What’s really excellent about the indie gaming scene these days is how developers are channeling the fundamentals of the games of old and incorporating them into fresh ideas for new releases. For instance, today marks the release of Cris Tales, a thrilling RPG that reminds us of classics gone by, while bringing some neat new aspects to the table.
And that’s also why I show great appreciation for something like Metal Unit. Despite the somewhat generic name, there’s a lot working for this anime-inspired side-scrolling action game, especially when it comes to its customization aspects. It reminded me a lot of the SNES classics Cybernator and Metal Warriors but then digs deeper for a much more rewarding experience.
The game focuses on Joanna, a soldier who has a personal conflict to overcome when her sister decides to turn rogue, creating havoc in the process. She’ll need to step into her specialized Metal 11 suit and take on all sorts of monsters thrown her way by her sibling, while receiving some assistance along the way, including upgrading her equipment.
The action featured in Metal Unit is quite satisfying. At first, the monsters you go up against are pushovers. But then you’re introduced to more challenging types, as well as bosses that prove to be quite a handful. But, like any good indie game, it adapts as you go along, opening up opportunities galore with your weapons.
Over the course of Metal Unit, you’ll be able to pick up some really cool weapons, including both long-range and melee. As a result, the combat really grows on you, and you find something fresh with each new level you take on. It’s a nice surprise, along with bonus missions waiting, even after you beat the main game. This game really justifies its decent price tag and gives you more to do than expected.
One other treat is the presentation. The music may not be the greatest out there, but it’s backed up by solid visuals that look like something out of the 8 and 16-bit eras. The animations have some charm to them, and the anime-style set-up is sure to win over fans of stuff like Robotech and maybe even a little bit of Gundam. It’s well thought out and executed.
For a roguelite indie title, Metal Unit really feels like a genuine surprise. It covers all the bases beautifully with exciting action and lots of options for your mech, along with challenges around every corner. And the presentation, for the most part, is truly inspired, really taking its mech fundamentals to heart. I enjoyed this game, and even if you haven’t visited the aforementioned mech titles, it’s well worth diving into.