Metroidvania

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Metroidvania is a subgenre of the action-adventure video game genre which borrows heavily from the general gameplay concepts of the Metroid series and the Castlevania series (specifically from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and onward). The genre name is a portmanteau of the two series' names. Other names include "Castletroid", a similar portmanteau, and "Igavania", in reference to Koji Igarashi, a major developer of Symphony of the Night and many other Castlevania games and whose contributions have shaped the design of the subgenre.

Metroidvania games feature a large interconnected world map the player can explore, but access to parts of the world is limited by doors or other portals that can only be opened after the player has acquired special tools, weapons or abilities within the game. Acquiring such improvements also aids the player in defeating more difficult enemies and locating shortcuts and secret areas, and often includes retracing one's steps across the map. Through this, Metroidvania games include tighter integration of story and level design, careful design of levels and character controls to encourage exploration and experimentation, and a means for the player to become more invested in their player-character. Metroidvania games typically are two-dimensional platformers, but can also include other genre types. Though popularized during the early console generations, the genre has seen a resurgence since the 2000s due to critically praised, independently developed games.

History

Although elements of Metroidvania gameplay appeared in earlier titles, such as Adventure (1979, Atari 2600),[1] Donkey Kong (1981, Arcade),[2] and particularly Xanadu (1985, NEC PC-8801)[3] and Brain Breaker (1985, Sharp X1),[4] Metroid (1986, Nintendo Entertainment System) is generally considered the game that largely pioneered the Metroidvania genre.[5] Nintendo's goal for the title was to create a non-linear adventure game to set it apart from other games at the time, requiring the player to retrace their steps while providing permanent power-ups in contrast to how other adventure games only offered power-ups with temporary effects.[6] The series was popular, and future titles refined the exploration approach while adding more story elements to the title such as with Super Metroid (1994, Super Nintendo Entertainment System).[5]

Koji Igarashi is credited with establishing defining features of the Metroidvania genre.

During this time, the gothic/horror-themed platformer series Castlevania was gaining popularity. The original Castlevania (1986, NES) featured discrete levels that the player completed in a sequential manner. It was followed by Vampire Killer (1986, MSX)[7][8] and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (1987, NES) which experimented with non-linear adventure gameplay,[9][10] before the series returned to the more linear style of the original Castlevania. Series lead Koji Igarashi found that as they continued to produce sequels to cater to fans of the series, experienced players would race through the levels, while new players to the series would struggle with some stages.[11] To try to make a title that would be more widely appreciated across play levels and extend the gameplay time of the title, Igarashi and others on his team looked toward the ideas used by The Legend of Zelda series into the development of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997, PlayStation); such ideas included a large open world to explore, the need to acquire key items to enter certain areas, and the ability to improve the player-character as one would in console role-playing games.[11][12] The change proved popular with players, and subsequent games in the series would follow this formula.[5] With the close releases of Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the formula these games presented would form the foundations of what are considered Metroidvanias today.[5]

While both series continued to develop titles in this format, the concept of Metroidvanias started to gain more traction when other parties began to develop games in the same style.[5] Cave Story (2004, Microsoft Windows) was independently developed by Daisuke Amaya as a homage to Metroid and other classic games; the game was critically praised showing the scope of what one person could do, and highlighted another take on the Castlevania and Metroid games, as well as vitalizing the 2D platformer genre as a viable indie game format.[5][13] Shadow Complex (2009, Xbox 360) by Chair Entertainment was developed with acknowledging that Super Metroid was "the pinnacle of 2D game design". The game received highly positive reviews, and remains one of the best-selling downloadable titles on the Xbox 360 service.[5] Due to games like these, the Metroidvania genre began to take off in both publisher-driven and independent games development.[5]

While the word "Metroidvania" is commonly used presently to describe games in this genre, or games that have elements of this genre, the origins of the term are unclear; Igarashi notes that he did not coin the phrase, though grateful to be acknowledged as the one that established the basis of the genre.[14] Igarashi noted that with Symphony of the Night the goal was to have exploration closer to the top-down Zelda approach, but with the side-scrolling nature, it was compared more to Metroid, and believes this is how the portmanteau came about.[15] Igarashi himself and his fans use the word "igavania" to describe games in this style;[15] Igarashi prefers the term as to avoid the connotation that Nintendo has direct involvement when using the term "Metroidvania".[16] A similar portmanteau "Castletroid" is sometimes used as well for describing this genre.[15]

Gameplay concepts

In Guacamelee!, the player gains the ability to temporarily turn their human character into a chicken, allowing them to pass through short corridors and discover secrets.

