Steredenn: Binary Stars Review- What’s Shmup?

Review by Jack Bankhead

Game provided by publisher

Gameplay recorded by Jack Bankhead


I’m starting to take a liking to roguelikes. Before they seemed uninteresting, until I played Enter the Gungeon. Now games like this are a blast! Steredenn is an addictive title that I think any shmup (shoot em up) fan, or even anyone who doesn’t get frustrated easily. With an awesome soundtrack, tight controls, and beautiful pixel art, this game should be on your radar.

The game involves shooting enemy space ships. The catch is is that it’s always different and you won’t have another the same. The other catch is that it’s HARD. This will make you want to keep going the more you lose, until you hit that goal you set for yourself. It’s addictive. It has bullet hell elements, that while looking intimidating, are not as evil as you’d think. They have very specific hitboxes that make maneuvering much easier. Not getting hit is important, you have limited lives that only refill once you defeat a boss. Once you defeat a boss, you gain a power up and the health of the ship is refilled. It gets progressively harder from there.

Pixel art is awesome. It has its own flair with beautiful backgrounds and simple ships, with over the top lasers and other details. Despite being pixelated, it looks top quality. The effects and background are my favorites, especially. The soundtrack is rockin’, too. Featuring an electric guitar, the soundtrack gets stuck in my head often, and that’s a GOOD thing. I love dying to these tunes.

There are different weapons and powerups. In each few levels, there are larger ships that if you destroy, you will gain another weapon. It’s completely random so hopefully you get a good one, if not, hope your skill takes you far. After defeating each boss, you can choose a powerup that are again, random. They can be things like larger explosions, better weapon damage, and more.

The game’s replayability is awesome. I could go on for many more hours like Gungeon, and not get bored. There’s also local multiplayer. It’s really hard as it’s more chaos than it should be. You share a life bar and that doesn’t work when you don’t have competent player two’s. On top of that, there’s daily challenges (very fun) and boss rush which I almost unlocked, but died at the last hit. Made me pretty mad.

If you like Gungeon, Flinthook, or any other roguelike, Steredenn: Binary Stars is right for you, at the right price! A little less than 15 bucks will give you an enjoyable experience. What’s shmup? This is a great game you should try!

Very Recommended

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch, provided by Future Friends Games