Developed and Published By: 8 Bit legit Categories: Metroidvania Release Date: 10/06/2023 Price: $10
Do you like video games that feel like they’re ripped straight from the 80’s? Are you fond of all sorts of Metroidvania games? Project Blue checks off both boxes and gives players a legitimate retro experience. The game won’t be for everyone because of its difficulty but the player base that the game is targeting will definitely get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
Personally I don’t want to say too much about what the game is about because you can pretty much read up on most of it before even starting by checking out a detailed digital manual that comes with the game. Instead of just experiencing the story through the gameplay, everything you need to know about the game, world, and characters is accessible right from the start.
In a nutshell, you take control of a test subject that escaped a hidden bio-weapon lab. You’re tasked with escaping and taking down the organization. I don’t really care so much for the story as the gameplay loop is really the most enticing aspect of Project Blue. It plays like a standard Metroidvania game with each level being a small screen that has a combination of obstacles, enemies, and sometimes power ups.
Each screen is relatively small and if you’ve committed them to memory, some may only take a few seconds to complete. This is especially true near the beginning of the game where the screens start off pretty easy. But later screens will become much more challenging and will require a lot of patience and caution. These more difficult levels could serve as your gravestone over and over to the point where you could spend multiple minutes on certain levels.
Other than the gameplay, the soundtrack is another impressive aspect of Project Blue. Throughout the game you’re going to hear nearly two dozen tracks, many of which are pretty good.
The game is easy to pick up and play and it’s very easy to learn as there’s only a few actions but if you don’t play these kinds of games often, it will become ridiculously hard, even on the easier modes. At times the game will be unforgiving because a single hit will take away a heart of damage and hearts are pretty scarce to begin with. To make matters worse, a Game Over screen will revert you to an earlier checkpoint. It’s obviously good to have checkpoints but in the early part of the game I felt like they were too far apart.
There was one screen in Theta Lab that was just too much for me as I would die over and over again. When I finally beat it, I was able to progress another six or seven screens before I finally met my end only to restart before the screen that I had trouble with. This was a very difficult part for me because beating it didn’t mean I was in the clear as I had no idea how far the next checkpoint was. In the end I must have gotten the Game Over screen 20 or 30 times in this one level alone.
It’s a fun game that looks and sounds great and will be doable for people who have tons of experience with these kinds of games and lots of patience. But there will also be a great deal of people who find the game too challenging or end up rage quitting before long. Fortunately the game is cheap and will cost you less than $15 so even if you end up not liking it, it won’t be a hit. Somebody who does enjoy the challenge and gets through all 256 screens will easily get their money’s worth.