculiar monsters and ferocious bosses with John’s weapon of choice - be it a flamethrower, cog-shooter or your trusty ol’ frying pan. Feeling merciful? Try temporarily stunning them with Sam’s kinetic blast.


Switch between John and Sam to solve environmental puzzles and fight your way through formidable dungeons. Separate the duo to unlock hidden paths or stick together as you traverse a perilous landscape.


Get to know a quirky cast of characters with oodles of personality! Immerse yourself in a heartwarming story-driven adventure, packed with fun and wacky humor.


Create deliciously authentic Eastwardian cuisine using (mostly) fresh, organic ingredients from toxic forests, potcrab farms and abandoned malls. These delicacies will grant health bonuses, power boosts and secret boons.


Bop along to a wonderfully upbeat soundtrack composed by Joel Corelitz (Death Stranding, Hohokum, The Unfinished Swan), with sound design from Irish studio, Hyperduck Soundworks (Dust: An Elysian Tail, Kingdom Rush)

🟨 FAQ

- What is Eastward?
Eastward is a beautifully detailed and charming action adventure game with RPG elements, coming soon to PC, Mac, and Nintendo Switch.

- Who’s making it?
Eastward is being developed by Pixpil, a small indie developer based in Shanghai, China.

- What’s this game about?
In the near-future, society is starting to collapse, and the human population is at an all-time low. A deadly toxic presence has spread across the land, destroying and devouring everything in its path. But for a hardworking miner and a mysterious young girl, the hope of a thriving outside world beckons…
Join Eastward’s unlikely duo on an exciting adventure to the land above! Discover beautiful and bizarre settlements, fight off peculiar enemies with John’s trusty frying pan or Sam’s kinetic blast, and make new friends as you travel across the world by rail.

- When is Eastward coming out?
Eastward releases September 16, 2021. It’s available to pre-order on Nintendo Switch and Steam.

- Is it coming to consoles?
It’s available to pre-order on Nintendo Switch, more consoles have not yet been confirmed

- What is Eastward built in?
Eastward is being developed using Pixpil’s in-house game engine based on MOAI. It’s a cross-platform C++/Lua engine.

🟨 TRAILERS


🟨 SCREENSHOTS​

🟨 SOCIALS​

Discord: https://discord.gg/UagrRSW
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pixpil
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eastwardgame/
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/eastward/

 
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fart town usa

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looks awesome, I'll have to read up on this. If it's just a straight up action/adventure game then I will very likely give it a go.

There's a lot of great look old-school games but they always throw in some twist that I don't have any interest in. I just want to play something straight forward, hopefully this is one I've been waiting for.
 
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Nozz-A-La

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This does look absolutely beautiful, and with the great reviews I am getting more and more tempted. Plus it would fit nicely around WarioWare.

Edit: forgot to say thanks for the really nicely done OT.
 
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Fools idol

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So -- a good few hours in thus far...

Gameplay is very simplistic, but, honestly, I think it works for this game. The world is cozy as hell, the comparisons to Earthbound run deep.

Pros;

+ great soundtrack
+ cozy and interesting world
+ gorgeous artstyle
+ intriguing story

Cons;

- very one dimensional combat at least so far
- enemies are repetitive
- not necessarily a con but already doing a fair bit of backtracking

I am starting to unlock weapons and the abilities look cool so perhaps the combat con wont stick. It seems quite big world wise too which is really surprising!
 

Maiden Voyage

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So -- a good few hours in thus far...

Gameplay is very simplistic, but, honestly, I think it works for this game. The world is cozy as hell, the comparisons to Earthbound run deep.

Pros;

+ great soundtrack
+ cozy and interesting world
+ gorgeous artstyle
+ intriguing story

Cons;

- very one dimensional combat at least so far
- enemies are repetitive
- not necessarily a con but already doing a fair bit of backtracking

I am starting to unlock weapons and the abilities look cool so perhaps the combat con wont stick. It seems quite big world wise too which is really surprising!
Nice feedback! I have to wait until tonight or this weekend to dive in myself.
 

