Xeodrifter, from developers Renegade Kid, is a Metroid clone with a pretty interesting twist. Many of you out there have heard of the classic game Metroid. In that game, the player progresses through a seemingly unbeatable game by gaining power ups for their character. In this sense, Xeodrifter is literally just a rip off of Metroid, but there are some features that make it an actual game, not just a clone.
The game starts with the protagonist, an unnamed spaceman of sorts, crashing into an asteroid and getting his ships warp core destroyed. The premise of the game is to explore the four planets on the games map in order to find power ups to aid the you in the search of the warp core. This is where the game starts to get interesting. The gameplay allows you to “level up” your character to help you progress in the game.
The gameplay, minus the power ups, is pretty straight forward. You move through the 2d levels firing away from your blaster, which you can upgrade by finding hidden collectables. The upgrades to your character are where the gameplay shines. After defeating a boss, your character will gain a new ability. These range from being able to travel to the games background to turning into a submarine. I found the fact that you could switch between the foreground and background of the game to be very interesting. That component of the game would be the selling point to me, as a gamer.
Another thing that I enjoyed about Xeodrifter was its music. The music from this game is just absolutely stunning. Now don’t get me wrong, it does not have a soundtrack that is going to take the world by storm, but it is some classic retro music which I absolutely love. The fact that the people over at Renegade kid did this makes me feel a little giddy.
One low point for the game is that there’s no pacing when it comes to introducing enemy types. Almost every enemy is encountered within the first quarter of the game and you never meet any more. Even the boss is the same throughout the whole course of the game. It only gains power ups as you progress in the game. Do not get me wrong, there is a variety of characters, they are just introduced too quickly at the start of the game. The fact that the boss is literally the same character over and over again made me kind of upset, but that is what Renegade Kid decided to do with their game. The problem with this is that by the time that you get to the final boss it is incredibly easy to defeat.
The only other negative that I found while playing Xeodrifter was that the game is very unforgiving. Right off the bat this is seen, as there is no difficulty setting. The amount of difficulty the games possess is also apparent when you realize there are no save points within a level. You can save while in your spaceship before the start of the level, but once you are there, if you die, you are dead. My gripe with this is the fact that the levels are the same every time, they are not randomly generated. Since this is the case, whenever you die you have to go through the exact same level, over and over and over again.
In the end, Xeodrifter is an amazing game, made by some amazing developers. If you can get past the small gripes that I had with the game, you will have an incredible time. If you have not already, I highly suggest that you go check this game out if you have some time on you hands. Xeodrifter is not that long, and is the perfect game to sit down with for a few minutes.
Xeodrifter is currently available via Steam and the Nintendo EShop.