Beraltors is a game that's a little difficult to describe at first, but I've settled on something that I feel makes sense: it's a Metroidvania with a Pokemon-style creature collection mechanic made by some very, very strange people.
Your adventure begins as some regal-looking dude who is searching for his kidnapped father. Unfortunately, your only help is a bunch of idiots called Beraltors, strange creatures that are badly drawn (quite deliberately, I imagine) and wield elemental powers. You soon find yourself dead, saved only at the last moment by having your spirit reconstituted in one of the titular creatures.
Gotta Collect 'Em All, Cretin
Beraltors is a Metroidvania, a genre that largely operates on the concept of having areas of the map closed off which can only be accessed via special abilities. Unlike many other titles in the genre, you gain access to new areas by collecting new creatures.
Typically, these creatures are penned up in a cage somewhere on the map. They'll often by guarded by the same type of creature along with a much larger and stronger miniboss that you'll have to overcome.
Once collected, this new Beraltor is added to a cache that you can swap out at towns. At first, you can only be one Beraltor at a time. You later gain the ability to swap between two Beraltors at will, giving you the opportunity to mix things up a bit. Each Beraltor has their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses to consider.
The Barriers of Beraltors
One of the key concepts of Metroidvania games is that you're closed off from some areas and need to acquire an item or ability to access them. As an example, you might not be able to reach a particular platform without having first learned how to double jump. In Beraltors, this system of gating off zones is done through the innate abilities of your creatures.
Fire is one such barrier that players must contend with. A mist of red haze covering an area is an indication that it's too hot for most creatures — anyone who is not a Fire-type will take far too much damage over time. Once you get your hands on a Fire-type Beraltor, it becomes a total non-issue... until you need to swim under lava.
You see, only water-type Beraltors can go underwater and this game treats lava as "hot water", more or less. Thankfully, a Beraltor can actually have two creature types; once you get a Fire/Water-type Beraltor, that underwater lava area is opened up to you.
Discordant Music, Atrocious Art, and Questionable Controls
Beraltors aims for that "so bad it's good" sort of aesthetic that has made many a B-Movie popular. It largely succeeds, although not always in a good way.
The music is strangely discordant. It somehow manages to sound wrong and right at the same time, making use of strange sounds in an oddly harmonious way. The sound effects, too, are purposefully bad at times, but the style is consistent, at least.
Visuals are much the same. Each of the titular Beraltors are outrageous creatures like a Muay Thai-boxing T-Rex or a wolf/ape hybrid, many of which look like they came out of the sketchbook of a 12-year-old boy. Levels, too, are hand-drawn in the style of pencils and crayons. Heck, they might have actually been drawn with pencils and crayons.
The aesthetic choices aren't necessarily a problem, but the way the game plays is a problem. Platforming feels floaty more often than not. You have to actively move your character to stay on moving platforms rather than it properly carrying you along. If these kinds of controls and movement mechanics were a deliberate choice, they were a bad one.
Beraltors isn't a half-bad game, but I don't think I could recommend it for wider audiences. If you're looking for something weird, a strange Metroidvania, or both, then this is something that's well worth considering.
TechRaptor conducted our Beraltors Coverage Club on PC via Steam using a copy provided by the developer.