Newt One is a shining beacon of joy and happiness in a world darkened by violence. A nonviolent video game developed by a two man team in Minneapolis; Newt One is the first game from DevNAri (Check out our interview with them) and is a throwback to retro 3rd person platformers with the core idea being around bringing light back to the world. When I first heard of the game, I was skeptical on how a game centered around the opposite of what I look for in games could be like. From the first level, I was blown away.
The game took me back to my days of Banjo, Super Mario 64 and others visually, with the same perfected gameplay we all love. But there is one key difference: the bright visuals of the game only unlocked as you progressed through each level and touched various elements of the world, later augmented by staffs where magic touches and illuminates instead. Each segment you brighten also makes the background music more vibrant and exciting. A truly brilliant twist on the standard 3D platformer.
Spanning across 5 Unique world types with 6 levels in each, the game, while not huge, offers replayability in the forms of badges for every level and badges for the game as well. When I first heard of the game, I struggled to think of how a 3D platformer without any enemies or violence could even prove to be challenging. DevNAri showed me exactly how. They truly brought platforming back into the 3D platformer. As there aren’t any deaths (when you fall off the edge, the cutest little fluffball *poofs* you back to the platformer. Side note the fluffball is a spirit and is important) the challenge derives from the landscape. Moving and angled platforms spiced together with the different environments on offer proved to be the real challenge in this game. I found myself not even missing having to fight enemies or do silly combat sequences, instead hyped to unlock the world and bring some colour and musical beats back to it.
Visually the game is stunning, reminiscent of all your favourite retro 3D platformers. Newt One does a bang up job of bringing the look and feel whilst also staying unique to itself. One of the most interesting elements of the game is the costumes, each level has a set number of “tones” you can collect and at every 50 tones your outfit will change colour. To make things more exciting, each world has you wearing a different outfit which in turn changes colours for each set of 50 tones. This brought even more to do in the game as every level has a badge for collecting all tones, so you are double rewarded for your efforts!
Now as great as the game is, it’s not without faults. But these are minute and barely detracted from the gameplay. I came across a few instances where when I collected the wings which help you glide and jump further, failed to work; they would appear on my body but then wouldn’t activate and I was forced to repeat the level. The only other issue I encountered was when you are on a world with multiple levels, when falling from the top you would fall until the “fluffball teleport zone” on the bottom level, in some cases this was a long time – not too long to be annoying but long enough that it got a little ridiculous.
When a game has a development of two people, you would honestly expect more issues, even some issues. It’s astounding what DevNAri have achieved and I’m excited to see this ported to more consoles and to see what else they bring to the table moving forward.
All in all Newt One is fantastic, a few minor faults and a little on the short side but the idea behind it is amazing and so is the execution. DevNAri have developed exactly what they set out to, and that in itself is what makes the game such a joy to play. With a new approach aimed at a non violent look at video games, DevNAri sure do have a hit on their hands.