In Connor Ullmann's action adventure Seedling, you come from... unusual beginnings when the wind itself breathes life into you. What follows is a quest for self discovery and shiny things as you soon discover you were created with purpose. Solve puzzles, journey across the land, delve deep into dungeons, battle huge bosses, and more in this homage to classic Zelda and other classic 2D adventure games.
Use the [arrow] keys to move, and tap [X] to interact, or to swing your sword when you get one. Double-tapping [X] quickly while you're moving will also cause you to sprint in that direction, which can be handy in avoiding certain enemies. Your health is represented by the green blocks in the upper-right corner of the screen, and they turn red as you take damage, but regenerates whenever you enter a room. If all the blocks turn red, the room you're in will reset and you'll be teleported back to its entrance. You won't have much when you start out, but as you search dungeons, you'll begin to find useful items befitting a true hero. Later on in the game, opening your inventory with [I] or [V] will let you choose which two weapons you want to lock to the [X] and [C] keys from your growing arsenal. Of course, you'll also find danger and puzzles as well, since no hero's journey is complete without a whole lot of peril.
Analysis: If you've been a gamer since classic NES or even just original Gameboy era, chances are Seedling is going to hit you right in the nostalgia without pulling its punch in the slightest. I'm not even necessarily talking about the obvious retro style, which looks and sounds great thanks to some classic tunes from Rekcahdam, but in the way it plays and feels. From the simple, easy to grasp gameplay to the designs and layouts of the dungeons and monsters inside them, Seedling is a love letter to the golden age of gaming. Of course, this means you can expect golden age annoyances to pop up as well. Figuring out exactly what you're looking at can sometimes be difficult, and even with the light treasure night cycles and some dungeons dim enough to be hard on the eyes for some players.
Trundling around the many different areas and dungeons as they become available to you as your inventory grows is definitely satisfying, especially given the way the difficulty scale on puzzles and the scope of your environments grow the further you progress. Combat can feel a little clunky in a distinctly old-fashioned way, mainly due to how simple the controls are, though for the most part you'll find patience and patterns are the key to victory. Games like Seedling tend to come under intense scrutiny for their nostalgic concepts and presentation just as much as some people embrace it for them, but even if you weren't more than a sparkle in your momma's eye when games like this ruled the plains, Seedling is still worth checking out. It's beautifully made and surprisingly engrossing, with a world you'll definitely want to know more about and an adventure well worth taking. You might see some of the plot twists coming, but Seedling succeeds more than it fails and might just make you feel like a kid again. You know... a magically constructed, destined-for-greatness-or-ruin kid like we all used to be once. Memories.