The talented creators at Atooi have brought one of their finest titles to Switch: Xeodrifter, a bite-sized love letter to the Metroidvania genre. This little indie gem is ready to blow your socks off as you traverse the alien landscape, blast baddies, and power up to take on big bosses. We hope to give you a taste of what this title is like, and we definitely recommend you give it a look in the eShop!
“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Xeodrifter is a retro-styled, Metroid-like game from indie developer Atooi. It’s a bite-sized love-letter to the Metroidvania genre, originally released on the 3DS and newly ported to Nintendo Switch.
You play as a little red guy (or girl? You never know with these games…), equipped with a gun, exploring 4 neighboring planets. You’ll need to unlock equipment and abilities as you go to advance through new areas.
Beating bosses earns you power-ups, and you can configure your blaster on the fly by allocating points to its speed, bullet size, spread, and more. Most other unlockables increase your mobility in fun and useful ways; think along the lines of the Metroid series’ shine-spark or rocket jump, but with its own Xeodrifter-flavored twist. The game prompts some “aha” moments as you’re forced to use these mobility upgrades in tandem for some truly memorable segments.
This game presents a real challenge. Once in a great while you will stumble on an enemy nest where you can farm for life replenishment, but by and large you have to traverse through these alien structures with care and caution, where every hit matters. It regularly took me multiple attempts to get what I needed and make it back to the safety of my gunship before embarking on the next mission.
The graphical presentation of Xeodrifter can only be described as simple. When first booting up the game, it didn’t strike me as beautiful when compared to some other modern takes on pixel graphics, but the art style actually did grow on me. For this version, graphics AND rumble were given the “HD” treatment. I also didn’t find myself missing the stereoscopic visuals from the 3D original. However, in the absence of a second screen, a little mini-map in the corner would have saved me a lot of pausing.
One more thing I have filed under the “would have been nice” category is variable jump-height. Whether you quickly tap or hold the jump button down, the character executes the same move and sometimes stays in the air longer than I would have liked. Variable jump height is something the developer has implemented in other games, and that lacking aspect of control did limit my precision.
Overall, I had a fun time with Xeodrifter. The game doesn’t hold your hand, leaving the player to his or her own devices to figure out where to go. In such a compact world, I never felt truly lost. You are encouraged to explore and see where your new weapons can take you.
Some gamers might have a complaint about the boss levels; roughly a half-dozen encounters that use the same giant enemy and attack patterns with increasing difficulty. I actually thought this was a cool analog to my character, as if I was growing more powerful in parallel with my archenemy over multiple showdowns, like you might find with Dark Samus in the Metroid Prime games. The boss fights were another area where this game doesn’t hold back in difficulty, and beating each one felt like an accomplishment.
Xeodrifter is short. It’s an excellent palate-cleanser between bigger titles, a great option for people who miss the Metroid gameplay loop, and a good effort from a passionate indie developer. For the $10 asking price, I can easily recommend it to fans of the genre. Xeodrifter gets a 7.75/10.
On December 14th, Atooi launched Mutant Mudds collection for $15. It contains the 1) Deluxe version of the original game, 2) the Super Challenge title, and 3) a new puzzle game called Mudd Blocks.
The developer even allowed pre-purchasing during the week leading up to release. Here’s the awesome part, though: the game was discounted for those who purchased the game before launch!
At 33% off, you could get the whole package for $10 by essentially “pre-ordering.” On December 14th, the price went back up to $15.
This is how brands gain loyal customers.
Many other creators will release a game, be disappointed by sales, and slash prices in a few weeks or months. The problem with this (common) method is that it burns those who supported the game, bought early, and paid full price.
Essentially, it teaches customers “don’t buy from me on launch day; prices will be lower soon.”
Mutant Mudds did it right be incentivizing early adopters and loyal fans to get the best deal up front.
P.S. I didn’t take the plunge on this offer. Some fans of the studio waited to pay full price on launch day, and others (like myself) are holding out for the physical version to launch!