A Metroidvania title is most often used to refer to a platforming game that features a single large, interconnected map generally with discrete rooms or sections. Not all areas of this map are available at the start, often requiring the player to obtain an item, such as a weapon, a key, or a new character ability, to remove the obstacle that is blocking the path forward. Often, this item is protected by a boss character, providing story-driven challenges throughout the game. Maps are non-linear, and often require the player to traverse the map multiple times during the course of the game. Weaker monsters will inhabit other parts of the level, respawning when the player revisits those rooms, and often can be defeated to gain health, ammunition, or experience points.

Larger games generally feature save points as well as the ability to transport the player quickly between certain rooms on far sides of the map, eliminating tedious retracking in the latter parts of the game. Access to new abilities can also open up shortcuts that reduce travel time, as well as discover secrets that help to improve the character's abilities. For example, gaining access to double jump or wall jump abilities can give players more manageability about the game's map, while obtaining the ability to transform into a smaller object can let the player slip through narrow corridors. As such, the genre focuses on exploration of a large world map, and advancement of the player-character abilities over time. Metroidvanias are sometimes referred to as "platform adventure games" due to this scope.

Metroidvania is a term generally associated with game levels/maps that are laid out as two-dimensional side scrollers, with the player character moving left, right, up and down through the level. These games typically are rendered using two-dimensional graphics, but can include 2.5D-rendered games using 3D graphics engines but limiting player movement to two dimensions, such as the aforementioned Shadow Complex. The exploration and character development concepts of Metroidvanias can be used in other genres, though these games typically are not categorized as Metroidvanias. For example, the Metroid Prime trilogy is a first-person shooter that builds on the same style of exploration play as Metroid. Dark Souls is a third-person action role-playing game loosely considered a Metroidvania featuring "soft locks" – obstacles in the form of boss characters that are difficult but not impossible to defeat when the player-character is starting out, and become much easier to defeat with increased experience and abilities.[5]

Igarashi, who is credited with setting the core concepts of what makes a Metroidvania title, described what he believed were key elements that makes successful games in the genre. These include:[11]

  • Providing the player with a playable character that is fun and easy to control, so that the addition of new weapons, abilities, and tools will encourage the player to experiment with these new features and incorporate them into their gameplay.
  • Designing maps that encourage exploration but which still guide the player on a main path through the game. This can be accomplished by using secret areas that require new abilities to access, and to quickly provide the player with new abilities and the opportunities to use these abilities in the early portion of the game as to encourage them to continue to improve the player-character.
  • Providing means where the player can be aware of where they are in the game world at any time. This can be accomplished by graphical themes through the game's world, visually unique milestones at key game point, overall map and player status information screens, and the means of moving around the map quickly.

Analysis

The popularity of the Metroidvania genre is stated to be tied to the ease with which platformer games can be learned and mastered, while giving the player a character that they can grow over the course of the game.[5] Many developers of independent Metroidvania titles cited the exploration as a core element of the genre that draws in players, working off the natural human instincts to explore, and giving the players the sense of discovery and self-control during the game.[5] Donald Mustard of Chair Entertainment, the creators of Shadow Complex, stated that a good Metroidvania helps the player come to epiphanies that enables them to progress in the game, describing an example of a ledge that initially too high to reach, and as the player acquires abilities, will discover how they can reach that ledge on their own.[17]

From a developer's standpoint, the Metroidvania genre provides benefits to the developer. The genre encourages tight connection between level design and game story, and can give developers opportunities to create an immersive world for the player.[5] Level design of such games can also be challenging as to make sure the challenge to the players of the game is fair and enjoyable, and achieving this goal can be seen as a sign of a success for a developer.[5]

