Ankora: Lost Days Review thumbnail

Ankora: Lost Days Review

Explore a new planet

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

Ankora: Lost Days is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

As a spacefaring adventurer, get ready to meet the inhabitants of a new planet in the cubic survival adventure game Ankora: Lost Days.

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Ankora: Lost Days screenshot 1
Are you sure that thing speaks English?

Land on a new planet

Young intergalactic ranger Mûn has crash-landed on a planet lush with nature and she must make her way through various obstacles to find the pieces of her spaceship and repair it. On her adventure, she will meet various natives scattered across the map and feel a duty to help them with their own troubles as she explores. v1d30chumz 3-235-173-74

Ankora: Lost Days isn't your typical action adventure game as it takes place on a grid where you'll be presented with a large map and your goal is to fill in every square. Each square has a north, south, east, or west exit and you'll have to use your tools and smarts to unblock obstacles in your way to continue on your journey. One square on the map is a pretty small area but most will take some time to fully explore and you'll even occasionally be blocked completely if you don't have the right tools or materials. 🪓

Ankora: Lost Days screenshot 2
If only I had a ramp; oh, wait a sec!

Traverse

Thankfully, Mûn has come prepared with a collection of her own tools mixed with others donated by the planet's inhabitants. First, the shovel allows Mûn to do light terraforming; increasing or decreasing the height of a block. Next, a saw can be used to cut down trees for wood, a pickaxe breaks rocks for stone, and Mûn is quite the builder of course which allows her to create consumable items that further help with traversal. For example, a wooden ramp will allow her to walk easily over a change in height, a bridge crosses water, and tools like a wooden table and campfire can be used to craft materials that are helpful for building and restoring Mûn's energy. 🏕️

Create

Arriving in a new square, observing your surroundings, and deciding which exit to aim for based on the tools that you have on-hand is a lot of fun, especially when you come across something unique such as new terrain or natives. However, I sometimes found myself stuck after running out of certain materials and having to trudge all the way back to a merchant who can sell them to me or enemies that drop them was sometimes quite annoying. Having said that, it did force me to think about how to make the landscape more traversable so that when I did have to backtrack, it wasn't as much of a pain to retrace the same path again. 🥾

Ankora: Lost Days screenshot 3
I wish I brought a raincoat with me

Survive

In Ankora: Lost Days, you must manage your energy and hunger by sleeping in a tent and snacking on food. First, you need to create a tent in order to sleep and it's important to make sure you always have one available because they're consumed on each use. Food is fairly easy to find if you're fine with eating raw goodies like acorns but you can also create more complicated dishes on a fire if you wish. 🥘

However, I didn't find doing so necessary as Mûn is satisfied with constant snacking. Overall, the survival aspect of Ankora: Lost Days isn't all that tough as I found most of the difficulty involves having the right materials to build items for traversal. That is, as long as I kept a tent handy but if I ran out, I simply had to find my way back to a merchant so I could buy one which merely takes time. ⏲️

Fight

Besides keeping yourself full of energy and food, you'll also have to survive battles with a variety of enemies. You'll be presented with a spear early in the campaign and you'll use it quite frequently to take out enemies and steal the items that they drop. Some enemies drop items that are very useful and others aren't as worthwhile but can be sold for cash. Most enemies are not challenging at all but there is the odd boss that requires more hits than usual. In other words, the fighting is extremely simplistic. 😐

Ankora: Lost Days screenshot 4
Getting treasure is a rather chilly task sometimes

Explore

The planet in Ankora: Lost Days is quite large and has different zones to explore. I loved finding a new zone and seeing how the scenery was presented. From lush forests to snowy mountains, the graphics are bright and cheerful and the orchestral soundtrack matches this aesthetic very well. There's also an enjoyable air of mystery when you come across certain areas that don't look like the rest then you start uncovering more information about the history of the planet and how it has interacted with more advanced technology like Mûn's in the past. The visual contrast of these war-torn areas against the upbeat colour palette in the rest of the land shows a more serious tone which I welcomed as it brought more depth and lore to an otherwise one-note game. 😊

Get oriented

Although I had fun exploring in Ankora: Lost Days, my main gripe is how difficult it is to keep track of what's available in each square. You're given a map that you will be referencing constantly but it's purely visual as it displays a picture of what is on a square and you must use your own memory to recall what that picture represents. I wish there was a way to hover over a square and have it list what's available on it such as which items a given merchant sells. I'd also like to be able to place my own marker so I could remember which squares are currently blocked due to plot lines as opposed to which ones I just haven't yet tried exploring yet. 🗺️

Ankora: Lost Days screenshot 5
Hello, goose; have you seen my space ship?

Ankora: Lost Days is a colourful survival adventure game where you'll explore a new planet and use your smarts and tools to unblock obstacles in your path. If you're looking for a simplistic adventure with a fun twist on other games in the genre then pick this up but just don't expect a ton of depth when it comes to gameplay and anticipate getting a little lost on occasion, too.

  • + Grid-based adventuring with a focus on obstacles is a unique spin on the genre
  • + Visual variety makes exploring fun
  • + Lore-heavy areas are a nice surprise
  • - Not all that challenging once you acquire a full arsenal of tools
  • - Backtracking for materials can be tedious
  • - Map could do with more useful details
6.7 out of 10
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Watch Mary play Ankora: Lost Days
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