For a while, I haven’t written any reviews because I’ve been in a bit of a slump, so I tried to look for new games to play and among them was this incredibly adorable Action-Rogue-lite game with Creatur Collector and Dungeon Crawler elements that just released a few days ago… and well, it’s a lot of fun and I’m on way to 100%-ing it at the moment, even going so far as to trying to get my time down considerably. Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is an amazing game with many great concepts that make it a lot more enjoyable than I originally would have thought, which is why I wanted to talk about it today. Here’s why you should consider buying this beautiful Roguelite game!
Side Note: This game only supports gamepad controls. You can’t play this game with a controller.
Developer: Cygames Inc., Grounding Inc. Publisher: Cygames Inc. Genre: 2D, Casual, Action, Rogue-lite, Creature Collector, Anime, Platformer Release Date: June 28th, 2022 Reviewed on: PC Available on: PC, Switch, PS4 Copy was purchased.
In a world of alchemy and skyships, Noah Little, a young alchemist, travels to uncharted territory in search of her father and stumbles across a great find. A new floating island that she’s never seen before. After crashing due to a sudden storm, she meets a talking cat and soon finds herself amidst many clues about her father but also an adventure to protect the ruins from people that seem to want to utilize the secrets hidden within the ruins to destroy the world. Join Noah in a Roguelite-Adventure where you summon Champions to fight for you aka “Lilliputs” and where you collect mana to repair your airship. Find unique accessories to increase your power levels and build a strong party to defeat the bad guys and protect the ruins!
As I mentioned above, Little Noah: Scion of Paradise features Action-Rogue-lite gameplay with creature collector mechanics. You don’t actually fight yourself but rather summon small companions named “Lilliputs” to attack for you, much like in Adore. Every run starts you off with three Lilliputs that you can place around in their slots to create unique combos. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to go for slower but heavier attacks, fast and swift strikes or even ranged bullets, giving you a lot of variety in terms of what parties you may wanna create. You can have up to five Lilliputs in your attack Line-Up as well as up to two Lilliputs in your Skill bar, meaning that there are dozens of combinations for any combination of Lilliputs in your party. Every Lilliput has its own attack patterns as well as a skill with a longer attack cooldown. Even though this may sound rather complicated, it is actually a lot simpler than it sounds since your attacks are all based on simple button mashing. Combat may be simple but in my honest opinion that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case as this game has so many clever ideas built into it that lend you a lot of power in terms of planning and strategizing the best combinations for your party – which means that having to also deal with a more complex combat system may just be too much. In fact, I was about to explain 1k words of mechanics but then decided to cut all of that given that the game does a very good job at explaining most mechanics in the game.
Each run takes you through three large areas or biomes, each filled with one mini-boss, one boss, as well as three sub-areas. Each sub-area is procedurally generated, meaning that rewards, enemies, rooms and the layout are different each time you enter but not random. As you go through areas in search of the gate to the next area, you’ll be rewarded with chests, gems, accessories, and Lilliputs. You will also earn gold that you can spend on Lilliputs and items in the shop. Gems will increase your damage and HP in different ways, much like in Dead Cells. At the same time, you can teleport to every room in an area, much like in Dungreed and every item can stack its effect with other items, much like in Risk of Rain. These features by themselves don’t probably seem too special but in my opinion, they create some wonderful runs and I found myself enjoying each run greatly because of how much the game cuts out in terms of frustration. from the travel time to getting useless items. There are no useless items. Every gem, Lilliput, and accessory you get increases your power level, which makes every run viable. This in itself is probably not a bad thing but I feel like it ruins the experience of turning a bad run into a good run – something that a lot of rogue-lites manage quite well. At the same time, you don’t have to limit-test as you’ll over time learn that specific power levels by specific areas are good or bad.
The game’s presentation is incredibly adorable. Noah Little, the main protagonist, is a cute little chibi-like character that switches forms to unleash a powerful “Avatar” attack once your burst gauge is full. The animation for this is stunning and satisfying. The Lilliputs that you utilize in your runs are incredibly adorable as well ranging from cute anime girls and guys to anthropomorphic animals and even huge golems. I’m pretty sure there is something in there for everyone. On top of that, the game’s colour scheme changes drastically between the three biomes that you traverse ranging from a vibrant and colourful grassy area to a dark and stormy ruin. The background art is animated. The attack animations look powerful for the most part. The soundtrack is amazing. I found it incredibly fun to traverse the areas, especially with the amount of voice acting the game features. On this note, I love Sachi Kokuryu’s work (Young Bakugo in MHA, Ilse in AoT, Sho Suzuki in MP100, Ryoko in Laid-Back Camp, and Alicia in Restaurant to Another World 2, and many more) – and I found her voice acting (Zipper the Cat-like Lilliput) amazing in this game! Ayana Taketatsu (Noah’s VA) obviously is also incredibly talented (I found her work amazing in Bofuri, SAO (Leafa), Kakegurui (Erimi), and many others), so I’m frankly amazed by the production value that went into this game… Especially, as the cutscenes that you’ll stumble across are also accompanied by incredibly adorable art and amazing cutscenes that do feature subtitles in a plethora of languages! Something I did feel a bit on the fence about, however, was the fact that some Avatar forms that you unlock for Noah are a bit “iffy” in terms of their design… But apart from that, I really liked the presentation of the game!
Overall, Little Noah: Scion of Paradise is a very beginner-friendly rogue-lite with satisfying systems and features in place that make most if not all run fun. There is a bit of a performance issue at times with frames dropping in seemingly random places, I noticed, but that may get ironed out in a patch or two. At the same time, I’m a bit concerned about the balance of items and unlocks. Once you bank some resources into the meta progression, you’ll find yourself breezing through the runs. While my initial few runs took me about 45 minutes, in the beginning, to get to the halfway mark of the game, I now can reliably finish runs in 30 minutes – I may even end up speedrunning this. Still, it’s a very satisfying game that I highly recommend to anyone interested in some Rogue-lite action without the big grind or the frustrating bits that some games suffer from.