PAX East 2014: First Impressions – TreasureNauts (3DS)

Renegade Kid has given us a number of really fun games for our handhelds, including shooters, platformers, and so on, and they’re set to do yet another number with TreasureNauts—a game that’s a little different from what they’ve given us thus far, but which seems to be set up as another smash hit for the team.

It’s a simple enough game concept to grasp. The PAX East demo drops players inside a little hub area that has four levels in four different environments—and players get the chance to pick their characters and weapon. Naturally, different weapons are going to be better for different environments, but in the short time we had to play the game, I didn’t have a chance to really figure this one out.

Let’s move through the various levels and talk briefly about the gameplay experience in each!

My first level was in the Jungle area. Enemies in this level were aggressive, and I quickly learned that the game has a similar mechanic for treasure as found in Sonic the Hedgehog, when Sonic loses the rings he has collected. A little scurrying around will put them all back in your pocket—but it’s not like there’s any shortage of treasure (which makes sense, considering the name of the game). It’s helpful to have a ranged weapon in the Jungle level, but there were a number of areas that I couldn’t access—I needed to use a different weapon (ie. a sword) to explore that section.

This seemed like a good idea, because it encourages players to replay through levels with the different weapons, to be able to explore the whole level. From an adventuring standpoint, that makes sense. For someone who just wants to zoom through and get all the secrets on the first run, it’s less useful. But it gives the game much greater replayability.

The Beach area was easier than the Jungle, with plenty of treasure to collect. I learned that double-jumping, while it can be done in the demo, is something your character needs to unlock—which will make earlier levels of the game much more challenging, and again force players to replay levels since not all secrets will be accessible on first go.

Another level, Cursed, was the most difficult of the three. The level design included traps (like arrows shooting out of walls, you know, as happens in tomb-like areas), with many flying enemies in narrow areas. There were also creepy ghosties that came out of nowhere and would more or less stalk you through the level. You need to hit a magical orb to send it away, because one touch and you’re a goner! Fortunately, in the demo, deaths had no consequence! Presumably this changes with the final game.

The final level in the demo was a boss fight with the Mama Crab. It wasn’t as simple as it looked, and the battle went as you’d expect a boss battle to go.

Presently, TreasureNauts is planned for Summer 2014, but there’s no firm release date. It was a fun, easy-to-pick-up title for the 3DS that should appeal to Renegade Kid fans and newcomers alike!

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Faith
Author: Faith View all posts by
Faith likes games and books and cake and writing and Lara Croft, not necessarily in that order. She also thinks a Skylanders cartoon show is a really, REALLY good idea...

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