Greak: Memories Of Azur
A Greak way to play?
Good metroidvanias embody the spirit of adventure, allowing you to find joy in the act of exploring new areas and rewarding your progress with helpful abilities. Treading the line between satisfying exploration and clear navigation is a challenge, for sure, but the thrill of finding fresh locations or taking down a powerful boss with your upgraded abilities is hard to beat. It’s a shame, then, that despite all the ideas brought to the table by developer Navegante Entertainment, it forgot something rather important: a functional map.
Switching between three siblings named Greak, Adara, and Raydel,1 you’re tasked with protecting a small camp from the invading Urlag creatures plaguing the land, sourcing the materials needed to build the airship the people need to reach safety. With the camp acting as a base for supplies, you journey through this gorgeous hand-drawn landscape searching for both materials for the ship and ancient relics that could turn the tide of the war against your enemies.2 While controlling three protagonists at once is far from simple, you need to use their differing attributes to solve puzzles and find success in this dangerous land.
This all sounds great in theory, but things fall apart somewhat if you ever accidentally stray from the beaten path. The lack of a detailed map, even for areas you’ve already visited, makes navigation more frustrating than fun until you eventually stumble back on the intended route. And as the puzzles grow in scope as you progress, this issue becomes more stark. It’s not what we’d call a dealbreaker, but it’s enough of a nuisance to hold this short yet unique adventure from greatness.