A Hole New World is a brand new release on the Switch eShop made by Mad Gear Games. Originally released on Steam, A Hole New World has been previously brought to the PS4 and Xbox One. The game is obviously inspired by the NES era, with its retro style graphics and simple gameplay. So is the game worth the investment, or will it leave a hole in your wallet? This is PushDustIn from Source Gaming, bringing you this review. NOTE: Mad Gear Games provided a couple for review purposes.
A Hole New World isn’t a game defined by its story, but the narrative is a welcomed addition. The premise is quite simple: the bad guys are trying to take over the world, and as a potion master you must stop them.
Long ago, the world Versee, was taken over by evil. Yakshiini the goddess decided to split the world into two: good on one, evil on the other. Splitting the world required a lot of energy from Yakshiini, so she decided to split her powers into five orbs and hide them in the two sides. Lord Baduk eventually discovers the Orb of Darkness and enters Versee through holes in the ground. Players must utilize these holes to travel to the Upside Down and navigate the worlds.
No not that Upside Down.
The Potion Master must reclaim the five orbs and defeat Lord Baduk in order to save Versee. Very quickly, the Potion Master allies himself with Fäy, a fairy that gives the Potion Master an extra attack and will revive him if he falls in battle.
There isn’t that much story in between the levels, but really there doesn’t need to be. A Hole New World is focused on its gameplay and it’s the next section that I’ll explore.
After reclaiming an orb from one of the bosses, the Potion Master will gain new potions which act as different attacks. There is the Lightning Potion, the Fire and Ice Potion, and the Dark Potion. It’s quite easy to switch between them and tell which is currently selected. Other moves, including a dash kick and a double jump, are unlocked later. Overall, the Potion Master is very easy to control and responsive.
The bosses can be quite tough at first, but learning their attack patterns is key to victory. I’m personally a run and gun type of player, but once I practiced patience I was able to learn their patterns and take them down.
There are five levels to go through, and there is enough variety among them, especially with the Upside Down. There is also a surprising number of enemy types which require different tactics to defeat. For a game that is priced as a budget title, the developers didn’t take any shortcuts when designing their gameplay.
Let’s talk about the game’s presentation next!
A Hole New World has a fantastic presentation. The soundtrack is great, and the gameplay is quite easy to get into. I really enjoyed just listening to A Hole New World. The game also has a sound test unlocked from the start. There are also two options for the music, “Original” and “Super,” which will change how the music sounds.
The graphics and effects feel more than what the NES could do, but A Hole New World has a cohesive style. The pixel art is very well done — especially on the title screen.
However, it’s not perfect. Some of the enemies can be quite difficult to see, especially when playing in portable mode. In some dark caves I’ve been attacked by bats I literally could not see coming. It felt a bit unfair.
I’ve also experienced some glitches primarily in the third level, the one with the giant heart in the middle. Sometimes it’s just too much for the game to load, and the game severely lags. The game could use a performance boost in this level.
Besides these minor issues, A Hole New World holds up very well. It’s a game that is very easy to recommend to other people, especially players who enjoy NES or SNES era style games. A Hole New World easily has enough for players to warrant the 10 USD purchase. While it’s not going to have as much as an impact as Shovel Knight, A Hole New World is a solid addition to any retro fan’s Switch menu.
I give A Hole New World a 4.5/5.
Mains: Yoshi (64), Game and Watch (Melee), Wario (Brawl), Wario/Pac-Man (Smash for 3DS/Wii U)