It is life, but not as we know it. Remote life review.

  When I was growing up there as a popular skill game that people were playing. It was made popular in some sort of TV show, made its way to...

Official banner logo 

When I was growing up there as a popular skill game that people were playing. It was made popular in some sort of TV show, made its way to the local festivals and carnivals and eventually in peoples homes. The concept was simple. On a wooden (or plastic) base a metal rod  was bend in all sorts of shapes and attacked to it was a metal wand with a ring at the end. the ring went around the rod with just enough space around it that it would not touch the metal. The objective was to move the wand and by extension the ring at the end around the metal rod frame from beginning to end without touching it. If you did then a loud buzzer would scream and you would be out and had to restart from the beginning. The gameplay of Remote life often gave me the same feeling as that game from when I was younger. What I thought would just be a fast passed "bullet hell" game, actually required a more nuanced approach and patience, lots of patience.

Angler fish attacks ship!

Remote Life is a side-scrolling space shoot 'em up (SHMUP) with 16 huge levels, 18+ weapons and tons of enemies and bosses. You get to Immerse yourself in a fast-paced action game within a mysterious tech-alien world filled with spooky monsters, sinister backgrounds and sinister bosses. The game is developed by Indie publisher Ratalaika Games, a one man dev team, Mario Malagrino,  who worked with together with Next Game Level to create a shooter that captured his imagination and experience from the retro days on Commodore 64, SNES, Sega Genesis and Amiga 500 without trying to pull any specific inspiration from those games in order to still deliver something that feels unique.

The story is straight forward as these things go. An alien hive has made its way to your planet and in a last ditch effort you, John Leone are charged to take your space jet, infiltrate the massive hive complex and destroy it from within. Along the way you will face many menacing monsters that are the stuff of nightmare and you will uncover reason of the alien attack as the story unfolds.  

A level that showcases busy environments.

The initial visuals and presentation brought be back to my days playing project X on the Amiga, and as a result I immediately anticipated a fast paced and enemy projectile filled screen to navigate through. There is certainly some of that, but I quickly found that the game is slower and more deliberately paced with focus on navigating through many traps and multiple mechanical doors and platforms. This no life bar, no shield, one hit of anything and you are toast. Use up all lives and it is mission failed for you, congratulation your planet is overtaken by the alien horde.
It took me a moment to realize that this game takes what I knew of these type of games and gave it a bit of a twist. You fly with the left stick while you can rotate the gun with the right stick in true twin stick shooter style. I won't tell you how long it took me to figure that last part out, too embarrassing , but it certainly was a game changer. 

As I mentioned, the ship moves at a slower pace, even the "fast one" as the level slowly moves forward from right to left. Throughout your travel you will be attacked by tons of monsters who have a horror/scifi appearance clearly inspired by Giger alien design and you will encounter a number of traps, debris , massive doors and the occasional "maze". A sharp eye and quick reflexes are needed to make it through in one piece. On the way you will pickup various gun "upgrades" some of which have infinite ammo, usually the weaker ones, and others you will deplete unless you find more along the way. My favorite were the cluster bombs that would devastate many enemies from a safe distance.  The game is not easy, especially if you  do not slow down and methodically navigate the level. In the beginning my haste and eagerness to take on this alien horde cost me dearly as I flew head on into a closed bay door instead of hanging back and wait for the doors to open while I elude enemy combat unites and their weapons fire. 

The presentation of this game makes use of some impressive level designs, artwork, sound and music, considering the game is mostly the effort of one person. The alien designs are intriguing, horrifying (in a good way) and really convey being alone, remote and facing something far removed from humanity.  The beautiful graphics are 3D rendered in a 2D setting that compliments the game well but sometimes it is a bit hard to discern background and foreground and when you must avoid any contact at all cost this can cost you a much needed life. The sounds in the game feel good as well with a full body of sound effects for the various weapons, explosions and other things that go on on-screen and the game comes with a pumping sound track, even if some might find it somewhat generic, it works well with the adrenalin filled gameplay. The one thing that does not fit is the speech to text used to act out the story. I wish that instead there was just text on screen as the TTS really takes me out the game and actually cheapens the experience. There is just no way to buy into it and adding it was a mistake. Even some friends could have acted better if voice acting was a must for the developer.  

Remote life does not have a lot of features, the 16 levels with multiple bosses comes in 4 difficulty modes, there are three ship types you unlock as you gain experience, but this mostly just effects the model of the ship and its speed. 

the game was released on May 27th 2022. Releasing on PC and all console platforms, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Microsoft Xbox One,  Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch, priced at a must have $18.99 / €17.99 / £14.99.

Remote life is a rock solid shooter in the SHMUP genre that, despite some flaws, manages to deliver a unique feel, some heart pumping tension and a interesting design at a nice price point. If you like space or twin stick shooters and want to sink your teeth into something that plays a little different then normal , then Remote life is well worth a shot.

Game: Remote life
Publisher: Next Game Level
DeveloperRatalaika Games/Next game level
Release DateMay 27th 2022
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, XBOX
Review Platform: XBOX One X
ESRB: T Teen  for Blood and Violence

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks 


xbox 4609112496643802103

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts with us.


- Navigation -