Awesome Pea by Dev Pigeon and Sometimes You is a retro styled indie heavily inspired by Game Boy graphics and music. The authenticity of the experience for me was outright mind blowing from the selection sound being the chime of the Game Boy logo to the CRT and Scanline options. (For this mini overview, I’ll be playing the game in Pixel Perfect mode with the CRT and Scanline filters off, but as you can see by the trailer, they really do emulate the look of playing a Game Boy cart through the SNES’ Super Game Boy adapter on an old CRT.)
Awesome Pea has you taking control of a rather awesome pea through 30 unique levels filled with traps, obstacles and challenges across the Awesome Islands. The difficulty of this one is rather hard with most obstacles and jumps requiring pixel perfect moves and timing on every beat. I had no direct trouble with the jumps or controls once I figured out the patterns of enemies and traps, however I did run into sync issues, causing lag, where occasionally my awesome pea wouldn’t react to my input until a full one second later (causing me to die.) Though that is a small issue, (with it occurring very infrequently and because) retrying a level is very fast as you re-spawn in a matter of seconds after death to give it another go immediately. Awesome Pea has a rather basic goal of making it to the end without dying, but for all you die hard ‘NES Difficulty’ buffs like me, you’ll want to collect every coin and diamond along the way, (which of course I did for all of the levels in this demo.) Some of these collectables force you to backtrack and tackle enemies in new ways- and I really enjoyed the challenge.
I had a blast while playing this demo and will be sure to pick up the full game when I have the free time to give it a proper go. It’s a whimsical journey with a decent difficulty that doesn’t treat you kindly and really brought me back to a place where I felt like I was a kid again, playing on my Game Boy under direct light- squinting at the screen to progress in my game. With it’s amazingly nostalgic music and eye watering old school graphics, Dev Pigeon really knocked it out of the park with this release – and I highly recommend that anyone who grew up with a Game Boy at least give the demo a try, if not to buy the full experience. Awesome Pea was developed by Dev Pigeon and Sometimes You and is available on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and Steam – and can be found on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $9 AUD (and similar prices on other platforms.)