By Josh Speer / September 16th, 2019
I always despair when I’m not able to make a demo for a game that captures my interest, like Knight Shift Games’ Elsie. When I saw the art style, full of color and spunk, I knew I was interested. When I learned that it was a rogue, hardcore platformer, I was captivated. And after playing Elsie in my free time during PAX West, I’m officially a fan.
Though I didn’t know one specific detail about Elsie until after I played it, it’s no surprise discovering that originally the game was slated to be a Mega Man inspired adventure. You can instantly tell some concepts came straight from Mega Man X, like the way you can wall jump or dash. But it’s not just Mega Man that Elsie reminds me of, it also, oddly, had some elements of Sega games. I don’t know which ones exactly, but it has that sort of 90’s Sega color and art style. Kind of like Sonic on acid. It’s beautiful and colorful, but that candy coating hides a really challenging experience.
Since Elsie is a rogue game, you already expect it’s hard, and it certainly is. Thankfully, you can customize your experience with new Augments as you level up, giving you a wide range of random upgrades. Which is good, cause you’re going to die a lot. I watched the person demoing the game before me die again and again, but mostly cause they didn’t have a good grasp on the controls. I had more success with the platforming and combat mechanics, though that didn’t stop me from getting annihilated by rooms full of rancorous robots.
Honestly it’s a bit hard to describe Elsie without playing it yourself, so I’d strongly suggest you check out the trailer below. But if you like challenging and beautiful Mega Man inspired rogue platformers, you’ll enjoy Elsie. Especially since it’s slated to release on Steam and Switch, hopefully sooner than later.
ElsieKnight Shift GamesMega ManoprainfallPAX WestRogue