Thursday, 06 April 2017 10:12

REVIEW: Talent Not Included (Xbox One)

Written by Jack Anderson
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Talent Not Included is a platforming arcade game by Frima Studios, and also a personal motto I have been living by for the past 22 years.

Previously only available on Steam, the jump and slasher is based around a stage play created by 3 warriors turned actors that are over their dangerous lifestyles of medieval adventures, wanting to follow their dreams of theatre. With brilliant level mechanics, wide range of enemies and a cute visual feel, Talent Not Included is a show you will want to get box office seats for.

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The game world is your stage, I mean an actual stage. You run from left to right, then right to left collecting orbs and items that will change various platforms, walls and other dangers. It's a very clever mechanic, giving the player a surprise on whats coming next. The scenes will also change as you're moving through them, quite like time trials. The aim of the game is to score as many points as possible, based on collectables and time, rewarded with a three star system similar to arcade games like angry birds.

Split in to three acts, you play each of them with a different character. A knight with a dash attack, a rogue who can evade while rolling and a wizard armed with a magical staff. While the levels play similar between them, each of their powers make playing the levels fun in their own way. The characters do have brief dialogue between them and the boss of the act, which will either give you a bit of a giggle, or groan depending how much you like cheesy jokes. Each act has fifteen "scenes" to play through, becoming progressively difficult one after the other. If you do plan on playing this, prepare to die numerous times, as it can be challenging but will still remain incredibly fun.

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The controls, as basic as they are, can tend to be twitchy at some points, slight taps left can sometimes point your character right, leading to facing the opposite way to attack enemies with sometimes odd feeling hit boxes. They are a few different enemies, each with their own attributes. Spanning from Goomba like porcupines, to shielded knights, to magical mages hanging from a rope on the ceiling. After each five levels, you can try your hand at the boss levels. These include larger enemies with HP bars, with giant attacks like lightning strikes, bull charges and hammers. Probably the most difficult part of the game but once you can get the patterns and timing of them, you'll know the script off by heart.

Talent Not Included is a fun time waster, with ideas not like others and plenty of enticing gameplay to keep you wanting to play more even after your numerous deaths. The stage play feel of the game, various enemies and level design generously compensates for the slight control issues you may notice, even then the game deserves a standing applause and a bouquet of roses.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, XBOX ONE, Steam
  • Developer: Frima Studio
  • Publisher: Frima Originals
  • Genre: Action / Adventure, Indie, Action