Open Low Gating - No Handholding

Ato

4 out of 5. Frenetic gameplay and novel and deep mechanics are wrapped up by an emotional silent narrative, making Ato one of more memorable experiences within the Metroidvania genre.

Aquaria

3.5 out of 5. In spite of some rougher edges around its gameplay, Aqauria’s world is like no other, and if you allow yourself to be immersed within it, it will doubtlessly bind itself to your memory.

Mask of Mists

3 out of 5 – A relaxing semi Zelda-like experience that will provide a pleasant five hours of basic gameplay to enjoy. It’s fun. It’s not a groundbreaking title but I don’t think it’s trying to be.

Super Metroid

5 out of 5. A nearly perfect example of what a “Metroidvania” can accomplish. Even compared to the advancements found in later 2D Metroid entries, Super Metroid holds up remarkably well.

Jumplord

3 out of 5. Nothing creates the feeling of being in an alien world like a game that does things completely different. Jumplord begins and ends with infinite jumping, but it’s more complicated than that.

Lootbox Lyfe

4 out of 5. A treasure trove of platforming challenges, with plenty of options to accommodate players of all skill levels. It can be punishingly brutal, or you can just enjoy relaxing exploration.

REDO!

4 out of 5. This Lovecraftian style survival horror side scroller successfully captures the sweet taste of release that can only come after feelings of absolute dread. Highly recommended.

Demon Peak

3 out of 5. Some of the design and lack of polish makes it feel unfair, but it’s still the kind of unfair that feels satisfying to conquer – if you enjoy that kind of thing. The Price is Right.

Sundered

4 out of 5. Local Co-op. Has some absolutely amazing moments that are padded out with grindier features, but the excellent multiplayer let’s you fill in those slower parts with social conversation.

Apoapsis

2 out of 5. A very impressive game for something that was made in 18 days, for which the developer should be congratulated. Competing with other available options though, it’s harder to recommend.

Visual Out

3 out of 5. A weird exploration focused Metroidvania where you use abstract mechanics to progress. If you’re looking for something unusual, its moody atmosphere and narrative mystery can be intriguing

Unworthy

4.5 out of 5. A Souls-like hybrid with a greater emphasis on its Metroidvania aspects. Unworthy is a fantastic example of a focused and well-realized experience, with challenging dungeons and bosses.

Mortal Manor

2.5 out of 5. Substance over style. If you can push past the incredibly frustrating process of getting good at the game, you can easily get your money’s worth in terms of time per dollar spent.