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Catherine Lewis

This gorgeous pixel art Metroidvania inspired by Moroccan culture has some fascinating lore that's already got me invested

A screenshot from Mira and the Legend of the Djinns.

In games, there aren't many things that I love more than a pretty pixel art style and an intriguing story that'll encourage me to explore everything a title has to offer, and that's exactly what I can see in Little Knight Games' upcoming indie Metroidvania, Mira and the Legend of the Djinns.

The 2D platformer, which is inspired by Moroccan culture and is the indie studio's debut title, stars a daring treasure hunter named Yuba who discovers a sleeping Djinn named Mira whilst searching through the depths of an ancient ruin. Mira has been asleep for 1,000 years, with no memory of why she was sealed there in the first place. In order to help her leave the ruin and rediscover her lost memories, the pair form a sacred bond and set out on an adventure that the synopsis teases will uncover the secret lore behind the game's world. 

Even with a combat system that looks super satisfying, and an art direction that I genuinely adore, it's that lore that's got me invested, as it's already shaping up to be incredibly enticing. The developers have released details surrounding many of the important locations, including Amazgesh – a kingdom which once saw peace between humans and Djinns, but turned to ruin after an event called the Fall made it a "wasteland of death and emptiness." Almost all of the Djinns have now disappeared, while the humans struggle to stay alive, and no one knows how it happened since it was so long ago. Of course, that's up to us to discover, and I, for one, am very keen to discover Mira's backstory.

As for the side-scrolling action, we can expect to get our hands on a plethora of weapons, abilities, tools, and skills throughout the journey, complete with flashy attacks that look brilliant. All four of your weapons can be seamlessly swapped around mid-combat, so you'll be able to switch your approach to battles whenever you want, and they can all be upgraded to unlock new combo attacks.

Meanwhile, Little Knight Games has teased on the game's Steam page that some of the special abilities are additions that "we always wanted to see in a Metroidvania," so it sounds like we can look forward to some unique mechanics there. They're not just for use in battle, as many of them also have environmental applications, too.

Mira and the Legend of the Djinns is set to release on PC via Steam later this year. According to its Steam page, we can expect it to launch at some point during Q2 2024, which suggests it could release somewhere between the start of April and the end of June. 

In the meantime, you can check out our recommendations for the best Metroidvania games to find your next adventure. 

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