List of Metroidvania games

Year Title Developer Publisher Platform(s) Notes
1982 Aztec Paul Stephenson
          NA / PAL Atari 8-bit
            Randomly-generated dungeons.
            1984 Below the Root Dale Disharoon Windham Classics
              NA / PAL Commodore 64
              1984 Journey to the Centre of the Earth[18][19] Mike Davis OziSoft
                1985 Brain Breaker Enix Enix
                  1985 Citadel Michael Jakobsen Superior Software
                    1985 Doriath[20] Ian Gray
                    Lee Braine
                    Virgin Interactive
                      1985 Hero of the Golden Talisman Mr Chip Software Mastertronic
                        1985 Xanadu Nihon Falcom Nihon Falcom
                          1986 Cross Blaim[21] DB Soft DB Soft
                            1986 Metroid Nintendo R&D1
                            Intelligent Systems
                            Nintendo
                                  1986 The Sacred Armour of Antiriad Palace Software
                                        PAL / NA Commodore 64, Apple II, MS-DOS, TRS-80 Color Computer
                                        1986 Arac[22][23] Paul O'Malley Addictive Games PAL / NA Commodore 64
                                          1987 Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Konami Konami
                                                  1987 Codename: Droid - Stryker's Run Part 2[24][25] Nick Chamberlain
                                                  Martin Edmonson
                                                  Superior Software
                                                    1987 Dr. Chaos Marionette
                                                            Features first-person adventure game segments in addition to side-scrolling levels.
                                                            1987 Euphory[25] System Sacom System Sacom
                                                              1987 Faxanadu Hudson Soft
                                                                    1987 The Goonies II Konami Konami
                                                                        Features first-person adventure game segments in addition to side-scrolling levels.
                                                                        1987 Legacy of the Wizard Nihon Falcom
                                                                                JP / NA Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                1987 The Maze of Galious Konami Konami
                                                                                  1987 Palace of Magic Martyn R. Howard Superior Software
                                                                                    1987 Rygar Tecmo Tecmo
                                                                                      1987 Tengoku Yoitoko Taito Taito
                                                                                        1987 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Nintendo R&D4 Nintendo
                                                                                              1987 Zeliard Game Arts
                                                                                                      1988 The Battle of Olympus Infinity (NES)
                                                                                                      Radical Entertainment (GB)
                                                                                                                  1988 Blaster Master Tokai Engineering Sunsoft
                                                                                                                    Mostly side-scrolling, but features top-down dungeons and boss fights.
                                                                                                                    1988 Captain Comic Michael Denio (DOS)
                                                                                                                    Color Dreams (NES)
                                                                                                                    ComputerEasy (DOS)
                                                                                                                    Color Dreams (NES)
                                                                                                                      1988 Cosmo Police Galivan[26] Nihon Bussan Nihon Bussan
                                                                                                                        1988 Draconus Zeppelin Games Zeppelin Games (C64, ZX)
                                                                                                                        Cognito (Atari 8-bit)
                                                                                                                          1988 Exile Peter Irvin
                                                                                                                          Jeremy Smith
                                                                                                                          Superior Software (BBC, Acorn)
                                                                                                                          Audiogenic (other versions)
                                                                                                                            Procedurally-generated.
                                                                                                                            1988 Konami Wai Wai World Konami Konami
                                                                                                                              1988 Main Frame Peter Ward Microillusions NA / PAL Commodore 64
                                                                                                                              1988 The Scheme[25] Bothtec Bothtec
                                                                                                                                1989 Clash at Demonhead Vic Tokai Vic Tokai JP / NA Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                                                                1989 Strider Capcom Capcom
                                                                                                                                  1989 Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap Westone Sega NA / PAL Sega Master System
                                                                                                                                  JP / NA Turbografx-16
                                                                                                                                      1989 Ys III: Wanderers from Ys Nihon Falcom (computers)
                                                                                                                                      Advance (NES, SNES)
                                                                                                                                      Riot (Genesis)
                                                                                                                                      AlfaSystem (TG-16)

