Game Review: Animal Gods – Barking up the wrong tree

Each dungeon is associated with a titular “animal god”, and explores a singular gameplay mechanic. The Lion dungeon features a ‘flame cloak’ which allows you to teleport forward, the Spider dungeon provides you with a bow, and the Snake dungeon gives you a sword. Unfortunately, you can’t switch between these items up until the final dungeon.

No one dungeon is particularly amazing, but the Lion level is easily the worst thanks to an unintuitive gameplay mechanic. The aforementioned flame cloak’s teleport flings you forward, but there’s no indicator of exactly how far you’ll go. Later in the dungeon, an upgrade to the cloak gives you the ability to hold down the button after the first jump to go further; once it’s held down it can’t be cancelled.

The flame cloak is used to traverse poison rivers. If you land in one, you’ll get sent back to your most recent checkpoint. Herein lies a major issue with the game; since there is no indication of teleport distance, using the cloak feels like trial and error rather than skill. The item requires precision, but unintuitive mechanics make each teleport feel like a matter of luck.

After making your way through irritating poison rivers, you’ll reach the Lion God. It sure looks cool, but ultimately the ‘battle’ is simply a maze that you go through to reach checkpoints. Traverse more awful rivers, reach the circles and you’re unceremoniously sent back to the overworld to travel to the next dungeon.

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