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Neon Chrome review - A beautifully retro twin stick shooter

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad, PS Vita, Switch

You're the one Neon

Product: Neon Chrome | Publisher: 10tons | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.9
Neon Chrome is a blend of a twin-stick shooter and a roguelike set in a dystopian future dominated by corporations and big pink signs that flicker in smog-filled permanight.

And it’s actually a lot of fun. There’s a solid clunk to the violence that draws you into the blasting experience, and the clone-and-reclone gameplay means you’re always willing to hop back in and try again after you die.

It’s polished too, and while it’s not the most original game on the App Store, there’s a lovely beat to everything here that forces you to stomp along with it until you’ve well and truly rinsed everything out of it.

Chrome cast

The game is a top-down blaster that sees you trawling through a series of levels. There are bad guys to kill, key cards to pick up and use to get through different doors, and loads of different weapons to use too.

You don’t feel like an unstoppable killing machine though. There’s a vulnerability to your avatars that is one of the key threads here - you’re going to die. You’re going to die a lot.

And that’s sort of the point. There’s plenty of dying to do here. But each death feels like it’s part of the learning process. You might get mauled by robots, but if anything it just makes you more determined to push on.

There’s a lot to push on through as well. The game is essentially an extended assault on a corporate ziggurat. You’re working your way through the floors, killing everything that moves as you do.

And slowly but surely you’ll find yourself getting better at it. You’ll get used to the clunky-on-purpose controls, you’ll figure out strategies, you’ll get really good at shooting the living hell out of anything that looks at you cock-eyed.

There’s a thick, crunchy experience here, and it’s all wrapped up in a style that’s going to appeal to anyone who’s ever looked longingly at Alien Breed or Gauntlet and wished there was a modern version.

That wrapping of older gaming mechanics with the modern roguelike tendencies results in a game that twinkles with retro charm while punching you in the face with the iron fist of grim modernity.

Neon and on

It’s nice to see a shooter on the App Store with a bit of oomph behind it. Where other games are happy with a more casual route, there’s very little give in Neon Chrome’s hardcore backbone.

And that’s great. You’re going to get sucked into its rhythms of killing and numbers. And you’re going to have a lovely old time doing it.
Neon Chrome review - A beautifully retro twin stick shooter
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 28 November 2016
A sharp and engaging shooter that's not afraid to be tough as old boots
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