Onion Assault is the latest title from Bertil Hörberg the developer behind such iconic “Nindie” titles Gunman Clive, Mechstermination Force and Super Punch Patrol, will it have the same taste as his other meals or will the onion be too overpowering? Let’s find out.
Onion Assault is a traditional 2D platformer title with a twist akin to that of Super Mario Bros 2 (Doki Doki Panic before the “did you know” crowd crop up) in that you’ll use your strength to throw enemies and onions around the stage to defeat the army trying to take over the land.
The game is set over 16 levels with several different themes as the main character or his mother make their way across the land, collecting coins, chunking onions and performing some pretty perilous platforming just like in the good ‘ol 8-bit days.
Onion Assault has a fantastically charming cel shaded look to it and is presented in some quite pleasing 2.5D style, screenshots really do not do this game any justice when it comes to the presentation, animations are smooth and everything just harkens back to an earlier age of gaming while still maintaining a more “modern” edge.
The controls are responsive and I never realized how much I enjoyed the gimmick of just being able to lift stuff over my head and throw it, it’s greatly expanded on from Mario 2 with an example being a section where you can hoist a tank over your head and it fires bullets while you run across the stage with it.
The stages are all really well designed and provides you with a gradual challenge, nothing to the extremes of Celeste but there are a few sections which depleted my lives, the bosses are also fun old school affairs that take a few moments of pattern memorization and thinking how you can use the throw gimmick.
What may present an issue for some is actually my favourite aspect of the game, how basic the actual game is. It doesn’t present you with pointless collectables outside of 3 “big coins” you can challenge yourself to find, no skill trees, no cutscenes and dialogue it’s just a pure old school platformer from start to finish and with the asking price of £7.19 there isn’t too many alternatives that would offer a better time.
The controls and gimmick work so well with the graphics and the pure old school nostalgia pouring out of it I found myself hooked from the second I started it and felt content once the credit rolled around 2 hours later, not every game needs to be a marathon of filler and Onion Assault had me smiling and enjoying throughout the full playthrough and I fully intended to return to it as often as I do Gunman Clive when I want that nostalgia kick.