Copperbell Review

An aging village is in danger and thus they turn to the power of their sacred bell. Explore the surroundings of the village as a newly crafted copper bell and find the source of the hidden evil. Using your bell clapper as a weapon, take on enemies and collect coins for upgrades in the short action-adventure of Copperbell.

Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 1.5 hours

Copperbell. Grandparent's house decorated with furs, dried foods, and clay pottery

Released July 31th, 2019 by Zero Fun

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Quick Overview

Major Pros:
  • Beautiful Setting
  • Pleasing Music
Major Cons:
  • Short
Minor Pros:
  • Exploration
  • Unique bosses
Minor Cons:
  • Punishes player for struggling
Copperbell. House in a scenic valley framed by a snow-covered mountain

TODO

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In-depth Review

Copperbell is a beautiful hand, drawn adventure game. Players play as an animated copper bell protecting a village at the behest of your grandparents, aka your creators. You take up your clapper as a weapon and defeat a number of enemies only you are small enough to reach.

Copperbell. Traveling through the woods

Forest scenery

The entire setting of Copperbell is absolutely beautiful with tons of attention to detail. It features very pleasing atmospheric music that really sets the tone for the game. All of the enemies have unique looks and animations and every area in the game has a completely different feel.

Copperbell. In a cave facing a skull enemy with many tiny legs

A ranged enemy that lobs bones

The biggest struggle for Copperbell is simply how short it is. It took me about an hour and a half to complete it, but a more skilled player could easily complete it in an hour. The player explores the areas in a set order, although within an area they can explore, but there are a limited number of areas in the game and only a couple of bosses.

Copperbell. Vague map of an area with checkpoints marked

Player and checkpoints marked on a map

I really enjoyed exploring all the different areas. By exploring, the player can find currency for upgrades or additional health tokens between checkpoints. Checkpoints are represented by small glass bottles of fireflies, returning to one will refill all of the character’s health tokens. Every time the character is hit, they will lose one health token and a coin, if they have one. Coins can be picked up unless they fall into inaccessible or dangerous spaces, such as spike pits. Players can also become trapped in spike pits, repeatedly taking damage and losing coins that are unrecoverable until they die.

Copperbell. Standing in front of hammerbell, the player has 28 coins displayed in the top right

Hammerbell allows players to purchase stat upgrades

Losing currency on damage was the mechanic I disliked the least. It was very easy for coins to end up in places where I couldn’t get them back anymore. I felt that it really punished players who were already struggling in the game because then they couldn’t afford upgrades such as additional health token or faster attack speed. I definitely enjoyed getting the coins for doing additional exploration. It seems that taking the damage and potentially having to reset from a checkpoint was an efficient deterrent to not damage boost through enemies. It was also particularly frustrating on bosses were trying to pick up coins from a previous death, could get the player killed again, but after defeating the boss they wouldn’t be allowed to pick up coins.

Copperbell. Dripping acid from the cave ceiling

Traps can also damage inattentive players

I really enjoyed all the different bosses in Copperbell. Each one had a very unique feel and very different mechanics. I most enjoyed the spider boss, where the player does not actually attack the spider, but rather various clusters of spider eggs around its burrow. It was interesting to learn the patterns of each boss and work out a good routine for defeating them.

Copperbell. Cave hallway covered in thick spider webbing

Approaching the spider boss

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Recommendation

Overall, I found Copperbell to be very enjoyable, despite its short length. I really enjoyed the visuals and music. All of the areas were engaging to explore, and the bosses were interesting to fight, although I did feel that it punished players a little bit too much if they were already struggling. I recommend Copperbell for players looking for a short action-adventure game, particularly if they’re interested in a visual and auditory experience.

What short adventure games have you enjoyed?
Let me know in the comments below!

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