                                                                                                                                                        JP / NA Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                                                                                        1990 The Adventures of Rad Gravity Interplay Activision NA / PAL Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                                                                                        1990 Captain Comic II: Fractured Reality Michael Denio ComputerEasy
                                                                                                                                                          1990 Gargoyle's Quest Capcom Capcom JP / NA Game Boy
                                                                                                                                                            1991 Magician Eurocom Taxan
                                                                                                                                                              1991 Metroid II: Return of Samus Nintendo R&D1 Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                1991 Popful Mail Nihon Falcom (PC-88, PC-98, SNES)
                                                                                                                                                                SIMS (Sega CD)
                                                                                                                                                                HuneX (TG-16)
                                                                                                                                                                Nihon Falcom (PC-88, PC-98, SNES)
                                                                                                                                                                NEC (TG-CD)
                                                                                                                                                                      NA / JP Sega CD
                                                                                                                                                                      1991 Toshi Tensou Keikaku: Eternal City[27] Naxat Soft Naxat Soft
                                                                                                                                                                        1991 Ufouria Sunsoft Sunsoft JP / PAL Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                                                                                                            1991 Wonder Boy in Monster World Westone (Genesis, SMS, Wii, Windows)
                                                                                                                                                                            AlfaSystem (TG-16)
                                                                                                                                                                            M2 Co., Ltd. (PSN)
                                                                                                                                                                            Sega (Genesis, SMS, PSN, XBLA, Windows, Wii, Genesis version))
                                                                                                                                                                            Hudson Soft (TG-16, Wii [TG-16 version])
                                                                                                                                                                            JP / NA Sega Genesis
                                                                                                                                                                                  NA / PAL Wii
                                                                                                                                                                                    1992 Elfland Carl Erikson Bog Turtle Games
                                                                                                                                                                                      1992 Gargoyle's Quest II Capcom Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                          1992 Ghoul School Imagineering Electro Brain
                                                                                                                                                                                            1992 Shape Shifter[28] ICOM
                                                                                                                                                                                                JP / NA Turbografx-CD
                                                                                                                                                                                                1992 Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power Zippo Games Acclaim Entertainment NA / PAL Nintendo Entertainment System
                                                                                                                                                                                                1993 Blaster Master 2 Software Creations Sunsoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1993 Citadel 2 Symo Superior Software
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1993 Link: The Faces of Evil Animation Magic Philips NA / PAL CD-i
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1993 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Radical Rescue Konami Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1993 Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon Animation Magic Philips NA / PAL CD-i
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1994 Demon's Crest Capcom Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1994 Master Takahashi's Adventure Island IV Hudson Soft Hudson Soft
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1994 Monster World IV Westone Sega
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1994 Sinaria: Lost in Space[29] John Pollard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Joe Hillman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                John Pollard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Joe Hillman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shareware.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1994 Super Adventure Island II Hudson Soft Hudson Soft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1994 Super Metroid Nintendo R&D1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Intelligent Systems
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1995 Holy Umbrella: Dondera no Mubou!![30] Earthly Soft Naxat Soft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1995 Odyssey[31] Unconscious Minds Audiogenic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1995 Phantom 2040 Viacom New Media (Genesis, SNES)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Unexpected Development (Game Gear)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Viacom New Media NA / PAL Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Game Gear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1995 Tails Adventure Aspect Sega
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spin-off of Sonic.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1996 The Divide: Enemies Within Radical Entertainment Viacom New Media
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2.5D.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1996 Front Mission: Gun Hazard Omiya Soft Squaresoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1996 Vigilance on Talos V[32] John Pollard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Joe Hillman
