Originality is overrated. That’s perfection. There’s something to be said for the shoddy B-Tier games which, let’s face it, make up the majority of most systems’ libraries. A lot of them just don’t get a second look because, you know, they seem a little cheap. And when we first started Imp Of The Sun, we had the same feeling. The game doesn’t look particularly polished. You go into a dismissive state; After all, there are many games out there, aren’t there? Who has time for the 6 and 7 out of 10 in the world?
Here’s an interesting thing though; seven is actually a pretty big number when you only have ten to play with. Imp Of The Sun is the archetypal seven – it looks good. it feels fine. It’s been compared to the Ori games, but we found it more reminiscent of Drinkbox’s great Guacamelee! Series such that it happily locks you into battle arenas and won’t let you go until every last enemy has been juggled into submission.
Combat is limited in scope but feels, yes, fine. It’s perfectly acceptable without ever being outstanding. Exploration is perfectly acceptable, with good level design that prioritizes challenging platforming action over typical mid-range Metroidvania meandering. It has a similar density and gameplay style to Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, but without becoming as intrusive as that game.
Imp Of The Sun, the first game from Peruvian developers Sunwolf Entertainment, is inspired by the Inca culture – and there’s a resemblance to the Mesoamerican imagery in the Drinkbox series at times, right down to the fonts. But that’s not a criticism, because Guacamelee! looks fantastic and sometimes Imp Of The Sun too. The boss fights in particular, which are few but entertaining, well designed and, most importantly, look extremely cool.
We think it’s a shame that Imp of the Sun will most likely fall through the cracks of the ten trillion games coming to Switch every day because it didn’t deserve it. “Good” doesn’t mean “bad” and quite frankly, this author (Hello!) preferred Imp Of The Sun to Ori and the Blind Forest. It will never impress anyone with its originality, but does that really matter? Yes, it’s a bit of a patchwork effort, stitching bits and pieces of different games in its genre together, but it’s far from throwing metaphorical you-know-what at a wall and seeing what sticks. The art and animation here, too — though occasionally a bit amateurish — deserve props for their occasional flair and overall smoothness.
Imp Of The Sun stands alongside the likes of Smelter, MindSeize and Cobra Kai as a flawed game that nonetheless has tremendous value and is likely to be criminally ignored. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, we highly recommend you consider this world’s sixes and sevens and give them a shot. We don’t think Imp Of The Sun will be anyone’s favorite game, but we do think that anyone who picks it up will remember it later and say, “Oh yeah, Imp Of The Sun. That was a good time!”
Now watch it become the best-selling Switch game in history just to prove us wrong.
https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/imp-of-the-sun Imp of the Sun Review (Switch eShop)