Monday, July 24

Nindie Preview: Neon Chrome

Long before it was announced as a Nindie, or even the Switch was fully-revealed, I was a fan of Neon Chrome on PC. It was one of the earliest roguelikes I played and once it got its hooks into me it also became one of my favorites. In this action-heavy twin-stick shooter you’ll get in a chair and inhabit the body of an avatar or sorts, always getting to choose between 3 distinct classes (each with its own enhancements and perks/deficiencies), that you’ll use to try to get further into the 30 levels of an office building, eventually facing off against the Overseer for control of Neon Chrome.

While it gets off to a very challenging start as you progress, collect money, unlock new weapons, and upgrade your abilities you’ll slowly begin to become more powerful and capable of getting further into the game. About every 5 levels you’ll additionally be challenged to defeat a boss, which typically leads to a hectic and difficult fight.

The beauty in the game is that once you get rolling and have unlocked many of the game’s perks you will end up with a substantial number of options to control the flow of the game to suit your style of play. You’ll be able to play in a more stealthy way hiding in shadows and setting up lethal ambushes, barrel into situations with your guns blazing and shooting through walls to surprise your enemies, or any number of variations in between. Since you have limited control over which power-ups will be available to you, or when, in a given run you’ll need to learn to be versatile. Regardless of your loadout you’ll be able to wreak havoc and have some fun.

What I enjoy most about the game is the tendency for well-laid plans to go to hell in a hurry, leaving you to improvise quickly to get yourself out of trouble. Floor layouts and the placement of enemies can vary substantially from run to run but one constant is the tendency for there to be periodic well-placed tanks that will explode when you shoot them to help you shake things up nicely. If you’re up for a challenge to your brain, your shooting skills, and inevitably your patience at times look for Neon Chrome to deliver them later this year on the Nintendo Switch.

This preview is based on the current PC version of the game which should be representative of the gameplay and general functionality of the version that will be ported to the Nintendo Switch.