I have seen several unique metroidvania games during my time at Gaming Cypher, but none had me this initially perplexed as one starring the classic character Ebenezer Scrooge from “A Christmas Carol.” My initial impression was that the idea was rather stupid. Although, after taking a moment to really see the game “Ebenezer and the Invisible World” I was all in with it. This story takes place after the classic book, our lead Ebenezer continues to be a reformed man and wants to do what he can for the people of London. Developed by Orbit Studio and Play on Worlds have created a very competent game in a surprisingly interesting world.
In this original sequel story, you journey alongside Ebenezer Scrooge and a formidable group of spectral companions as they wage a desperate struggle to rescue London from the grip of the affluent industrial magnate, Caspar Malthus, and his formidable Private Guard. You’ll be traveling the shadowy recesses of the city with each Ghost contributing their distinctive powers, unraveling the ominous sway of the Dark Spirit and an assembly of Unrepentant Ghosts. All done in a really well-drawn hand-drawn animation style. As you begin to advance the narrative to thwart Casper, you will start to encounter and unleash some familiar Ghosts, each with their own side stories and quests, but also provide a unique power, like any good metroidvania game you use these new abilities that you can exploit to move around to once unreachable areas around the map.
Speaking of the map, I very much enjoyed how easy to read it was as each section has its only little block of space on the map. Each one of these areas are essentially contained bubbles before you continue on and you hit a brief fade to black screen. These snowy locations of Victorian-era London also look incredible, with rich vibrant colors and a nice level of detail. Throughout the map you can find materials such as mugwort, ether, and iron, all of which help you unlock new abilities. If you look around hard enough you may find some secret areas with some nice rewards inside. I never pictured Ebenezer Scrooge as someone who knows how to fight, but he has a good set of moves that are more-or-less believable for the character. Enemies come in different forms and while combating them isn’t the most fluid or polished as some other games in this genre I’ve played, but its certainly far from bad.
My largest complaint would have to be the lack of voiced dialogue. There are a lot of cutscenes and even more moments of conversations with wordy text boxes, having a voiced cast read the dialogue would have gone a long way to help show off what is indeed a well put together story filled with a lot of great nods to “A Christmas Carol.” I know the general concept of this game may seem off-putting at first, but when you jump in you quickly realize the game takes everything very seriously and sells you on what it’s trying to say. If you’re looking for a fun little metroidvania that isn’t all that long, I certainly suggest giving this one a go, especially right now during the holidays.
Related: Nick Navarro Reviews