Unruly Heroes launches in a cloud of monkey magic today

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Despite just launching today, it’s hard not to feel comfortably familiar with Unruly Heroes. In part because it’s yet another videogame retelling of Journey To The West, but mostly because of its striking resemblance to the brilliant Rayman Legends. The similarity is less surprising, knowing developers Magic Design Studios are a bunch of former Ubisoft Montpelier folks. It’s a bouncy platform adventure set in the world of Chinese myth, and supports local and online co-op for up to four. Take a peek at those beautiful painterly sprites in motion in the launch trailer below.

Despite its outward similarity to Rayman Legends, Unruly Heroes looks to have a greater focus on combat and puzzling. Enemy health bars need to be whittled down with combos and special attacks. Each of the four heroes has their own combat and non-combat powers, and in single-player you get to switch between them, similar to Trine, with the spare characters effectively acting as extra lives. If you bring a buddy or three, you’ll get to use the whole gang at once. There’s also a PvP arena mode if you end up disagreeing enough with your friends to come to blows, though I’ve my doubts that this will see much use.

The adventures of Sun Wukong and pals apparently takes them to the underworld at some point in Unruly Heroes, and I love how they’ve chosen to represent it. Rather than make it grimmer or darker, everyone in the afterlife just looks cuter. The character’s big chunky sprites are replaced by squishy little caricatures, all cute as a button. Some enemy types can also be possessed, which could add a little more spice to the combat, too. It all looks rather lovely, and hopefully I’ll find the time to give this one a proper look over the weekend – I still reckon that Rayman Legends is secretly the best Sonic game in years, and I’m eager to see if there’s any of that spark in this one, under the familiar aesthetic.

Unruly Heroes is out now on Steam for £18/€20/$20.

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