Have you ever wondered what is living underneath the ground of your own home? In Young Souls, you play as twins Jenn and Tristan who are about to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Their “father” (the scientist who adopted them) has been researching why there are so many earthquakes in the area but needs more money to fund his studies. So he sends the two of them to the pawn shop in town with a cardboard box of items to get some cash. The twins agree to make the trip, being bored since they were skipping school and had nothing better to do. So they hop on the bus and head to town.
Upon returning, they see that the front door of the mansion they live in is open because the door has been smashed. They both search the house and their dad is nowhere to be found. However there is one place that the twins haven’t checked; normally they are not allowed to enter their father's office, no matter what. This is an extreme situation though, so they decide to go in. He isn’t in there, but there is a lift that goes down to the basement where a secret lab is hidden. There are swords and shields down there, so Jenn and Tristan figure it’s a good idea to arm themselves before entering the portal, not knowing where they would end up and what dangers lie ahead. They are transported to a town that is on fire and full of aggressive goblins that are trying to attack them. Jenn and Tristan decide to do everything possible to rescue him because of everything he has done for the two of them; these monsters must be the cause of his disappearance! While trapped there they meet Baldwin, a goblin who knows their father and has worked with him before. He tells of an invention called a Travel Rune, that will take them back home and will allow travel between the mansion gate and the underground goblin world gates.
The game has four different modes you can select from: Relaxed, Balanced, Challenging, and Expert. If you find the game is too easy or too hard, you can change this selection at any time. Young Souls has an extensive How to Play section right on the main menu screen that you can check out whenever you need, which tells you everything you need to know about controlling the twins — whether you are playing with one player or two, how stats work, and other useful information. I love that the game has the option for you to go to the gym to work out and level up one of three stats for the siblings: Strength, the amount of damage you deal; Resistance, how much HP they have; and Stamina, which lets you perform more special moves like sprinting and dodging before getting tired. Each of the workouts involves doing a mini-game that has you keeping a line in the green areas of the moving meter. The better you do, the more stars you can earn, up to a maximum of five. However, you can’t just be a gym rat and sit there all day long working out. After each workout you need to obtain another Happy Fit Gym token; you get these when your characters sleep. Sleeping is also when the XP you have earned defeating enemies in the dungeon will be applied to level you up.
When you start exploring the dungeons to find your father, you will find gates that allow you to easily travel between the human and goblin world. When you are in the underground dungeons, the way you control the twins is different than when you are walking around in the town and mansion. You take control of only one of the siblings and — like a tag-team match — you can switch to the other teen at any point in time. This is very useful when the character you are currently playing as is low on health, or the other has a weapon that would be more effective or an attack that you want to utilise. While you attack the enemy, the amount of damage you cause will also be added to your recovery gauge, so once you switch siblings your health gauge will slowly replenish. If one of the twins falls in battle, the other will jump right in and revive them, and their lives will reset after you complete the dungeon.
While exploring the goblin world you come across characters that have been captured, and once you save them they will help you on your journey. Lindgren is locked up in the prison, but once he is freed you learn that he is a skilled weaponsmith and will help you build new weapons or upgrade your current ones; Silvester, who is an accessory maker, and can create items for you from Guardian Tears that you find in the dungeons; and Lloyd, who creates health and mana potions.
As you explore the dungeons, you will find a huge variety of weapons and other items that you can equip your characters with. The rooms you find while traversing through the goblin world are full of crates and pots to smash, sometimes there are hearts to replenish your health, or coins that you can spend in shops. So it is always worth throwing these at enemies (which is just fun) or breaking them to refill your health gauge before the next wave of goblins come. I’ll never get bored of smashing pots in games, it’s so satisfying!
Young Souls has a really modern art style giving the characters a young and “hip” look, especially when you start buying new clothes and accessories for them. It’s not required to do, but it’s always fun to make them wear stuff you have picked out. The only bad thing was I found the dungeons to be a little bit too dark, I had to crank up the brightness on my laptop to be able to see. Like the twins, the enemies you engage with are cartoon-like and not realistic at all. I really appreciated this, especially when you come across huge groups of spiders. It’s not nearly as creepy when they are cute looking!
I really enjoy playing Young Souls as the beat ‘em up style of the game is super fun and the characters feel very realistic. Jenn and Tristan are just like real-life typical teenagers who easily get bored, want to skip school because they think it is useless, and are very confident, as they think they are tough and can take on anything, no matter the obstacles. There are heartfelt moments in the story, and the bond between the twins is evident. If you enjoy beat ‘em up games with RPG elements, Young Souls should definitely be on your radar. Plus with a shorter play-through time, you won’t need to commit tons of hours to reach the end of the game. Oh, did I mention the twins have a moped to drive back and forth to town? It is so fun to just cruise around the streets.
Young Souls (Reviewed on Windows)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
Young Souls is a fun beat ‘em up RPG full of action that can be played with one or two players. It has a fun and modern art style featuring characters that are full of personality. This is a must-grab for people who like unique gameplay and fantasy-style storytelling!