An alpha version of Xydonia, a slick looking 90’s style shoot em up by Breaking Bytes, has recently been released onto the interwebs. Grab it now for some short but tasty space blasting goodness. Touting itself as a “Japanese inspired shoot em up, it’s not hard to see Xydonia’s enthusiastic nods towards retro gaming. Luckily, Xydonia isn’t relying on gimmick-value and is already shaping up nicely. Check out the alpha version for some chest-burstingly good space action.
Similar to fellow work-in-progress shooter Z-Exemplar, Xydonia takes hearty inspiration from a particular era of gaming. Rather than Z-Exemplar’s gritty ZX-Spectrum style 80s’ focus, though, Xydonia is (mostly) rooted in 90s SNES style action. You’ll find R-Type style ‘option’ powerups, but also bright larger than life visuals, a colourful crew with some Star-fox-esque radio banter and even some slight nods to Konami/Metal Gear Solid such as the codec frequencies and title screen stylisation. However, the 80’s arcade-inspired ROM/RAM check booting sequence was a nice laugh too (and reminiscent of Locomalito‘s excellent productions).
Luckily, the game isn’t relying on the weight of its references alone: Xydonia is sporting some crisp looking spritework and the gameplay and controls are already feeling quite smooth. The first level was frenetic enough but not particularly challenging – personally a boon for me as someone being terrible at hardcore shooters – which suggests the game will not be a full-on ‘bullet hell’ shooter, and possibly more inspired by its relatively lenient (but still potentially challenging) inspirations such as Star-fox. Of course, being an early alpha I’m sure Breaking Bytes will have a lot more surprises in store. According to their website, the complete package will feature “non-linear progression through the levels based on player actions and events occurring during the game”, which sounds intriguing, and “a variety of fast-paced stages, full of treats and surprises dedicated to the fans of the genre”, which doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all.
If you’re looking to shoot up, and by that I mean space aliens and meteors of course, the Xydonia alpha should satisfy those cravings, at least temporarily.