Blast off on a hazardous mission to recover an unidentified energy source amidst an alien
Nepenthesys is a single-player vertical scrolling shoot em up which is presented in widescreen
top-down 3D style. Blast through a huge variety of enemy ships, collect power-ups for wider-
shot spreads and special bombs, then face off against screen-filling bosses.This mission will
take you through caverns, waterways, city scapes and other unique environments
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
Things I liked!
- Pick up and play gameplay | Really easy to pick up the controller and start blasting away, very
simple controls with A button to shoot and X Button to use your drone when fully charged which
acts as a bomb and destroys most smaller enemies and bullets from the screen along with the
analogue stick or D-pad to move your ship.
- Power-ups/Health | When you shoot a certain type of enemy or complete a chain of kills a
bright power-up orb will appear on the screen for you to collect, everytime you collect one your
ship’s power increases but if you take a hit then it decreases. You start with 1 and the max is 4.
When you reach 4 your ship gets a drone which has a special ability such as smart bombs,
powerful lasers and more. Each of the 9 ships has a different drone ability and it was fun
experimenting with the different ships.
- Ships | From the get go you have 4 different ships to choose from each with their own main
weapon and special power ability, plus 5 more ships available to unlock as you play the game,
trying to complete the game with each ship also adds to the replayability which I really liked
Neither good nor bad
- Graphics | The graphics are pretty much what you would expect from a budget priced game,
the menu presentation is pretty plain but does the job and everything is easy to navigate. The
game itself is a 3D top down shooter and for the most part does everything it aims to do. There
are often multiple enemy ships with lots of bullets and missiles on screen during this time I
never experienced any slow down on the screen or the game crashing. The game runs in 4K
and 60 FPS.
- Sound | I found the background game music to be ok, wasn’t anything impressive but at the
same time it never became annoying during my time playing the game. The sound effects are
ok with the typical phew phew as you shoot and plenty of explosions when you destroy an
enemy ship or they destroy you.
- Story | The game does have a story with a brief text based narrative at the start of the game
and then each level but this is soon forgotten when you start shooting. The game has 5 stages
each with a boss fight at the end.
Things I disliked!
- Difficulty | This is not an easy game, when you begin a new game you have 3 lives and 3
credits to continue with no checkpoints, so if you manage to survive to reach the boss on any
stage and lose a life you will restart from the beginning of that level. I found this very frustrating
especially on the later levels. The game felt very unbalanced, some of the ships you can unlock
felt much weaker with main weapons and drone abilities less effective than others
How long did I play the review before publishing? 6 hours
How long to beat the story? 1 hour for each run
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 2000 Gamerscore
How long to achieve 1000G | 3+ hours (depending skill)
65/100 ⭐| Nephenthesys: is a fun game in short blasts but I found the unbalanced gameplay and
difficulty very frustrating at times especially the later stages. The game does have 2000
gamerscore which will definitely appeal to any achievement hunters. For the budget price of
£4.99 I would definitely say to give it a go if you are a fan of old school shoot em ups and enjoy
a good challenge.
Avid gamer for over 30 years who lives and breathes Xbox, I enjoy talking video games and can often be found on X.