GAME NAME: Xeodrifter
DEVELOPER(S): Renegade Kid
PUBLISHER(S): Renegade Kid
PLATFORM(S): PC(Reviewed), 3DS
GENRE(S): Adventure, Platformer
RELEASE DATE(S): December 11, 2014
Xeodrifter is a game that reminds me of the good old days, the pure NES days. Renegade Kid developer of Xeodrifter is one of those developers that I have a lot of respect for. They always seem to create good-looking, solid, fun games that I enjoy playing. Some of the games they’ve made in the past are Mutant Mudds, Moon Chronicles, and I was excited to see Xeodrifter hit our inbox. I reviewed Xeodrifter on the PC platform although it is available on the 3DS as well. You can view Anthony’s 3DS review on NintendoFever.com.
Xeodrifter is an 8-bit adventure platformer that reminds me of a mixture between Mutant Mudds and Metroid. It’s a beautifully crafted game and has some unique gameplay that makes it stand out. Xeodifter reminded me why I originally fell in love with gaming.
While the story is pretty basic this is still a fun compact adventure game. You are a male space traveler who gets marooned in a solar system of four planets after an asteroid hits your main ship and your warp drive is destroyed. You still have a functioning shuttle to get from planet to planet. The one part that stood out is that there is no hand holding here. You sit in your shuttle and explore seeing which world you can survive and what upgrades you can scavenge. I wound up looking at the start menu and figured that the main blocks were mapping out levels and the order of boxes were the levels and that helped me out. The levels map out ways to the red dot, which is the final boss of that level. Some worlds have two bosses. This tactic and observation helped me navigate the worlds.
In terms of gameplay, Xeodrifter has a Metroid feel. You have a blaster and can jump, shoot up, down, left and right. Along your adventure you’ll be able to collect health upgrades, which will extend your health bar. You’ll also find weapon upgrades which can be applied to five different types of blaster streams that you can upgrade.
The blaster streams are in five different patterns, stream, strong single shot, rapid fire, diagonal shot, and a wave. Some of the larger upgrades are received after defeating bosses. The first upgrade you receive is a submarine to traverse the waters of other planets. Some of the other abilities include phasing, to phase from the background to foreground and also running really fast so you can run across pink lava without getting hurt. The phasing reminded me of Mutant Mudds which was an awesome little Easter Egg.
The one thing I noticed when playing Xeodrifter on the PC was that the Vsync was off by default. This made the game play really fast and made it extremely difficult. While this was fun at first it made it harder to enjoy the content and I had no idea that wasn’t the intended experience. After talking to Anthony (Our Nintendo Editor) and having him remote in to my PC to prove my skills were good he noticed the game ran way too fast compared to the 3DS version that he was reviewing. After some poking around in the settings if you check off “Try Harder to Vsync” then everything will sync in properly and the game will react like the 3DS version. After discovering this, the gameplay experience was amazing.
With the Vsync in place and working the game still kicked my butt, however this time in a great challenging way. There were a few enemies that had me cursing, like the snail creature and moth but it was fun to figure out how to defeat them. The graphics are excellent. It honestly looks like Xeodrifter was originally made for the Nintendo Entertainment System and I absolutely value that. I love games like this, it reminded me of the quality of Shovel Knight, very tight controls and enjoyable. One thing I would have loved to see is different boss skins. Every boss looks pretty much like the same alien with slightly different moves from the prior boss you defeated. The chip tune music was pretty entertaining as well. It fit in perfectly to the theme of the game and was catchy, it had me humming along while I was playing. It also got stuck in my head after I died a few times and kept replaying to win!
For anyone who loves solid retro games, I highly recommend picking up Xeodrifter. It’s an authentic to its genre and while it’s not perfect its extremely enjoyable. For $9.99 it’s a solid adventure and you honestly can’t go wrong.