icon Author: peza12
Genopanic Review

Metroidvanias have always been a genre that gave birth to a lot of indie hits, I've enjoyed my fair share of them but some were too much of a slog to go through as you usually hit that progression wall where the difficulty spikes so much you just give up and jump to the next game. Thankfully Genopanic is the good kind, where every time you die, you know that it was your fault and that you can pass the puzzle/boss/room if you're just a little bit more careful.

One thing that you immediately see when you start playing is the fluidity of the pixel animations and a gorgeous art. The premise of the game is that you're exploring an abandoned space station that has been overrun by danger and you keep going deeper and deeper finding new enemies, bosses, puzzles and every time you get stuck, there's probably a new tool for you close by like a plasma cutter, jetpack, flamethrower etc. that opens up a lot of possibilities. A big part of the appeal of this game is also a really fantastic sound design. An ominous feeling of dread, loneliness and mystery is constantly felt throughout the game and it's clear something is not right and that there is something more going on then just the occasional zombies and alien creatures. This becomes evident fairly soon when you start reading about rogue AI and at the beginning of the game you even see a hologram of an AI that took the appearance of a threatening catgirl... I'm not joking. Even though there is a constant feeling of dread, the game balances it well with random acts of cuteness or humorous situations.

Now we switch the tone and go to the things that could've been done a little better. Even though the save points are not too far away from each other, sometimes you'll have to be prepared to redo a lot of the puzzles again and again because you missed a jump or got killed by an enemy. The annoying part isn't actually replaying the rooms, it's that you have to redo the puzzles you already finished every time you respawn, and some of these are really fun the first time, but after second or third time of moving boxes around you just get annoyed. And one really minor thing, the further you get in the game the more tools you have for traversing, so at the start it is fine switching between 2-3 weapons one by one, but already at the middle of the game it really gets annoying cycling through tools until you find the one that you need, and this can be easily fixed by just incorporating an item wheel.

Overall, I've had fun with this game, it's not long and it's not incredibly deep, but sometimes you just want to kick back and play something that you can finish in under eight hours. If you don't have the patience for some bigger metroidvanias like Hollow Knight, Grime, Ori and the Blind Forest etc. you might like this one, because it's basically a metroidvania, and not a metroidvania at the same time. You won't really get stuck so much and you for sure won't need to backtrack through the whole map when you unlock a new tool. It's really well done progression wise and I really hope the game gets some attention when the game releases because we really need more casual metroivanias to play because the genre can be extremely fun, but also extremely frustrating.

There is also a free demo that is available right now on Steam if you want to try this game, the demo is up to the first boss which will take you around 45 minutes to complete and you'll probably know in those 45 minutes if you want to buy the game or not. I recommend you at least try it and see if it's your cup of tea.


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