Renegade Kid’s Xeodrifter is a neat little Metroid clone that prioritises fine gameplay over plot. Indeed, the plot is simple, you’re spaceship is damaged, and you must clear through four planets in order to repair it. You can visit each of the four planets in whatever order you want but you can only go so far without the right power-ups.
Like the Metroid games, areas are locked off by power-ups that are obtained by beating bosses. Each power-up offers up something neat and new to the table, like a submarine, ultra-speed and being able to move across layers. The exploration aspect of the game is fun and well designed, with plenty of interesting areas to stroll through with your trusty gun. What’s neat about the gun, is how changeable it is. You can edit shot size, shot speed and even trajectory – I made a gun that shot what looked like a music-file wave-length, it’s great fun messing around with different shooting styles.
You pick up items that add to your health and weaponry. The game very much emphasises exploration, it’s a shame it’s so short then. For a game that costs almost a tenner, there really should be more than at most a couple of hours of gameplay. Thankfully, the game is fun, and with a charming art-style to boot. The bosses are good fun too, with more than enough difficulty to them, but I do have an issue with the bosses – they are all the same.
Each boss sees you up against the same dinosaur, alien thing, but in a different colour. It shows a lack of inspiration from the developers. Another pressing concern of mine about the game is this – play it on the 3DS. The use of layers in gameplay was definitely built around the 3D capabilities of the handheld, as is the pause-screen. Xeodrifter is a 3DS game through and through, so that would obviously be the version of choice.
Overall, I’d recommend Xeodrifter, especially on sale. It looks great, runs beautifully and has neat sound design. Each power-up is really good fun, offering something new to the game for you to think about. It’s a clever game, but quite flawed.
Xeodrifter is a fun little Metroid clone with fine art and good gameplay, but the complete lack of length and uninspired boss designs do let it down. Also, I’d play it on 3DS if given the choice.