With the holiday season coming up, you might be on the lookout for some games to get you the festive spirit. Ebenezer and the Invisible World might be one of them. But it could also possibly make you turn the air blue.
A 2D metroidvania developed by Orbit Studio and Play on Worlds, Ebenezer and the Invisible World puts you in control of the titular Ebenezer Scrooge, now a reformed man after being visited by the three ghosts and seeing the error of his ways. Now there’s another man just like him, Caspar Malthus. Though despite also being visited by the three ghosts, he remains intent on working his workforce to the ground. As Scrooge, it’s up to you to try and stop him and make him see sense.
And so begins a journey that will see you travel across London, dealing with Malthus’ lackeys as well as a variety of spirits that also don’t seem very approving of your actions. Luckily you’ve got more than just your walking stick to fight back with – although you will be using it a lot. A number of spirits will also join your cause, not only bolstering your ability to explore, but also fight.
You’ll quickly gain the assistance of a spirit that lets you gain more air by bouncing off ghostly balloons, for example, allowing you to reach areas you couldn’t before. And in combat, you quickly and easily switch between a range of spirits that essentially provide powerful special attacks. Their use has to measured, however, as it depletes a gauge.
Related: The Best Metroidvania Games on PS5
It’s safe to say that Ebenezer and the Invisible World is buoyed by its setting. We certainly can’t think of any other Christmas-themed metroidvanias, after all. Aside from its theme, however, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been seen before. You explore, defeat enemies, gain new skills, and gather resources that can be used to upgrade your stats and equipment. It’s metroidvania 101.
It’s just a shame that it isn’t a little more fun to play. Mechanically, Ebenezer and the Invisible World is solid enough, but your limited moveset can make encounters feel cheap at times, especially considering even the feeblest of foes can take a considerable chunk of health from you just by making contact. Combined with save and fast travel points being few and far between, it can lead to some frustration. This isn’t a game that goes easy on you.
Other than that though, there’s not too much to complain about. It’s a shame there’s no voice acting, but presentation is strong otherwise, with beautiful pixel art visuals that really pop off the screen.
If you’re into metroidvanias and don’t mind a challenge, you’d be wise to give Ebenezer and the Invisible World a go. It likely won’t set your world on fire, but it at least might make you a little warm and fuzzy inside, what with all its Christmas cheer. Well, either that or make you swear like a sailor.