Steredenn was developed by Pixelnest Studio and published by Plug In Studios. It was released for the PC on October 1st in 2015 and for Xbox One on April 1st 2016 at a price of $12.99 (£10.39). A press review copy for the Xbox One was provided to The Hidden Levels.
Steredenn is a horizontal “shmup” (a term used for shooting games of this nature) with rogue-like attributes. The setting is sometime in the future where the goal is to kill everything to get the highest score possible, the challenge is to keep your multiplier moving upward. It takes place in space so you’ll have to avoid asteroids with guns planted on them and destroy the evil enemies of your rivals faction.
What I Enjoyed:
Quest to top leader boards – Steredenn is very addictive and the quest for the top of the leader board keeps you coming back for more. Fast resets allow you to hone your skills and keep working to better your previous scores. Using combos is one of the keys to topping this leader board. The best way to keep your combo up is to not take any damage. There is also a daily challenge to keep you coming back to attempt to make it in the top 10 scores of the day. You get one shot this daily so make sure your skills are ready for the challenge.
Weapon Combos and Upgrades – The plethora of weapon choices is one of the best parts of the game. There is a bit of strategy that you need to work out since your ship can only carry two weapons at a time and the random weapon drops will give you many combinations to try out. After ever boss battle you will also get to choose an upgrade that will help you kill more baddies. The choice of what upgrade to choose you’ll will want to correspond to your weapons of choice or chance.
Almost Randomness – This is a term they used to describe the game and after many hours of playing I fully understand what it means and it is a nice touch to keep things fresh. This game is much like the old cabinet arcade games in both the difficulty and the quest for top scores but one thing that stands out is the almost randomness of your enemies. In the old cabinet games you would be able to figure out the patterns and remember them to help you succeed however in this game there isn’t any set pattern. There are several waves you will recognize but the next wave will not be in the same order as it was the last time you fought. The boss battles are almost random as well as every time you get to a boss his attack may or may not be the same as the last time you reached him.
What I Disliked:
Pixel Art Style – I have to admit I’m not a fan of pixel art but in this case I didn’t notice it at all after playing for a short period of time. This game would have looked sharper to me had they rounded those edges. I understand they were going for the look of some old favorites like Space Invaders and Galaga which were stuck with that look. However even those games got a face over and I much prefer the art style of this generation compared to that which was required back then.
Lack of Difficulty Settings – This game is hard. Very hard. It has been described by some as the Dark Souls of shmups. I wouldn’t go that far as if you are good at this type of game it’s a lot of fun. This game could have used a few different difficulty levels and multiple leader boards for each. As evident in the low side of the current leader board I’m sure many have played this game once or twice and gave up.
Lack of Multiplayer – This game could certainly use a multiplayer or co-op option as well. Fighting your friends over weapon drops while helping clear levels with them sounds like fun. At the start of the game you are one of many ships set out to take on those baddies but then you are by yourself fighting waves upon waves of enemies. It would have been nice to see my buddies fighting next to me.
When I started playing Steredenn I didn’t know I would enjoy it as much as I did. The quest for bragging rights overtook the pitfalls I thought this game had. I still keep trying to improve my best score and climb back up the leader board since over time others will best you and drop you lower than you were. I would also like to add that the soundtrack for me was amazing and I never turned it off even though it repeated quite often. Like listening to your favorite track over and over again it never got old and kept the pace of the game well.
Score: Buy it now
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