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PolyEx Software (OS/2)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Square Wheel Studios (DOS)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1997 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night KCET Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1997 Tomba! Whoopee Camp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2000 Blaster Master: Enemy Below Sunsoft Sunsoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Partially a remake of the 1988 original.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2000 Wario Land 3 Nintendo R&D1 Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2001 Castlevania: Circle of the Moon KCEK Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2002 Akuji the Demon[33] Eiji Hashimoto Eiji Hashimoto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2002 Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2002 Eternal Daughter Derek Yu
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jon Perry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Blackeye Software
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2002 Metroid Fusion Nintendo R&D1 Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2002 Metroid Prime Retro Studios
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2002 Shantae WayForward Technologies Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2003 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2003 Samurai Jack: The Amulet of Time Virtucraft BAM! Entertainment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2004 Cave Story Studio Pixel (Windows)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Studio Pixel and Nicalis (all other versions)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Studio Pixel (Windows)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nicalis (DSi, Wii)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NIS America (3DS)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2004 Kirby & the Amazing Mirror Flagship
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dimps
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    HAL Laboratory
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2004 Metroid: Zero Mission Nintendo R&D1 Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Remake of the 1986 original.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2004 Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Retro Studios
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2004 Shaman King: Master of Spirits KCEJ Konami NA / PAL Game Boy Advance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2005 Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow KCET Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2005 La-Mulana GR3 Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2005 The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King Buena Vista Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            NA / PAL Buena Vista Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2005 Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2 KCEJ Konami NA / PAL Game Boy Advance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2006 Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin KCET Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2006 Lyle in Cube Sector[34] Nic Destefano Nic Destefano
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2006 Mega Man ZX Inti Creates Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2006 Scurge: Hive Orbital Media Southpeak Interactive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2007 Aquaria Bit Blot Bit Blot (Windows)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ambrosia Software (OS X)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Underwater, no platforming.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2007 Mega Man ZX Advent Inti Creates Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2007 Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Retro Studios
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2007 Space Barnacle[35] Mark Johns Doomlaser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2007 Wario: Master of Disguise Suzak Nintendo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2008 Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia KCET Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2008 Spider-Man: Web of Shadows Griptonite Games Activision NA / PAL Nintendo DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2008 An Untitled Story[36] Matt Thorson Matt Makes Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2009 Aztaka Citérémis Citérémis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2009 Craz'd Hubol Gordon Terrible Productions
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2009 Knight 'n' Grail[37] Widepixelgames Psytronik Software
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2009 Shadow Complex Chair Entertainment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Epic Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Microsoft (X360)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Epic Games (PS4, XBO)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2010 Alice in Wonderland Etranges Libellules Disney Interactive NA / PAL Nintendo DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2010 Astroman[38] StarQuail StarQuail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2010 Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril Sivak Games Retrozone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2010 Blaster Master: Overdrive Sunsoft Gaijinworks NA / PAL Wii As with the original, features top-down dungeons and boss fights in addition to side-scrolling levels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2010 Dark Void Zero Other Ocean Interactive Capcom NA / PAL DSi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2010 Fluidity Curve Studios Nintendo NA / PAL Wii Puzzle-focused; player character is a pool of water.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2010 Grokion[39] Rozgo Rozgo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2010 Hero Core Remar Games Remar Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2010 Ophidian Wars: Opac's Journey[40] Small Cave Games Small Cave Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2010 Robox[41] Dreambox Games Dreambox Games NA / PAL Wii
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2010 Shantae: Risky's Revenge WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies NA / PAL DSiWare, Wii U
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2010 Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Griptonite Games Activision NA / PAL Nintendo DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2011 Aliens Infestation WayForward Technologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gearbox Software
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sega NA / PAL Nintendo DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2011 Celestial Mechanica[42] rekcahdam rekcahdam
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2011 Dark Incursion[43] Big Blue Bubble Big Blue Bubble
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2011 Elemental Rage[44] Oniric Games Oniric Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2011 Fate of Mankind[45] Leonardo Millan Leonardo Millan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2011 Hydra Castle Labyrinth[46] Eiji Hashimoto Eiji Hashimoto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2011 The Iconoclasts[47] Konjak Bifrost Entertainment Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2011 Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Shadow Planet Productions Microsoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2011 Jottobots[48] J. Otto Seibold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Kyle Pulver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      KPULV
