When a brilliant but eccentric professor in cryptozoology is taken prisoner by the intelligent race of subterranean creatures he studies, it is up to his adoptive twin children to save him. In Young Souls, an arcade beat 'em up adventure, you take the role of twins Tristan and Jenn as they fight through hordes of Goblins in order to save the professor and stop the mighty Dwarvengobben’s plans to raid the surface. Set against trained soldiers, vicious creatures, magic and machines, the foul-mouthed and cocky pair of children rush into battle with smiles on their faces. Play alone, or with a friend, and take up your swords to fight through the goblin armies.
As a beat ‘em up, Young Souls’ most important aspect is combat. I am very pleased to say that Young Souls has exceptionally fun combat. The game boasts three weapon types, and each weapon has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. Young Souls has a very unique mechanic where the player has two characters, each with separate stats that can be customised through gear and a minigame, and can be switched out during combat at will. The game is fast and fluid, and demands of its players a level of skill without being a brutal challenge along the game’s main path.
Another strength of the game is its characters and script. Every character is full of personality in their design and their behavior. The main characters have wonderful chemistry that lets you feel their history from the very first moments of the game. The relationship between the mayor and his assistant is very funny, and seeing them on screen had me smiling every time. Every time Dwarvengobben, the game’s antagonist, was on screen, one could feel the power he wielded over his subjects. Even characters as small as the pawn shop and the shoe store clerks were full of charm and personality. There wasn’t a single character in the game that didn’t bring their own unique charm to the table.
The game’s environments are also fantastic. 2D characters inhabit a 3D environment, but the game’s art style achieves this in a masterful way. Environments are varied and interesting, impressively so considering that the majority of the game takes place underground. In a setting like that, it is easy for level designers to get lazy with samey cavern environments, but developers 1P2P let their creativity shine in the architecture.
- Excellent combat with a unique character switching mechanic
- Wonderful characters full of personality
- Interesting and Varied Environments
I don’t honestly have a lot to say negatively about Young Souls. However, I do feel the game could use some more effort in balancing. A player like myself who goes down every side path as it becomes available will find themself stuck behind some brutal challenges, and once overcome, the main path can lose its challenge.
The second is that upgrade materials for your gear can feel scarce. A nitpick on the topic of upgrade materials, they come in the form of rocks. At the time of writing this review, the only way one can come to know that these items are upgrade materials is if you go to the weaponsmith and select the upgrade option. If you are like me and go to the pawnshop first, they list the upgrade materials under “junk” and can be mistakenly sold. This combined with their scarcity can set you back on progress as far as weapons and armor go.
Lastly, from my experience, the game does not like to be put in sleep mode. When starting from rest mode, I have found that the game can have drops in frame rate, and longer load times to open menus. Thankfully, the game can be saved at any point that you can open the pause menu, so saving and closing the game isn’t much of an issue.
- Poor difficulty balance
- Upgrade materials are scarce and can be mistakenly sold
- Performance issues when returning from sleep mode
Final Score: 9/10
Summed up in a few words, Young Souls is just pure fun. A beautiful art style highlights a fast and challenging combat experience, culminating into a game well worth your time. It tells a story of two kids fighting for who they care for most, stacked up against impossible odds. Funny dialogue, well written characters, and personality through character design only serve to further the quality of this game. With only a few, very minor nitpicks weighing it down, I firmly believe Young Souls is well worth the price of admission.
Thank you for checking out our Young Souls Switch review, thank you to The Arcade Crew for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: