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Steam sidescroller perfectly blends Metroidvania and soulslike games

This anime-inspired 2D sidescroller that's trending on Steam mixes elements from some of our favorite Metroidvania and soulslike games.


If you need a 2D sidescroller with beautiful anime visuals, soulslike combat inspiration, and Metroidvania flourishings that will keep you exploring for hours on end, look no further than the incredibly unique Afterimage.

Originally released in April 2023, Afterimage is “a hand-drawn 2D action adventure that emphasizes fast-paced combat with diversified character builds, non-linear levels, and a gripping story set in the ruins of a fantasy world.” With very positive reviews on Steam, this compelling story from developer Aurogon Shanghai and publisher Maximum Entertainment caught our eye because of its genre-mashing style and gameplay.

Combining the mechanics of soulslike games with Metroidvania design, the narrative follows Renee, a young amnesiac girl who was the lone survivor of an attack on her village. Resolved to reclaim her lost memories and locate her missing mentor, she says goodbye to her ruined village before setting out on a journey that unexpectedly triggers a chain of events that will determine the destiny of this new world.

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Players are dropped into a stunning hand-drawn 2D world called
Engardin, which is full of beauty and dangers. That’s where diverse character builds come in; harness the power of your defeated enemies to unlock new powers and upgrade weapons. With over 200 different pieces of equipment to collect and choose from — including 6 main weapon classes, sub-weapons, armor, and accessories — you can make the combat experience your own.

Afterimage comes highly recommended, but if you’re in the mood for something else, see our lists of the best Metroidvania games or best platform games.

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