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2011 Monster Tale DreamRift Majesco
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2011 Mystery of the Japanese Werewolf[49] Daniel Novais Daniel Novais
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2011 Outland Housemarque Ubisoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2011 Project Black Sun[50] Starflower Games Starflower Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2011 Robot Wants Kitty Hamumu Software Raptisoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2011 Rochard Recoil Games Sony (PS3)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Recoil Games (Android, Linux, OS X)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  NA / PAL PlayStation 3
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2011 Tale of Maledict[51] Hugo Desmeules Hugo Desmeules
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2011 UnEpic Francisco Téllez Ninagamers Corp
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NA / PAL Wii U
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2012 Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! WayForward Technologies D3 Publisher
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NA / PAL 3DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2012 1000 Amps[52] Brandon Brizzi Brandon Brizzi
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2012 Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery[53] ScaryPatato ScaryPatato
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2012 Astronot[54] Wade McGillis Wade McGillis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2012 Battle Kid 2: Mountain of Torment Sivak Games Retrozone
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2012 Black Knight Sword Grasshopper Manufacture Reverb Communications
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2012 Bloody Vampire[55] SilverStar Agetec
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2012 Bunny Must Die![56] Platine Dispositif Rockin Android
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2012 Dust: An Elysian Tail Humble Hearts Microsoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2012 Gateways[57] Smudged Cat Games Smudged Cat Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2012 Poacher[58] Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw Fully Ramblomatic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2012 Swordigo[59] Touch Foo Touch Foo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2012 Waking Mars Tiger Style Tiger Style
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2012 You Have to Win the Game[60] Pirate Hearts Minor Key Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2013 Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Armature Studio Warner Bros.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NA / PAL PlayStation 3, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2013 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate MercurySteam Konami
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2013 Dark Matter Interwave Studios Iceberg Interactive
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2013 Exodus[61] Galhmac Game Studio Multi-Form
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2013 Guacamelee! Drinkbox Studios DrinkBox Studios
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NA / PAL PlayStation 3,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Brawler-based Metroidvania
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2013 Teslagrad Rain Games Rain Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Puzzle-based Metroidvania
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2013 Valdis Story: Abyssal City[62] Endlessfluff Games Endlessfluff Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2014 Elliot Quest[63] Ansimuz Games Ansimuz Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2014 Magicians & Looters[64] Morgopolis Studios Morgopolis Studios
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2014 The Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville[65] Radiangames Cartoon Network Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2014 Shantae and the Pirate's Curse WayForward Technologies WayForward Technologies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NA / PAL Wii U, PlayStation 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2014 Strider Double Helix Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Capcom Osaka Studio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Capcom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2014 Super Space Adventure[66] raganjblack raganjblack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2014 Super Win the Game[67] Pirate Hearts Minor Key Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze WayForward Technologies Activision NA / PAL PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2014 Xeodrifter Renegade Kid Renegade Kid
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gambitious (Windows)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NA / PAL Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2015 Axiom Verge Tom Happ Thomas Happ Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        NA / PAL PlayStation Vita
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2015 Castlevania: Spectral Interlude[68] Aleksander Udotov (SaNchez) KG Design
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fangame.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2015 Castle in the Darkness[69] Matt Kap Nicalis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2015 Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus[70] LookAtMyGame Aksys Games
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              NA / PAL PlayStation 4, Wii U
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2015 Chasm[71] Discord Games Bit Kid, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Procedurally-generated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2015 Environmental Station Alpha[72] Arvi Teikari
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Roope Mäkinen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hempuli Oy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2015 Mystik Belle[73] Last Dimension Last Dimension
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2015 Odallus: The Dark Call[74] Joymasher Joymasher
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2015 Ori and the Blind Forest Moon Studios Microsoft
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2015 Red Goddess: Inner World[75] Yanim Studio Yanim Studio
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2016 The Aquatic Adventure of the Last Human[76] YCJY YCJY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Underwater, no platforming.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2016 Headlander[77] Double Fine Double Fine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2016 Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight[78] Bombservice AGM PLAYISM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2016 Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom[79] Game Atelier FDG Entertainment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spiritual sequel to Monster World series.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2016 Pharaoh Rebirth+[80] KROBON station
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  KADOKAWA DWANGO Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Degica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2016 Rabi-Ribi[81] CreSpirit Sekai Project
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2016 Song of the Deep Insomniac Games GameTrust
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2017 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Inti Creates Deep Silver
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kickstarter-based spiritual successor to the Castlevania series by Igarashi

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