Earlier this year, a dogfighting strategy game came out called Rebel Galaxy. It was a sleeper hit, but popular among my group of friends. We talked about it for a couple of weeks when nothing had released, and parted ways with the topic when bigger games started to drop, such as XCOM 2, Far Cry Primal, and Firewatch dropped. Around the same time, a twinstick shooter called Shutsumi had been released. It had charm much like Rebel Galaxy, and was a hit every time we saw each other.
The newly released Steredenn (By Pixelnest Studio) combines the pixel aesthetic of Shutsumi and the deep space backgrounds of Rebel Galaxy, among a retro/arcade backdrop. It doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven, both titles have differences few and far between. But Steredenn pulls it off. Here’s why.
In addition to the comparison I just made, Steredenn also draws some of it’s roots from classic arcade titles. None of this feels forceful however, and everything comes with this natural flair. Most of this can be attributed to the always progressing challenge present. Just beat a tough battle? You’ll gain a little bit of solace knowing your health regained back, but that doesn’t mean whatever’s coming next will be easy! This sense of suspense rocks Steredenn, making it much more than your typical twinstick.
Story & Design:
A lot of games infuse the role playing-like powerup/upgrades into the structure, but it mostly can feel like checking another feature off of the checkbox. With Stredenn, this flows a lot more sufficiently, partly because all of these can fit a different players needs. Want to be forceful and quick? You might want to pick up some extra health. More strategic gamers will want to take a different route, leaving everyone with their own unique experience.
Presentation/ Visuals & Audio:
Steredenn also has an incredible soundtrack, that rears itself with the gameplay and high sense of action. Not only does it ease you into a deeper sense of progression, but you feel more compelled to take risks upon great tunes. The graphics are also quite nice, and aren’t overly contrived, despite their pixel package. Lastly, Steredenn’s content is staggering, specifically because of it’s roguelike nature.
Steredenn is my contender for the best twinstick shooter of 2016, and I hope it stays this way. While it doesn’t necessarily carve it’s own niche, it does so many things right that it’s rightfully hard to complain. Instead, I’m just having too much fun to worry about specific nitpicks, and let the great gameplay seep back in.
Steredenn gets a 9/10 (Superb)
We’d like to thank Pixelnest Studio for giving us a code!
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