A Mini Falafel Adventure
Let me spoil this post by going straight to the conclusion: A Mini Falafel Adventure is free and absolutely amazing
. So why don’t you point your browser to its itch.io page
and taste this sweet ball of chickpeas for yourself? Now back to regular review flow…
While its name evokes a bite-size time management/oriental restaurant simulator, that would be much too mundane for developer Beadybox! Instead, it has built a medium-size metroidvania, with Gameboy-like graphics, featuring a falafel in search of its falafel friend who got abducted by aliens. Oh, and chiptune disco music! If all that sounds amazing, that’s because it is!
A Mini Falafel Adventure is basically perfect because it achieves all of the goals stated in its description:
=> Memorable bosses? Check
=> Quirky characters? Check
=> Game-twisting new abilities? Check
=> Chiptune & Disco/Funk soundtrack? Check (and awesome!)
I said it was a metroidvania, but keep in mind it is of the linear kind. There is small room for exploration, but not much. One may lament the fact, but it makes for a very tight and intense game. The wait between exciting stuff is always short. Silly jokes, new power-ups, boss fights... everything arrives in quick succession.
Those fights are the heart of the game and they are all interesting, each one putting your newest abilities to clever use (think Zelda bosses). One of those abilities is the power to drop mines. They first release high-pressure gas, allowing you to reach high heights if you’re standing on them, then ignite flame-thrower-like to damage enemies (or yourself, if you’re not careful enough). It’s a device you’ll use a lot, and its originality is a big part of A Mini Falafel adventure’s appeal.
The graphics may be 4 shades of big gray (or other colors, you can customize the hue in the options menu) pixels, but they’re making the most of those self-imposed limitations. This is retro graphics at its finest, with more personality than many AAA 3D titles rendered in Full HD. Music is similarly delicious. Going through the levels happens to the (chip)tune of the music you come to expect from such games. Once a boss shows it ugly/cute face, though, we’re entering disco territory, sometimes with guitar riffs. I usually don’t like such technological anachronisms (you could not have such music on the Gameboy), but in Falafel, it just works! I loved it.
The game was made by a lone developer, Chris Nomo for three years in his/her spare time. It is incredibly polished, and I encountered zero bugs while playing it. Finally, fans of Super Mario Land will enjoy one the later levels that pays homage to the venerable title’s final section.
I recommend A Mini Falafel Adventure to absolutely everyone. I can think of few better ways to turn a lazy afternoon into an intensely fun adventure. And remember: it’s free! I’ve seen the developer lament on Twitter that he got absolutely no press coverage, which is totally unfair and unbelievable, so be sure to tell your friends about it.