BadBurger

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I didn't get a lot of time to play this yesterday, but it's good for what it is. I think Fools idol Fools idol hit the nail on the head in their quick assessment. The artwork takes me back to childhood in a weird way, reminds me of the anime my brother used to watch.
 
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Maiden Voyage

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I didn't get a lot of time to play this yesterday, but it's good for what it is. I think Fools idol Fools idol hit the nail on the head in their quick assessment. The artwork takes me back to childhood in a weird way, reminds me of the anime my brother used to watch.
I wanted to get some time in, but it's already late and I need to workout. I should have time to gather my thoughts tomorrow. Glad to hear the game is getting positive feedback so far.
 

Hoppa

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I'm a few hours in on the Switch version, game looks great - amazing detailed work by the artists. It reminds me a bit of the Metal Slug environments and Golden Sun. Combat is a quite simple but it works and the animations make it feel satisfying. Story is a little bit like a Bryan Lee O Malley comic. Enjoyed what I've played so far!
 

Holammer

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Tried the demo in one Steam's demo events and liked it, what's with the negative complaints in the user reviews about 900p resolution. Is it as bad as it sounds?
 
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BadBurger

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Tried the demo in one Steam's demo events and liked it, what's with the negative complaints in the user reviews about 900p resolution. Is it as bad as it sounds?

It definitely looks blurry when playing fullscreen on my 1440p monitor. I had to set it to windowed, which is fairly small but looks a lot better. If you own a Switch and like to play handheld it might be the way to go.
 

godhandiscen

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I’ll try to make some time this weekend to play this game. I saw the trailers and I enjoy the art style. Fingers crossed it is good.
 
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BadBurger

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Been looking forward to this. Anyone know if this will come to Playstation or Xbox?

Pixpil has made no comment about it coming to additional platforms. I am guessing they're going to want to focus on a PC patch for the resolution and any sort of additional monetization (DLC, whatever) before porting. As I understand it it is a very small team and this is their first game.
 

TorturedMoon

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It definitely looks blurry when playing fullscreen on my 1440p monitor. I had to set it to windowed, which is fairly small but looks a lot better. If you own a Switch and like to play handheld it might be the way to go.

Yeah, I've seen a few people saying similar things. I saw somebody suggest changing some Windows scaling setting and how that helped them but then people replied and said it didn't work for them. I guess I can always try it and refund if I'm not happy but, after following this game for so long and being so hyped for it, it's a little disappointing to read this about resolution as I was planning on playing this weekend. I really don't fancy messing around with Windows settings and tweaking things in the NVIDIA panel to get it looking right.

I guess it's subjective, though, as many people seemingly don't even notice. I wonder if it'll always be like this or if there'll be a patch. I saw a developer comment about turning off some filter but then people still said it didn't change the fact that the resolution was just low and didn't scale up evenly to 1440p, etc.

All that said, the game looks great and the reviews are solid for the most part. I can't wait to eventually play it.
 

Maiden Voyage

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I put in an hour over lunch. First impression is both impressed and somewhat frustrated. There are a few things that come across as poor design.

The first dungeon/enemy encounters in the game having minor branching rooms and such. After unlocking the bombs, for some reason, this path on the left is unlocked via bombs, but you get a message every time you try to enter saying first go beat this enemy spawn point before. Why not have an action cut that route off until you've done the thing they want you to? Just seems like a little more polish could make things shine better.

Text pacing & sound design with the text advancement is rather poor. Which is frustrating for a game that is (I'm presuming) text-heavy.

Also, it's unclear how much of and when I should be playing the game's secondary game-within-the-game, Earth Born. I got to the first portion and cleared out a cave but should I try to go through the whole thing in one go? Will I always have access to it or is it skippable? Just another weird thing. I would be curious if beating right when it unlocks, if it changes the story with the other kids in the town. This is more on me and my brain being wired to approach things from a completionism standpoint.

The game is gorgeous. It is a shame the resolution issue is there, as I can only play it in windowed mode without it looking like a blurry mess. Another point that leads me to believe the devs did not spend much time on polishing the game.

This is of course based on 1 hour of playtime so I am hoping the whole game is not riddled with subpar design choices.
 
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BadBurger

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I put in an hour over lunch. First impression is both impressed and somewhat frustrated. There are a few things that come across as poor design.

