But is it possible to be too videogames? That’s the question Steredenn asks and answers with a giant snapping jaws attached to a spaceship. The side-scrolling bullet hell launched out of Early Access last week, bringing with it roguelike-style progression, beautiful pixel art and a rad soundtrack. I’ve had a little play of it and you can see what I thought, along with a fancy trailer, below.
We’ve got a whole list of great indie games like this for your perusal.
Steredenn is a lot of things. It’s just as noisy and rad as the trailer makes it look, lovely pixel-art explosions setting off every couple of seconds, lasers cutting through rocks and ships as point totals soar. It’s so very silly, with the ‘contact’ class of weaponry bolting large jaws, drills and other impractical but awesome armaments to the front of your ship. These are governed simply by a two weapon system that you switched between and swap as different things drop and enemies appear. Each ship will have weaknesses to certain classes of damage, and each weapon has a different spread of shots making it effective against different formations.
It’s also back-breakingly hard and unforgiving. It’s not quite the one-touch-death of the Japanese bullet hells, but enemies are mercilessly damaging and common. That’s not immediately a bad thing, if the last few years have taught us anything it’s that people really, really like dying in games, but when lost lives mean resetting back to the beginning as the roguelike nature comes to the fore, it can get frustrating. It has the air of a game that had a small but dedicated community in Early Access that quickly became very adept, pushing the difficulty level up higher rather than making considerations for new players.
It’s on Steam now for $13/£10/€13, though you can grab it a bit cheaper directly from the developer. It’s certainly worth a shot if you’ve been looking for a new roguelike or space-shooter, but do be warned it’s unsympathetic. Definitely best played with a controller too.