Spindle is an upcoming 2D action/adventure game by Berlin-based developer Let’s Game Dev. You play as Death and you, along with your small pig companion, set out to uncover the mystery of why people are suddenly unable to die. It’s a Zelda-like, meaning it takes many of its gameplay elements from classic games in the Legend of Zelda series, such as A Link to the Past and Link’s Awakening. The top-down camera angle and overall progression are sure to feel familiar to old-school Zelda players. A demo for the game has recently dropped on their Kickstarter page so I took the time to try it out and experience everything the developers have to showcase so far. It’s a small slice, but promising, nonetheless.
The first thing that stuck out upon starting the game was how vibrant the pixel art graphics were. Everything looks clean and crisp and, positively, I did not notice any screen tearing, nor did I run into any real technical issues throughout the demo. The team seems to have the technical side of things down pat, at least in this demo build of the game.
As alluded to earlier, the demo is really short. After around 20 minutes or so, I was finished with the fragment of the story that was on offer. There’s a somewhat interesting premise being set up, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that the snippet of the game’s story the demo gives hooked me entirely. Fortunately, I don’t think that the entire point of the demo was to hook you with the story, but rather to give you a short and sweet taste of what to expect from the finished product. Spindle features unique enemies, weapon upgrades, dungeons that are riddled (hah) with puzzles and all sorts of secrets hiding in the overworld. It’s all there and it all works, at least from what I can tell.
I’m also really enjoying what I’ve heard of the soundtrack so far. The gentle ambiance in the village and dungeon really compliment their respective environments and the different upbeat and relaxing tunes I’ve heard so far have left me with high expectations of what’s to come. The environment has also been very cleanly designed. There isn’t any real clutter anywhere and each screen of the overworld has a good amount of open space. After the story segment concludes, Spindle allows you to roam freely through the available areas to look for secrets and just get a real feel for what the game is. I even got to play a simple (but entertaining) fishing mini-game. The only real gripe I had with this demo was the implementation of controller support. The developers do state on their Steam page that controllers will be supported, and whilst you can use a controller in the demo, none of the on-screen button prompts actually correlate with the gamepad controls. Hopefully, this is something ironed out in the full release.
If you can’t already tell, the demo for Spindle has left a very good impression on me and I’ll absolutely be following future development updates. The game is far off however with the full release currently targeting mid-2023. Nonetheless, this gives the developers plenty of time to iron out any bugs or issues with the game to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for players when the time comes. I’m looking forward to seeing more Spindle and if you are too, here is the link to their Kickstarter.