Newt One is a delightfully calming, vibrantly coloured 3D platformer based in a music themed world. With the help and guidance of his friend Curno, Newt must reawaken each land from the Great Slumber by exploring the realms whilst searching for hidden items along the way. The characters are charming and the story line is heartfelt and encapsulating.
At first glance the game seems rather simple and straightforward, but as it progresses it becomes very difficult not to be captivated by the enchanting lands, the calming music and feelings of peace and happiness. Each level begins in darkness and almost silence, but as the player moves around, everything bursts into colour, bringing it back to life once again. It is smooth to control and the levels flow well, encouraging the player to explore but to also take the time to enjoy and appreciate the experience.
Although there are various objectives for each level (keeping it stimulating and catering for those who are more motivated by achievements), it is not necessary to accomplish these to complete the level or the game – although you are encouraged to. That ability to choose means Newt One can be appreciated by a much wider age group. From young children to adults who wish to take a break from the stresses of life and immerse themselves in a calm and colourful world, this is a game that should in fact appeal to many diverse audiences. Having level goals to complete also gives the player incentive to replay which adds value from every gaming perspective. Also, by eliminating the uncertainties of taking damage or having to fight enemies, and substituting it with the restoration of life and happiness, it gives the player a rather more positive overall outlook which is refreshing.
The only disappointment for me is that I was expecting some focus on the musical elements in the game after reading about ‘enchanting music that adapts to the world’. Apart from the music being noticeably quieter in certain areas and increasing in volume throughout each level, I didn’t perceive it to be obviously adapting as a direct result of Newts actions. I was anticipating more focus on bringing to life the individual elements of the music in the background. Perhaps something simple such as collecting certain objects (e.g. instruments) or reaching particular platforms to unlock musical elements from the background score so that it isn’t just the visual references to music. It is clear by the way in which the levels light up, and how the characters interact between levels, that Newt is restoring the light and life of the world, but I felt that it was a missing a physical or visual connection with the background music. The actual soundtrack, however, is exceptionally well suited to the game – it creates a perfectly relaxed atmosphere, and isn’t too repetitive or overpowering.
Newt One is a peaceful, colourful and nonviolent game with a meaningful story line and thoughtful characters. Whether playing competitively to achieve level goals or to relax as an escape from the chaos of life, it is left up to the individual to enjoy the game however they choose.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.