Tech reviews

Review: Ebenezer and the Invisible World

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Ebenezer and the Invisible World - Release Date Announcement Trailer | PS5 & PS4 Games

Ebenezer and the Invisible World wonderfully captures the essence of Christmas and is the ideal title to pick up as we get closer to the festive season. Alongside this, it utilises many of its genre tropes perfectly and will appeal to fans of platform experiences and Metroidvania. Furthermore, the aesthetics are stunning and the gameplay is interesting if not a little thwarted with bugs. However, don’t let this put you off an otherwise interesting title.

This Metroidvania title was developed by Orbit Studios and Play On Worlds and published by the latter. Additionally, it has a healthy smattering of combat and plenty of ghastly apparitions to mix with. Moreover, there is a delicious sense of lore and depth to add some meat to the bone. Consequently, there is plenty to keep you interested in this 10+ hour game.

The London backdrop is stunning.
Check out the stunning backdrop.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World tells a familiar tale.

I love the wonderful writing and meaning of A Christmas Carol. Subsequently, when I discovered that Ebenezer and the Invisible World uses it at its core, I was thrilled. As such, I knew there would be plenty of moralistic moments and a healthy smattering of ghosts to endure. On top of this, the blend of platforming and Metroidvania moments keep you busy whilst testing your resolve.

You play the part of the titular hero as you attempt to help Caspar from his greed. Along the way, you must help an array of hapless citizens whilst recruiting the ghosts that hand you each quest. Consequently, as your roster of ghostly pals increases, you can explore otherwise unreachable locations and expand your spiritual powers and health.

What was particularly great was the interaction between each ghostly character. The dialogue infers an understanding and respect for how far Ebenezer has come on his journey. Moreover, the snippets of lore strengthen the wonderful underpinning elements of a much-loved Christmas tale.

No matter how big your opponent is, you can overcome them by dodging their attack.
Time to dodge that attack.

Typical gameplay.

Though much of the action follows well-trodden paths, I loved it nonetheless. In typical Metroidvania fashion, you are free to explore as much as you wish. However, your progress is limited as barriers and obstacles stand in your way. Yet, by completing quests and befriending each ghost, you’ll learn new skills and abilities to open new pathways.

Alongside this, each of the ghosts has different powers to help you throughout your journey. Whether they passively support you throughout, or they attack your foes, they were a wonderful help. Alongside this, they were in keeping with the excellent theme and this impressed me. 

Though this seems like an overpowered mechanic, it was not. Ebenezer has a spirit meter that must be filled if you wish to use your ghosts. As such, you need to use them sparingly, especially as you encounter some cruel and evil forces. Accordingly, you’ll need every bit of help if you want to succeed.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World looks fantastic.

I adored the oppressive and grim aesthetics of Ebenezer and the Invisible World. The amazing stage design and horrific sprites never ceased to impress me. Moreover, the further you progress, the nastier things become. Subsequently, you are taken on a sombre and dirty adventure across the crumbling London streets.

The audio was equally as good. The sombre soundtrack and muted sound effects create a sinister and uncomfortable atmosphere. Alongside this, the sound effects are underwhelming, allowing you to enjoy the visuals without the annoyance of overbearing noises.

Tiny Tim can see that you've changed.
Tiny Tim can see that you’ve changed.

Tight controls.

Though Ebenezer and the Invisible World isn’t as complicated as its peers, there are still some challenging parkour moments. Thankfully, the control system is tight and a short but accurate tutorial sets you on your way. Subsequently, this is the perfect title for newcomers, but it may be lacking for veterans.

In typical Metroidvania fashion, there is plenty of replay value and longevity. If you somehow survive the tough opening stages, you’ll get through this in around 10-12 hours. Yet, you can easily sink more time into it if you so wish. On top of this, there is plenty to see and do, so returning to play again isn’t out of the question.

Ebenezer and the Invisible World is a nice Metroidvania experience.

I loved the story and the excellent lore. Additionally, the use of ghosts to expand your skills was a stroke of genius. Moreover, the world design was fantastic and I enjoyed the occasionally challenging parkour moments. Though this won’t appeal to everyone, I think there is enough depth to keep most fans of this genre happy. Accordingly, I enjoyed it and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you help Caspar escape his fate? Befriend each ghost, help every citizen, and explore a dank and oppressive version of London.


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