Player expectation in video games is something that is rarely toyed with. While a game may be filled with many story twists and turns, most games do not surprise players through gameplay alone. Rarely do linear/scripted games surprise players through more than a story or a musical cue, with horror games being one of the few exceptions due to their nature. While it is sad, but there have been a sub-genre of platformers that do this almost perfectly, donning the name “Platform Hell”. Eryi’s Action is such a platformer and does succeed at surprising the player, but it the game fails as a platform hell game.
No, Eryi’s Action wants to see the player die hundreds of times. The level design within the game contains some of the most cruel tricks I have seen within the platforming hell genre; invisible blocks over pits, hidden enemies, warping the player to death-rooms, unexpected changes in object and enemy behavior, and false win states all have their time and place in the game. Above everything else, I applaud Xtal Sword for creating what is essentially a rogues gallery of every platforming hell trick in the book.
The problem is that without the endless challenge those tricks normally produce, the Eryi’s Action does not become challenging enough to satisfy what appears to be its intended audience. Coming back to the subject of Kaizo Mario World and I Wanna Be The Guy, those two games are crushingly difficult thanks to their intention of wanting the player dead and their lack of holding back on that promise. However, Eryi’s Action does hold itself back when it comes to being absolutely cruel, making the game easy for those gearing for their next nigh-impossible platformer.