Promenade review for PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Platform: PlayStation 5
Also On: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Red Art Games
Developer: Holy Cap Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Promenade was one of those titles that wasn’t really on my radar until we were offered code for the game for review, but when I checked out the screenshots and video it felt like a game that I really needed to play. While there’s no shortage of 2D platformers in a variety of forms nowadays, few manage to catch the whimsical, animated look that Promenade does so well. It’s a beautiful looking game, and as an added plus it’s actually fun to play, making it a platforming adventure you absolutely should not miss. 

In Promenade you’ll take control of Nemo, a small boy saved from drowning by his small octopus friend. Together you’ll enter a fantasy world, where your evil doppelganger has stolen the cogs necessary to operate The Great Elevator. As you can probably guess, it’s up to you to retrieve the cogs while making your way up The Great Elevator, uncovering new worlds to explore as you progress. 

Besides the unique look of Promenade, it has some pretty fun platforming gimmicks as well. Nemo can toss his octopus buddy out like a yo-yo of sorts, which can latch on to enemies and other objects, bringing them back to Nemo so they can be tossed as a weapon. In addition, you can opt to toss an object you’re carrying to perform a double jump, which is used pretty often to navigate Promenade’s world. As you progress through the game, you’ll gain additional abilities, like a grappling hook that also helps propel Nemo across gaps and into previously inaccessible areas. All of this feels great to pull off, and there’s plenty of difficult platforming segments to overcome, which makes this deceptively simple looking platformer harder than it first appears.. 

While there’s a heavy emphasis on platforming, you’ll also have a number of puzzle segments to figure out as well. The puzzling aspect isn’t too difficult, but since Promenade doesn’t feature any kind of speech or text at all, your clues are either given via the environment around you, or through various signs placed around the world that help give you an idea on what you’re able to do or what you need to do in order to proceed. This form of direction feels similar to another game I really enjoyed last year, Cocoon, so deemphasizing traditional dialogue or text in order to both tell a story and direct your character is something I really enjoyed. 

Overall, I think Promenade is a platforming adventure that’s definitely worth your time. It has a decent challenge curve, enough so that it might not be for everyone, but the difficulty never feels particularly unfair, and failing a tough segment generally only sets you back a handful of seconds. It’s also an absolutely beautiful looking game, well animated, and the various worlds and areas you uncover are often cleverly designed, especially compared to other likeminded platformers out there. I loved Promenade, and I think you will too, so check it out when you get a chance.

Note: Red Art Games provided us with a Promenade PS5 code for review purposes.

Score: 9

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