If you’ve ever tried to roll an egg lengthwise from point A to point B, given up in frustration, and angrily smashed the egg, you have an idea what Egg Returns Home’s gameplay is like. The layout of the levels is simple; spikes impede your progress, platforms can be scaled by jumping between them, and moving enemies will instantly kill you. However, the fact that the main character is a mustachioed egg is what makes the game incredibly difficult.
Egg does not move like a sphere, rolling gracefully across the terrain with precision and ease. No, that would be far too easy. Egg rolls like a… well, an egg; bumping and teetering, sometimes refusing to move forward and sometimes rocketing ahead with abandon. Your goal in each level is to use your jump buttons to guide Egg to the end where the teleport awaits. The game is broken up into three sections; the grasslands where your main enemies are stationary spikes, the twilight where moving platforms and flying spikes plague your travel, and the mountains where patrolling enemies seek to ruin your journey. Each area builds on the one before it in a logical manner, so the skills you learn early on will suit you well right up to the last level.
The controls are simplistic, but they require a lot of skill to use correctly. Since you can only jump left, jump right, or jump higher (in either direction), you must pay close attention to how Egg is moving when you decide to jump. Pressing the button too early in his roll and you may halt his progress altogether. Pressing it too late and instead of jumping artfully over the spikes, you may end up careening right into them. Spamming keys will not work here! Some levels have an added difficulty: The Stranger, who takes great lengths to make sure Egg does not return home. Will you have what it takes to persevere against this mysterious enemy and find the teleport that finally returns you home?
Most of the difficult sections of the game are clearly intended that way, however there are a few bugs or overlooked issues that add an unnecessary challenge. While the teleport beams extend past the top of the screen, Egg must hit the bottom section of the beam to warp to the next level. Passing through even a few inches too high will send him past the beam entirely and usually right to his certain death. Some of the platforms do not allow Egg to move like usual; jumping on these platforms does not perform as intended and can cause a jump that would normally clear spikes or an enemy to fail miserably. Aside from these issues, the game is a great first release from developer PigelPix… I look forward to playing more from them in the future.