In the waning months of the Wii U, it’s interesting to see that developers are still making software for Nintendo’s system. While most of the big guns - including a good portion of 'Nindies' - move on to bigger and better things, there are smaller projects making quiet and unassuming appearances on the older hardware. One such game is Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip by Daniel Morais.
In a nut (or is it…egg?) shell Eba & Egg is an auto-scrolling platformer in which the player controls a bird rolling on a very rotund egg, each with their own separate jump button. The gist is that you must use both jumps to hop the little chickadee up to overhead paths so that you’re collecting orbs to raise your score on two different levels. It’s very much a “pat your head, rub your tummy” scenario in which you must divert your attention to two different playing fields in order to maximize your score, whilst making sure neither of your fowl wards fall into pits or run into traps.
The duo rolls through various environments, such as snowy fields and cloudy areas, but beyond a change in scenery and cute musical changes it’s all thematic rather than integral to the experience. There are twenty-five stages that are split up into worlds, with each new area adding a new environmental element to ramp up the difficulty. Things such as bouncing pads, clouds that dissipate if not used as a launching pad quickly enough and triggered bridges change up the gameplay in unique ways. There is an attempt to have each level be an additive experience to the last, but there’s an unevenness that doesn't reflect well on the game overall. While levels are broken up by distinct checkpoints, there’s a disparity in distance between them that sometimes feels a bit arbitrary and in turn a little unfair.
There’s a lack of visual pizazz to be had in Eba & Egg, too, which makes the game feel somewhat generic. Each new area just feels like the last but with a literal palette swap differentiating it. The new obstacles should be the defining factor, but most players will probably be disappointed that each new mechanic learned isn’t accompanied by a memorable new place to explore whilst using it. Add to this some glitchy elements like obstacles that disappear after you respawn at a checkpoint, and the egg inadvertently slipping into the higher paths where it isn't meant to be, and you get a mediocre experience.
Eba & Egg: The Hatch Trip has decent ideas in terms of mechanical design and aesthetics, but it lacks a lot of polish and refinement that could have made this a more memorable experience. Perhaps you can find some redeeming qualities to it, but otherwise this is an egg best left in the carton.