Provided by the publisher.
Written by Jack Bankhead
Atooi knows how to make classic-styled games, it’s a talent of them. However, as much as a classic may bring nostalgia, it can also bring the same frustrations with classic games. Xeodrifter is a great game, but it is somewhat held back by being too retro.
The game is a side-scrolling Metroid-inspired game. It involves running, shooting, and jumping. There are 4 planets to travel between, each with different theme, and bosses. It is fast, and the game is short. Very short, the developer Jools Watsham said that it could be completed in an hour or two if you were serious about speedrunning. The little spaceman is very fast, and can get new abilities and upgrades.
After fighting a boss, your character gains an ability. These abilities include but are not limited to, shifting between planes (hard to explain), fast running, and a jump boost. These allow you to go to areas you simply couldn’t go before. You can also upgrade your gun and health. Picking up health containers gives you permanent health boosts, whereas others replenish health. Gun orbs allow you to add more damage, change pattern, add bullets, etc… It makes later enemies and bosses easier.
Enemies are simple, and not complex. However, they can be rather annoying at times and randomly get in your way. Bosses are the most interesting, it’s the same creature but with new tricks up its sleeve each time. You also have new tricks, so you can put them to the test! The boss fights are probably my favorite part of the game, there’s so much skill you can put into with what you’ve learned.
The art in Xeodrifter is almost 8 bit, with not much to say. It looks nice on the Switch screen, but again, it’s nothing special. Music is decent, but nothing special. My biggest gripe is how few checkpoints there are. There is only one save point on each planet, with about 4 checkpoints per level, all of which are around the boss fights. Although there is little to no load time, it is still frustrating with how most of the time, I am so close to saving but then I die and have to restart a large portion. It’s a LARGE gripe.
Overall, the game is good. It’s oozing with retro charm, but that charm ends up having problems. The checkpoints are too far apart from each other, which causes major frustrations. However, the game has a lot of good points. Pick it up if you have some extra cash, and you have a want to play a retro game.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, copy provided by Atooi