The first dungeon/enemy encounters in the game having minor branching rooms and such. After unlocking the bombs, for some reason, this path on the left is unlocked via bombs, but you get a message every time you try to enter saying first go beat this enemy spawn point before. Why not have an action cut that route off until you've done the thing they want you to? Just seems like a little more polish could make things shine better.

Text pacing & sound design with the text advancement is rather poor. Which is frustrating for a game that is (I'm presuming) text-heavy.

Also, it's unclear how much of and when I should be playing the game's secondary game-within-the-game, Earth Born. I got to the first portion and cleared out a cave but should I try to go through the whole thing in one go? Will I always have access to it or is it skippable? Just another weird thing. I would be curious if beating right when it unlocks, if it changes the story with the other kids in the town. This is more on me and my brain being wired to approach things from a completionism standpoint.

The game is gorgeous. It is a shame the resolution issue is there, as I can only play it in windowed mode without it looking like a blurry mess. Another point that leads me to believe the devs did not spend much time on polishing the game.

This is of course based on 1 hour of playtime so I am hoping the whole game is not riddled with subpar design choices.

One of the first things I did was set the pace of dialog to "Fastest". Also B on an Xbox controller advances test instantly.

Unfortunately, the game does take away agency a lot and forces the player to sift through a lot of banal, overstuffed dialog. The writing is really uneven at times but overall good.

Still loving it, haven't even really dove into the Earth Bound game and the tokens yet.
 
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mistuhcahlos

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Cute story so far in both the main game and Earth Born. Hard to make too much of a judgement after an hour but it looks great on handheld and I’m having fun. Wish I had more time to play it.
 

Maiden Voyage

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All right. Started ch 3 and arrived at New Dam City. My opinion is still the development needed more care. But, the story, art, music, and atmosphere have won me over. The love and care into this project is palpable. I can’t wait to explore the world some more.
 

jshackles

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Played the first few hours, loving it so far. Definitely getting more Secret of Evermore vibes than Earthbound too - but all the sprite work is lovely, and the dungeons are very Zelda-like.

Anyone know how long this game is? HLTB says between 6 and 18 hours...
 
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Still playing this game and it's my game of the year. I'm around 16 hours in and on chapter 4. I've grinding for money at the moment to max out my ingredients amount so I have extras in case I need to make more food. I love the gameplay, characters, plot, world, lore, music and graphics. The graphics are amazing. They managed to make their 2D graphics unique. The amount of detail they managed to add to each environment and characters especially thier animations pulls me in further into the game
 

GeorgPrime

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Still playing this game and it's my game of the year. I'm around 16 hours in and on chapter 4. I've grinding for money at the moment to max out my ingredients amount so I have extras in case I need to make more food. I love the gameplay, characters, plot, world, lore, music and graphics. The graphics are amazing. They managed to make their 2D graphics unique. The amount of detail they managed to add to each environment and characters especially thier animations pulls me in further into the game

i love the animations of Sam when she finds stuff or is doing other things :D the little wiggles and shaking when she is happy is nice
 
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Maiden Voyage

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The amount of detail they managed to add to each environment and characters especially thier animations pulls me in further into the game
My wife was watching me while playing yesterday. I notice a bike that had grown into a tree in the background and thought it was a very cool idea. I also noted that it was intentionally drawing my eye toward it because it was signaling a secret. Later in the chapter, the sun shines right on it and a pathway to access the secret in case you had not seen it the first time. I explained to her that the devs were trying to get players to notice and figure out the bike was a clue.
 
Feb 1, 2021
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My wife was watching me while playing yesterday. I notice a bike that had grown into a tree in the background and thought it was a very cool idea. I also noted that it was intentionally drawing my eye toward it because it was signaling a secret. Later in the chapter, the sun shines right on it and a pathway to access the secret in case you had not seen it the first time. I explained to her that the devs were trying to get players to notice and figure out the bike was a clue.
Oh nice, yeah I love exploring the world. Also what chapter are you on?
 

Moonjt9

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Wow how have I not heard of this game? It looks perfect! Is there a physical switch edition by chance? Would love to add this to the collection.
 

Maiden Voyage

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