LifeisXbox’s Stardrytch review | Stardrytch looks to be something of a 2D platform adventure game with a hand-drawn art style. Created and published by Nils Kastens, Stardrytch is a challenging action-platformer set in a lost world where sci-fi and fantasy collide. Embark on a dangerous journey, discover a forgotten land, unlock mighty powers, and battle terrifying monsters to find a way home. The beginning of the game is set up well, but how does it fare later on in the game? Read on to find out more.
ℹ️ | We played Stardrytch for 4 hours on PC and completed in full before providing this review. This game is only available on PC.
What we liked!
- The Length | For an indie game, the length is good. The average time to complete the game would be around 4 to 5 hours I would say. Which in today’s standards is good. The game is challenging and that will certainly add some additional time to the game, but if you can look past this and focus on the core game then you will be pleased. There are also multiple paths to take in the game via the in-game map which also acts as the level select screen. As you progress and unlock new levels, you will get to choose which direction you want to go offering some replayability.
- Art Style | The graphics are simple yet charming. The hand-drawn 2D sprites set against a 3D backdrop shine and stand out. It’s not very often you see something like this and at times it is more akin to a 2.5D game that you would see on the 3DS. The colours pop and are very bright and each level has its unique style which I liked.
- The Upgrades | Throughout the game, you are introduced to a woman who will let you upgrade your abilities. Abilities are unlocked by completing various levels and finding artifacts. You can increase your sword damage, shot speed, shot power, and many others that will help you overcome the enemies and obstacles in-game. This provides a good way for individual playthroughs to be somewhat different each time.
- The Music | The overall tone and pace of the game are accompanied by some orchestral and sci-fi music. The music isn’t bad as it fits the overall theme of the game, but it is repetitive and I found myself turning it off after dying several times as it served more as a distraction rather than something that the game benefitted from.
- Can be repetitive at times | Some levels in Stardrytch can seem very similar in layout which resulted in being able to fly through a particular level quickly. The earlier jungle levels were able to be completed in a couple of minutes as a result. More variation on level design, enemy placement, and obstacles with different backdrops would have made each level feel vastly different.
- Boss Battles | There are a few boss battles scattered throughout the game but each one has the same similar method to defeat it. Attack it until it dies. There is no variety or different ways to kill the bosses. Each Boss provides its level of difficulty though with its sometimes hard-to-guess attack stance which will result in you dying over and over again. They do however offer a welcome pace break up from the other obstacles in the level.
What we disliked
- The Difficulty | There isn’t much to say on this front except the difficulty gets really hard way too soon. Most games in this genre will do a good job of breaking you in slowly before embracing the sweet release of death, however, Stardrytch throws you in the deep end and expects you to tread water for the remainder of the game. A difficulty option is badly needed to not eliminate your target audience.
- No Hints | There are a few occasions in the game where you must collect relics and return them to certain areas before being able to continue. Sometimes it is not immediately obvious where they are and this then creates the problem of having to navigate multiple obstacles and enemies again to find it, increasing your risk of death and having to restart. I would have liked to see a ping or hint system where it shows you where specific objects are to make this slightly easier on the player.
How long to beat the story | 4 Hours
How long to unlock all achievements? | There were no achievements at the time of writing
Similar with | Shovel Knight, Hollow Knight & Celeste. The art style is very similar along with the gameplay.
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Gaming is in my blood. Be it handheld games, Xbox, PC, Switch or Playstation, I am all over it.
I make my own games as part of my profession and love playing co op games with friends in my spare time. Avid dog lover and camper van enthusiast.