A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Basic "run and shoot" game; no messages.
Positive Role Models
No real story provided for character.
Ease of Play
Very straightforward, though slightly floaty controls. Player must precisely navigate around jumps, platforms.
Violence & Scariness
No blood, gore, but when you shoot at things they blink, vanish offscreen.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that XEODRIFTER is a downloadable side-scrolling shooter that's a throwback to old-school video games. You run, jump, shoot, and collect power-ups; that might sound like a lot of other games, but literally that is the narrow focus. When players shoot at enemies, they blink and vanish off the screen.
Is It Any Good?
This is a very challenging game that's over in about three or four hours. This might sound counterintuitive, but what that means is you will die a lot in Xeodrifter. There's a lot of trial and error and some apprehension since it's unclear where you should start among the handful of planets, what direction you should go on each level, and whether you've found everything you need at the end of your exploration. It also doesn't help that you see the same enemies repeatedly, which makes it harder to tell if you're in an unexplored area of a stage or if you've wandered through those areas before. The upshot of this is you're encouraged to explore, probe, and poke around for secrets and areas you may have missed. It just happens that all the joys of wandering around are compressed into a handful of small stages, rather than a bunch of larger ones with fewer secrets. There's a lot to find; you just need the patience and curiosity to excavate.
The stages hold not only the requisite parts to repair your ship's engine but also hard-won power-ups so you can get more health (which is badly needed, since you'll die after one or two hits when you first start) and cause more damage to enemies (which also are badly needed, since of course your foes are much tougher than you). But getting around levels also can be tough, since you'll often run into an enemy that will crush you instantly. You'll also have to contend with the intentionally floaty/old-school controls; expect a lot of feathering your jumps and nonstop jamming on your "fire" button just to have a chance. As indicated elsewhere, this is a throwback to older games, meaning it similarly will be quickly polarizing on whether you'll like it or not. Just know that Xeodrifter is a short, and somewhat difficult, ride that's worth trying.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.