Steam had a Devolver Digital sale recently and Titan Souls was on the list! Now it has souls in the name so that’s a big plus already (and it’s hard to match) but its beautiful pixelated style and unique action puzzles made me excited. The game is a top down puzzle boss rush dual joystick shooter? In other words, there are no enemies other than the bosses in the variety of areas which you defeat with your bow and arrow. The bow shoots a singular arrow which you can then either run up to and grab or force pull it back to you. The only other mechanic is a roll and sprint that you use to dodge attacks. Here’s the kicker, you have one health and most of the bosses do as well if you can access their weak point.
The bosses are essentially their own puzzle but they are obviously trying to kill you (which they do in one hit). So you try to kill them back (which you do in one or two hits) by finding their gimmick. Now I usually hate gimmicky boss fights but they are essentially just action puzzles. I was genuinely excited to go into each room to find the solution! You might need to fire your arrow throw something or draw an enemy near but whatever it is, you’ll have fun doing it. It reminds me a lot of Shadow of the Colossus in that way. They’re themed based on the environment that you’re in and the essential locations are present: a forest, a snowpocalypse, a volcano, and some others. I do wish that the load times were a little better or that the checkpoints were right outside the boss doors because once you figure out the solution it may take you a couple more tries to execute. It can be a little frustrating coming so close and having to trek back to the door.
The game has little to no obvious story elements, there’s only one character that really speaks at all. There are some basic things that you can take your own interpretation on but the really great part is of course, the journey. You can choose which area to go to first, last, or not at all. If you choose not to explore, you can honestly finish the game in like a minute. It’s honestly hard to choose because they all look so good. The art is awesome and even some bosses are just visually striking with the way they contrast what you see in the environments (especially the final secret one).
Overall, it was short because I’m so good at video games but mostly because I just couldn’t stop playing. I would get out my laptop for twenty minutes just to get a couple more tries at a particularly difficult boss. The best part was that for each really tough boss that took a bunch of tries there were a few that I could just walk up and beat the first try. After defeating a hard boss, it feels so much better to wreck the next one after two or three go’s. The style leaves nothing to be desired, the boss puzzles are unique and interesting, and it’s challenging. If it had an engaging story I would give this game a perfect score but since it leaves it almost completely out I’m forced to give it a 4 out of 5 yeti butts.