10th Nov2017

Digital Shorts: ‘Earth Atlantis’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Earth Atlantis, a submarine-themed shmup available now on the Nintendo Switch.


Shoot ’em-ups have been a mainstay of my gaming existence ever since the days of Nemesis (aka Gradius) on the Commodore 64 and Xevious on the NES. To this day I will pick a shmup over a FPS shooter each and every time. Which is why I love current-gen gaming… Besides numerous re-releases of Neo Geo games like Blazing Star, we have shmups such as Sine Mora EX and now Earth Atlantis appearing on the Switch – which is, honestly, becoming my go-to console these days.

With a unique art style that looks like old explorers sketchbooks from the 14th century, Earth Atlantis looks like it stepped out of a Jules Verne adventure, complete with huge sea creatures and gameplay that sees you exploring the undersea cavernsin what is much more than in a traditional shmup.

Earth Atlantis sees players explore sunken ruins of humankind in four different submarines, each equipped with individual weapons. The aim? To hunt down monsters which inhabit the deep sea; monsters which were previously though only to exist in fairy tales and as rumors among sailors, but now roam freely through the aquatic world… Yes, freely. Unlike other shoot ’em-ups, Pixel Perfex’s game is multi-directional: you can explore every aspect of the undersea landscape, with only a small HUD map (which can be turned on and off at will) to guide you and pinpoint the pesky giant sea creatures!

Speaking of which, the game features a massive 40 boss battles and every time you defeat a monster it opens up a new area of the map to explore, with more items, more enemies and, of course even more bosses to defeat. And whilst I didn’t really have that much of an issue with the game, developers Pixel Perfex listened to feedback and made some changes to make the game (and I quote) “more enjoyable in many respects”. The fixes include:

  • Drop the sub-weapon that you had equipped before you got defeated right at your restart point
  • Item boxes spawn much closer to the restart point and player’s location
  • Increased drop rates of items and sub-weapons
  • Increased the player’s ship speed
  • Reduced the difficulty of some boss monsters, especially on Easy Mode
  • Minor bugs fixed

Of the fixes the most notable is the drop rate – items and power ups appear more frequently which, in easy mode, make Earth Atlantis somewhat easier (pardon the pun) for shmup fans to complete. Yet it also means that this is a great all-round title for families – the target audience for Nintendo’s hybrid console… inexperienced gamers can play on easy mode, the rest of us on more difficult games modes. Though some of the big bosses are difficult to beat in any iteration!

A perfect pick up and play title Earth Atlantis is a VERY welcome addition to the Switch’s shmup line-up. The game is available via the eShop now.

**** 4/5


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