trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

Dandara Review: Savior

/ Feb 27th, 2018 No Comments

Dandara Review

It’s rare to find a game that catches you completely by surprise. As unique as any given game can be, you can spot its influences or know a game with a similar sort of element or gimmick. It is exciting to find a game that catches you off guard.

Dandara is one of those games. It is a Metroidvania, and in that regard it doesn’t stray to far from the genre. However, it does have one hell of a surprise in the form of its movement system. It is lyrical and beautiful, but also one of the game’s biggest drawbacks.

Break the Shackles

Back in the golden days of the Salt, Creation and Intention merged together into Learning and Growth, leaving the people of Creation prosperous and in a glorious age of peace. The peace wouldn’t last forever. A cancerous idea grew, throwing off the balance between Creation and Intention and ushering in a new age of oppression. With the Colossal Bridge severed by the Eldarian Army, Creation cowers in fear awaiting the end.

Yet, hope sprung from the Crib of Creation with the birth of Dandara. The monumental task of saving the Salt and Creation from the Eldarian Army lies before her feet. It won’t be easy, but with the support and artifacts of the citizens of Creation, she might stand a chance. As she brings order back to Creation, she must venture into the Eldarian lands and kill Eldar, the villainous leader to restore balance.

Dandara places players in an imaginative and inventive world populated with cool characters. The story itself is subtly told as you gain information sporadically by finding Creation survivors. By interacting with these characters, you start to unlock the bigger picture about how the world has come undone and what Dandara must do to make it right.

This manner of storytelling means players aren’t constantly being told where to go or given more information than necessary. It puts an onus on the player to make assumptions and draw conclusions, which is a mature way to tell a story. Despite giving players a lot of room to breathe, the story doesn’t feel incomplete.

Float On

Gravity is a trivial thing to Dandara. It is merely a suggestion. As such, her movement is fluid and striking. She is able to bound from wall to ceiling to floor to ledge and anything in between.

If a surface is covered in salt, she is able to flit from surface to surface like she is a bullet shot from a gun. Her graceful movements between surfaces of salt are what makes Dandara such an unique game. However, it’s also one of its major flaws.

Dandara Review

Dandara’s movement is one of the defining features of the game, but it’s also its Achilles’s heel.

While Dandara’s movement system is undeniably unique, it does have a huge learning curve that never seems to go away. As the difficulty amps up, there is a larger margin of error.

Aiming where Dandara lands on salt-covered surfaces can be bothersome. Your ability to aim accurately at the spot where you want to land lags behind your desire to move. Dodging and maneuvering through attacks is hindered by this sluggish aiming. This makes it rough to master boss fights and tougher areas of the game.

Much of the game’s difficulty spikes as a result of this. While it makes success that much sweeter, it also can get wildly frustrating. But it doesn’t completely suck the fun out of the game. If you’re able to preserve and account for the sometimes imprecise aiming, there is a lot to like in Dandara.

Although movement is one of its most unique features, the way its map is set up also sets it apart from other Metroidvania games. In fact, the map is kind of amazing. It bottlenecks at the beginning of the game to ensure players get the main point of the story, the core powers and a handle on how to play the game.

Once you beat the first boss, it opens up and allows players to travel to the Eldarian lands without too many speedbumps. Obviously, those occur as you encounter areas where a specific powerup is needed to advance further, but you can get a lay for the various areas in the game and a feel for how tough its enemies are.

Dandara Review

Boss fights are hectic and require a lot of patience and reflexes to come out on top.

Another thing that is cool about Dandara is the simplicity of its upgrade path. Players can upgrade Dandara’s health, energy and the efficacy of the respective items that restore them. While these are the only upgrades Dandara can boost, she gets relics and different special weapons throughout the game.

Using salt gathered by defeating enemies, Dandara can upgrade her attributes at camps. The only issue is that when you die, your soul and salt is left where you fell. In order to re-gain your salt, you need to make it back and reclaim your previous soul. It can be hard if you died far from a camp with a lot of strong enemies along the way. Failing to gain a huge amount of salt is one of the most crushing aspects of the game.

Combining the way the map works with the unique movement and the sparse item/upgrades makes Dandara a cool riff on the Metroidvania genre.


Dandara does some cool and unique things that make it stand out. Some of those elements have a little clunk to them, which holds it back. In spite those drawbacks, Dandara is a fascinating game that is worth trying out.

Dandara was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a code provided by the publisher


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

Latest posts by Kalvin Martinez (see all)

tags: , , , ,

Related Posts

Bombslinger Review

Bombslinger Review: Never Forgiven

May 24th, 2018No Comments

Laser League Review

Laser League Review: The Future is Neon

May 23rd, 2018No Comments

Light Fall Review

Light Fall Review: Eclipse

May 9th, 2018No Comments

Last Day of June Review

Last Day of June Review: Cherish

Apr 24th, 2018No Comments

Top Articles


Gaming Illustrated RATING



Dandara’s gameplay is unique with a style of movement that feels like poetry. The only drawback is how trial and error things can be like one too many syllables in a Haiku.


Dandara’s gorgeous sprite art and animation comes alive in its imaginative world.


The soundtrack is dreamy and moody matching the story and world.


Dandara’s story is lyrical with subtle cues and allusions to the grander conflict, but focuses mostly on letting you uncover deeper meaning.

Bombslinger Review: Never Forgiven May 24th, 2018 at 10:50

Laser League Review: The Future is Neon May 23rd, 2018 at 10:02

Light Fall Review: Eclipse May 9th, 2018 at 11:01

Last Day of June Review: Cherish Apr 24th, 2018 at 12:00

Flinthook Review: Rogue Life Apr 16th, 2018 at 8:00

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Review: King Back Apr 5th, 2018 at 9:48

Blasters of the Universe Review: A VR Hell of Bullets Mar 29th, 2018 at 10:00

Mulaka Review: Salvation Mar 23rd, 2018 at 10:05

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Review: Kiryu and Cub Mar 15th, 2018 at 12:00

Fe Review: Sing for the Moment Mar 9th, 2018 at 9:48

bestjett buyeww 6400387192 link

besttrew buyhfgh 6400387192 link

bestavbe buydfgss 6400387192 link

bestjett buyeww 373281387 link

besttrew buyhfgh 373281387 link

bestavbe buydfgss 373281387 link

bestjett buyeww 9537151744 link

besttrew buyhfgh 9537151744 link

bestavbe buydfgss 9537151744 link

bestjett buyeww 71532969 link

besttrew buyhfgh 71532969 link

bestavbe buydfgss 71532969 link

bestjett buyeww 8382743226 link

besttrew buyhfgh 8382743226 link

bestavbe buydfgss 8382743226 link