Very nice design! I like the combination of skills! And two button controls, was it enforced by some fantasy console or just an extra challenge?
The progression is nice despite the difficulty of having a open level. Of course, metroidvania unlocks help manage that so I never felt I was “in the wrong place” except when there were no checkpoints for a moment and I was wondering if I wasn’t approaching a boss too early (see more below).
I find too bad that it doesn’t explain you can press X then Z to land mines, it turns bullets into mines and adds another layer of tactics. It’s nice to discover but I think it may be part of the core explanations. How to use them efficiently, would be the player’s job.
There are still a few quirks:
- some long corridors / chain of screens without checkpoints (esp. in the bottom-right area)
- checkpoints not displayed on map, at some point I didn’t save before a difficult challenge and when coming back, I realized I could have saved by going to a neighboring cell already visited just before going to the challenge
- it’s unfortunately bound to the 4-color palette, but it’s hard to see in the middle of a mess of your own mines and bullets, and your enemies’ (esp. where you’re used to shmup with different colors for enemy bullets). This becomes critical in some bullet hell sections (although depending on your strategy you can be more defensive and shoot fewer bullets while making things last longer).
I hurried to the last boss room as I had 10 seconds (*) left, wasn’t fully prepared but it was a challenge to make it with 4 hearts. I noticed you can move onto the boss which opened new possibilities (I switched from defensive to aggressive… and it worked).
* I like the countdown putting pressure on you, it makes the experience feel very intense. But… don’t tell me it’s a Metroidvania countdown? ;)