Review: Atomine (Switch) - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Review: Atomine (Switch)

by Michael Brandse

A solid rogue-like that is just a little bit too random for its own good.

Atomine is a rogue-like twin stick shooter. You start out with one playable character and a number of “modules” as the game calls it. Modules are essentially your power-ups, and can range from different weapon types to fire rate or extras like your bullets becoming able to bounce off the walls. Modules can be obtained in a number of ways. One is through gathering the game’s currency (don’t worry, there are no microtransactions) and another is simply by gaining experience. At least, I assume it is by gaining experience, as the game doesn’t really communicate how much experience you need for a new module or what module is next in the list to be acquired. The last way is by finding each level’s “black” area, where the player can equip modules the player has acquired. Sometimes these areas also offer new modules.
The goal of the game is simple; clear levels by eliminating all enemies within it. After a number of levels, you also have to fight a boss. At first glance, it seems there are 12 levels, but the level of challenge you will encounter means you will be replaying those levels very often. Generally, levels are simply about going from room to room and clearing out all the enemies, but I also encountered a level once that had a fog of war type of effect. I reckon that the further you come, the more types of levels you will find making the game more difficult.
The one thing I didn’t like about this game is that everything just feels too random. While I can deal with random enemy and room generation, even the modules you get to equip during any given run are randomly determined. Again, I can deal with a certain amount of randomization when it comes to weapons (otherwise I reckon the game would be too easy to beat), but I would have liked it if I could at least choose my beginning weapon if I had unlocked the module in question. A little bit of being able to experiment with weapon types and play styles would have been nice. As it is, the only way in which you can influence the initial weapon is by choosing a different character (in the event you unlocked them) and even then the different characters all come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Technically, this also influences play style, but it just feels lacking without any sort of default weapon selection.
The presentation of the game is rather nice. While the game presents itself as a game with minimalist design, there is a rather high level of sophistication in its presentation, especially in later levels. Enemies are also well designed. While they are generally limited to the colors red and black, they have clear silhouette’s, making it immediately clear what enemy you are dealing with the moment you see them. For a game that likes to throw any number of enemies at you at the same time, this is quite important.

All in all, I liked the game. I am not all that familiar with the rogue-like genre, but I reckon that fans of those games could do a lot worse than buying this game. It’s quite fun in short bursts. If you can deal with the heavy randomization in the game, I think it’s worth giving it a try.

Final Score 6.5

[Review code provided by the publisher]

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