Modern Galactic Castlevania has a retro year, but the simplest is the best

Staff selection

(Image source: Future)

In addition to our 2021 Major Game Awards, every member of the PC Gamer team has focused on the games they love this year. For the rest of this month, we will release the new employee draft and our main awards.

Praise is the unwavering modern indie game Metroidvania.There are many, and Just like Desmond Hume in “Lost”With his reservation of Dickens’ novels, I must restrain myself so that I will never run out.

It’s not that I may never run out of games in this style: 2021 is an important year for exploring the genre of platform games. Axiom Edge 2, Ender Lilies, Aeterna Noctis, FIST and Greak: Memories of Azur are among the heavy hitters, not to mention Metroid Dread already on PC By simulation. But my favorite Metroid Castlevania of 2021 — my favorite overall game, really — is Astaron: Tears of the Earth. This is a rare game that makes people feel that it is absolutely fun to make, a real labor of love.

Astaron: Tears of the Earth

(Image source: LABS Works)

Like many modern Metroidvanias, it has some faintly novel twists and turns. Astalon has several playable characters, you can switch between them at will, representing a fairly typical RPG style prototype. Each has a different fighting style—Algus launches fireballs, Arias uses swords, Kyuli uses bows and arrows—and each has accumulated its own map expansion capabilities. These include Kyuli’s ability to climb walls endlessly, Algus’ convenient floating cloak, and Arias’ ability to cut other impenetrable walls.

Although Astalon requires patience—especially when navigating the maze tower—but it is not intentionally difficult.