This is another one of those free games I got via Epic Games Store. I’d call it a metroidvania game, but it got an extra dose of metroid and hold the vania.
Now, I personally haven’t actually played any metroid title. I’m familiar with the series though, and this is exactly what I imagine it was like. The visual similarities alone are striking. I was playing on the normal difficulty, and it eased me into the gameplay quickly but easily.
Since the genre is specifically set up with a variety of barriers or gates, and requires us to solve problems and explore to find the abilities to deal with those barriers, I’m assuming we’ll be back here eventually. I’ve taken to calling this stuff “corruption” and we’ll see more of it later. This stuff hurt, a lot.
There’s a pretty wide variety of things running around trying to kill me. From the little wall-crawlers guys, to these butterfly things that dart at you when you get close. That hidden antlion thing moves back and forth really quick when you’re in the same horizontal plane as it. There’s also a floating tentacle thing that shoots lasers and something that looks like one of the terrain blocks that just slowly bounces around in a super predictable manner. That last one is, by far, the most dangerous.
When I was running around I found a red door, and instead of painting it black, I was like, “cool, I wonder what that is.” It was a boss. I was not prepared. I did manage to get a handle on his patterns pretty quick, but the more damage he takes the faster he goes, so it was a little crazy near the end. It’s hard to tell here, but I actually had a second weapon by this point. A small AoE mine, press F to shoot, press F to ‘splode.
Shortly after that I found something that isn’t a weapon, but a utility, and mapped to its own button, the laser drill. Used to drill through a variety of things, like those blocks under it. Drilling down was a little weird though. You have to jump and activate the drill while holding down.
I haven’t talked about our protagonist much, really. His name is Trace, I’ve been calling him Shaggy. He apparently has a philosophical bent to him as well.
I also ran into a couple of new tilesets. While I have seen some before, they were more like palette swaps of some stone type sets. These stood as distinct sets in their own right.
More of that corruption stuff. It didn’t hurt when I touched it this time though. I would come to learn later that the exact nature of the corrupted stuff depends on the underlying block.
Hey, I recognize this thing from the picture in the store entry. Also, look, a piece of candy. That turned out to be a short range electrical AoE than can activate things through walls.
Oh look, a heart pi… I mean, health node fragment. That sounds useful, eventually. I actually found a straight health upgrade earlier on. I did not find any more of these though, and at a glance I couldn’t tell the different. I thought this was an actual upgrade.
Oh no, fool me once, shame on you.
I died so many time fighting this thing. His weak point, as it were, is that glowing blob on his back. Like the first boss, his pattern gets faster and tighter as you do more damage. The weak spot also gradually changes to orange then red as this happens. This one had some pretty technical platformer action to it, and was very punishing to mistakes.
I wandered around a while after that. Died a few times. I eventually found a sort of “corruption ray” that can corrupt some blocks and most things that move. I never did make it back to the areas we saw earlier.
Overall it seems to be a decent game, and true to it’s roots. Even on normal it can be fairly exacting at times. The controls were by and large the most problematic thing, but that’s because in the menus there wasn’t a back button or any suggestions on what to use. It’s apparently ‘Q’. Still, not bad, considering it was fee.