It’s been a hell of a day for Ava. Not only has she found out that her mum is from the Moon, but she is dying and there’s only one cure, which is back on the Moon. Ava clearly doesn’t take it particularly well, as she hops on a rocket and begins to wipe out the Moon people, the Selenites, in an effort to get hold of it.
This takes the form of some Megaman-style run-and-gunning, as you move from room to room, taking down bosses, finding 200 crystals, and eventually reaching your goal. You have a handy blaster, but you’ll soon gain the ability to ‘rush’, which effectively jetpacks you through the levels.
Moon Raider is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch. It’s also been on PC through Steam for a little while.
There are ten different environments to explore, and eleven bosses on the way. The levels are peppered with collectibles to find, so you’ll be on your toes. Little aliens wait near rockets, hoping for you to fire them into space (it’s odd but works), while hidden rooms offer you permanent life and energy boosts.
Having reviewed Moon Raider on Xbox, it’s not doing anything particularly new, delivering an experience much like the many Metroidvanias that came before it. It has a few niggles too, with death causing you to restart with the same life and energy, meaning it is very easy to get stuck in uncompletable situations. But if you want a budget and extremely vanilla platformer to mindlessly truck through for only £8.39, then you could do much worse.
Perhaps more appealing is a co-op mode that allows you and a friend to truck through the game together. You’re locked to the same screen, but it’s something we don’t often see in Metroidvanias, and it might give you an afternoon or two’s entertainment with a partner.
- Explore a diverse, handcrafted world that stays fresh from start to finish
- Find hidden upgrades and secret areas
- 10 beautiful environments to explore
- 11 epic boss battles
- Two-player local co-op mode
Moon Raider is out now on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and starts at £8.39 from the Xbox Store, with a reduction to £6.71 for launch. It’s also out on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC.
Ava is the young daughter of the brilliant-but-aging scientist Dr. Cavor and Selene, the former queen of the moon. Selene is a selenite whose life depends on special energy only moon gems can provide. With none left and time running out, Dr. Cavor enlists Ava to raid the moon and bring back as many gems as she can find! Ava must survive the treacherous catacombs deep beneath the surface of the moon. Her enemies, a legion of corrupt aliens that now rule the moon with force, are far less primitive than they first appear. Their world is full of terrifying technology, deadly traps, and armed soldiers at the ready. Ava soon realizes that the only way to save her mother is to save the moon from itself.