Born from the ashes of a failed Kickstarter campaign, Suppressive Fire Games’ Blood Alloy: Reborn takes the original concept of the game, an expansive metroidvania, and cuts it down to size. While the metroidvania version is still being worked on, Reborn presents itself as a no-frills, single-stage score chaser. Playing as a fancy cyborg-lady, your goal is just to stay alive as long as possible and rack up a mean high score while you’re at it. You’ve got all kinds of weapons to take care of your mostly mechanical enemies, such as a sword, a laser cannon that can be charged, homing missiles, and much more.
Your greatest asset and at the same time the biggest challenge you have to face are the versatile, yet tricky controls. Mastering all the moves at your disposal is the key to success, but the sheer variety of combinations provides a steep learning curve. Jumping up, dashing through the air, all the while swinging your sword at one enemy and then firing your homing missiles at another bunch of foes sure sounds impressive, but it’s pretty hard to pull of when the screen is swarming with killer robots. I played with a gamepad at first, but found out later that using the keyboard and mouse actually worked better for me due to more precise aiming. In any case, the game gets frantic in no time, and you will die a lot.
Thankfully, your efforts are never in vain. A progression system has you collecting experience and unlocking more weapons, music tracks, and even new stages. Furthermore, there are small tasks – stay airborne for 3 seconds, kill 5 enemies with your charged-up superlaser, kill 10 enemies while standing still – which net you a little extra experience and add some replayability. While the game seems to be lacking content at first, it actually keeps you supplied with new stuff to discover.
The only things that are notably absent right now are achievements and leaderboards, which would both add extra incentives to spend more time with the game. However, these are already being worked on and should hopefully be added soon. All in all, Blood Alloy: Reborn is an easy recommendation for fans of difficult score-chasing action games. The $12.99 price tag may seem a little high for a game with such a simple concept, but the nice pixel art, amazing soundtrack, and high replayability make it more than worth your time and money.