Totem Play NYC Hands-On Preview

Totem has a promising edifice with beautiful visuals complemented with a great combat system.

By Grayshadow, Posted 11 Aug 2019

From the start, Totem's incredible pixel graphics and coloration attracted me. From that point, I started killing enemies, collecting Mana from plants, and gaining new powers. With the demo ending on a high-point, providing an excellent boss fight against a god. 

Totem,NoobFeed,Other Moon Games,

Totem stars Mara, a girl gifted with the Gift of Change. A power that is given to her people when the natural world is in danger. From the start, Mara is given access to a powerful ax that can be thrown and called back, similar to Kratos' Levithan ax. Both combat and puzzle-solving is linked to this ax as you travel through the exquisitely decorated pixelated realm in search of answers for what's happening to the world.

The level shown in the demo was the forest area, with 5 areas promised when the game launches. The color and plant life were what you would expect from pixel art. However, tiny details such as Mara's character model breathing, sparks on the Mana-filled plants, and the glow of her ax give Totem a quality look. 

Totem,NoobFeed,Other Moon Games,

As stated before, the ax is your primary form of offense and puzzle-solving. Mara can swing it with deadly force and using Mana, which is finite but can be charged by chopping regenerative plants, can be thrown either quickly or great force. A helpful targeting reticle allows Mara to throw in any direction without having stop and aim or point in the direction. The thrown ability not only is effective in combat but used for solving puzzles such as hitting teleportation orbs and key items. The puzzles are nothing truly outstanding but do take advantage of Mara's skills.

Combat is simple but straight-forward and fun. With a healthy variety of enemies that range from heavily armored brutes to resource replenishing bugs. Mara can regain health in dire situations by killing specific green bugs and Mara can evade offers a brief period of invulnerability. But enemies can easily overwhelm Mara if not taken seriously since they can charge great distances and thrown with precision. Throwing, dodging, and keeping track of your Mana meter become essential during combat and being low of mana or losing track of an enemy can lead to defeat.

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The demo ended with a boss fight against Artemis who has taken on the form of a wolf. Using an array fo beams and explosives, I was required to use all the skills learned prior to the fight to overcome the god. Gaining a new energy beam and using it against some cannon-fodder before the demo ended. It was a spectacular end to an impressive demo

Totem looks and plays astonishingly. I spoke to a developer who explained they're planning 5 different areas including a desert and snow area. Seeing how unbelievable the forest area already looks and the fantastic boss battle against Artemis has me hooked. 

Totem will go live on Kickstarter on a later date. For more on the developers, Other Moon Games, you can click here.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Senior Editor, NoobFeed
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General Information

Totem

/100

Platform(s): Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Other Room Games
Developer(s): Other Room Games
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Fantasy, Mythical
Release Date: 2020

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