Land, Boss, Repeat
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Atooi LLC
Xeodrifter is a Metroidvania with some great concepts but it’s potential is never fully realized.
When you first start the game, you are shown a small scene in which your warp core on your ship gets destroyed and must be replaced. You are tasked with exploring each of the four worlds available to find upgrades to your health and weapons as well as new abilities that will allow you to traverse previously unreachable areas and eventually find a new warp core.
One thing that initially feels refreshing about Xeodrifter is it allows you to explore whichever of the planets you would like right from the start which gives you the feeling of freedom, but this freedom is somewhat of an illusion as you will eventually need a specific ability to traverse certain areas and that ability may be locked behind a boss battle on another planet so technically there is a correct order to do things in. It is up to you to find that order as the game does not tell you where to go or what to do.
As for the art style, Xeodrifter is an interesting looking game with a fairly chunky pixel aesthetic. Colors are vibrant and fairly varied across all the environments you will navigate over the course of the roughly 2-3 hour campaign.
As for gameplay, for the most part this is a standard Metroidvania game. One aspect that sets it apart for me is the way that customizing your weapon works. You will find items that give you a point to use when upgrading your weapon, these points can be allocated in any of the various columns that give your weapon different characteristics such as spread, speed and power. You can even save different load-outs to one of three slots on the weapon menu.
This idea felt quite unique to me and a worthwhile addition to the genre.
The other idea that I found enjoyable and unique is the ability to shift between the foreground and background while playing after unlocking that power. It was pretty interesting and creative.
I cannot say that the rest of the game shows this level of creativity or variety however as enemy variety is not really much different between each planet give or take an enemy type or two.
Boss variety is also essentially non-existent. You will face the same boss over and over through every planet with some slight variations of tactics and color scheme. While this boss fight is pretty enjoyable on it’s own, it is a shame that we do not get to see a variety of bosses that are equally as fun to fight.
Xeodrifter is another game on the short side of the spectrum, I believe it only took me about 2.5 hours to complete the game and that was with some struggling early on before I got some health upgrades and also dying on the final boss many times so you may be able to complete it even faster than that.
Overall, Xeodrifter is a fun metroidvania title if you are looking for one but one that doesn’t do much to make the genre it’s own or expand the concept. What you see is what you get, but what you get is perfectly serviceable.
Chunky pixel retro style with splashes of color.
15 out of 20
Sound in the game is good but not especially memorable, I think more could have been done with music to set the tone.
15 out of 20
Gameplay is quite enjoyable, the mechanic of switching between planes is pretty interesting.
16 out of 20
The repetitive nature of the boss fights really hurts the idea of replaying this game in my eyes
12 out of 20
For $10, the value prospect is a tricky one as the game is so short and not the best Metroidvania title I have played on the Switch. There are likely better ways to spend your money unless you are hurting for another title in the genre.
11 out of 20
69 out of 100
The link for the store pages for Xeodrifter are below if you are interested in checking it out for yourself: