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Emperor Diocletian II

General Gaming Carrion (23 July 2020) - Information Thread, update: Carrion has sold 200K copies in one week plus "hundreds of thousands" of players on Game Pass, amusing "Behind the Screams" video

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Carrion is a reverse horror game in which you assume the role of an amorphous creature of unknown origin. Stalk and consume those that imprisoned you to spread fear and panic throughout the facility. Grow and evolve as you tear down this prison and acquire more and more devastating abilities on the path to retribution.

 

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When I read the title I assume this would work like the classic country music sound in reverse scenario. This is better, maybe? 

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CARRION is a reverse horror game in which you assume the role of an amorphous creature of unknown origins, stalking and consuming those that imprisoned you.

 

Trailer by CRCR / Wizz

 

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I just played it for about an hour. It's pretty fun, you feel powerful, yet it's pretty easy to get taken down if you're not careful. Hit and run is definitely the way to go against the harder enemies. It also has some light metroidvania elements. You move quick and fluidly, but imprecisely, making some actions a little sloppy and some fights harder than they would have been otherwise. 

It seemed like I was moving through it fairly quickly, so I don't think it's going to be that long, but it seems well done for the most part.

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Game Information

Game Title: CARRION

Platforms:

  • Xbox One (Jul 22, 2020)
  • PC (Jul 23, 2020)
  • Nintendo Switch (Jul 23, 2020)

Developer: Phobia Game Studio

Publisher: Devolver Digital
    
Review Aggregator

OpenCritic - 78 average - 76% recommended

Critic Reviews


EGM - 10 / 10

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Carrion doesn't just flip the horror script—it's the ultimate power fantasy, packed into a tight, uncompromising space. It might utilize some video game tropes, but it doesn't seem too concerned with accepted video game values. It's a 2D side-scroller without platforming, an action game where you dictate the action. The Doom Slayer might talk a big game about ripping and tearing, but Carrion's meatball monster puts its money where its many mouths are.


Screen Rant - 5 / 5 stars

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Carrion is a superb actioner staring an alien mass.


But Why Tho? - 9.5 / 10

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Carrion takes the formula of many of the great 2D adventures that came before it and repackages it with grisly body horror and the twist of being a monster on the loose. It doesn’t change up the formula too drastically with its basic genre mechanics, but it still manages to do everything that it does do near-perfectly in a short amount of time.


GameGrin - 9.5 / 10

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This a super fun immersive game that is a must play for not only horror fans but anyone looking for a unique gaming experience!


WellPlayed - 9.5 / 10

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A positively perfect example of an indie title doing what it does best – exploring a unique concept and polishing it to a brilliant shine


Rectify Gaming - 9.2 / 10

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Carrion is both a beautiful and grotesque nightmare that flips you into the role of the monster.


COGconnected - 90 / 100

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In our current market oversaturated media, there is something invaluable in a game that doesn’t waste your time.


Explosion Network - 9 / 10

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It’s equal parts Metroidvania and player directed blood-bath and one of the best games of the year so far.


Hey Poor Player - 4.5 / 5

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CARRION‘s greatest triumph isn’t the beautiful aesthetics or the extremely fun gameplay, however — despite it having both — but the game’s ability to make players own the identity of an amorphous creature discovering itself while finding a way out and feeding on the unfortunate. If that’s not immersion taken to the coolest extreme, I’m not sure what is. CARRION is a must-play; grab it before it grabs you.


NintendoWorldReport - 9 / 10

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Even after the credits rolled, there were still a lot of optional power-ups to hunt down. Carrion feels familiar in its gameplay but unique in execution. The blood may still be freshly dripping from the wall, but Carrion is certainly one of the highlights in gaming from this year so far.


SmashPad - 4.5 / 5 stars

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Carrion is an excellent spin on the horror genre that switches the power-dynamics of a traditional horror game while still retaining a lot of the tension.


SwitchWatch - 9 / 10

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CARRION is a masterful experience in reverse horror where you play as the monster and ultimately a threat to humanity. The story is simple yet intense, the gameplay is loads of fun despite its quirkiness at times, and sound and visuals are top-notch, and I am finding it rather difficult to not recommend this game. With 2020 going the way it is, now is the time to cheer for the monster.


WayTooManyGames - 9 / 10

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Carrion is a fantastic game that flips horror tropes on their heads and allows you to be the one slaughtering the ignorant and incompetent humans. There is actually a lot more depth to the gameplay than I anticipated, which never led to a dull moment.


Windows Central - 4.5 / 5 stars

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This is a tough yet fun creepy crawler with decent replay value you will want to tuck back into. This game includes a maze of levels, an evolving tentacle-beast, and a whole lot of people to consume. Play as the villain and eat like a king.


God is a Geek - 8.5 / 10

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Carrion reverses the roles of the horror genre beautifully, and playing as a monster has never been so disgustingly enjoyable.


Handsome Phantom - 8.5 / 10

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Carrion  is often obscure, uncomfortable, unsettling, and distressing. And this is why we loved it.


TechRaptor - 8.5 / 10

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Carrion is a delightfully gruesome game that has just as many puzzles as it does action.


The Games Machine - Italian - 8.3 / 10

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Inspired by Carpenter and the 80s body horror, Carrion reverses the roles and puts us in the shoes of a formless and lethal creature, in a fluid, fast and extremely choreographic metroidvania.  Some AI problems and a not always inspired artistic direction do not compromise the result of one of the surprises of this 2020.


Hobby Consolas - Spanish - 82 / 100

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Carrion is an interesting metroidvania that starts from a different and interesting idea (you're the monster), that horror films lovers and metroidvania games fans will enjoy. Even with its wonderful pixel art, great ideas and wonderful progression, the final chunk of the game and some minor elements prevent the game from ending with a bang.


Use a Potion - 8.2 / 10

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CARRION is gloriously gory and playing as a tentacled monster is fun from start to end, even if the main gameplay loop could grow a little repetitive in places. Slipping your way through the laboratory and pulling off all sorts of gruesome kills was always an absolute blast though, whilst unlocking new abilities always felt rewarding – especially when they had to be utilised in some of the environmental puzzles or when stealthily sneaking past some of your deadlier prey.

 

It is a shame there isn’t an in-game map to make traversal easier and simply unlocking new biomass points could get a little repetitive at times, but it’s hard to complain too much when you get to wreak havoc as a destructively monstrous blob of gore and tentacles.

 

Best. Protagonist. Ever.

 


Attack of the Fanboy - 4 / 5 stars

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Carrion turns the horror genre on its head by letting you be the monster this time in a Metroidvania style game, which serves as the perfect type game to pick up and play between many of the other larger scale releases that have released this year.


Boomstick Gaming - 8 / 10

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Video Review - Quote not available


Cultured Vultures - 8 / 10

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Carrion is a lean but undeniably fun reverse horror with plenty of clever ideas that will have you second-guessing meatballs.


Destructoid - 8 / 10

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If you're looking for a cathartic pick-up-and-play game with little to no fat that you can slip in between this summer's massive story-driven titles, that's Carrion all the way. It's a devilish snack.


Digital Chumps - 8 / 10

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Carrion excels at creating realistic tentacle locomotion in the shape of a bloodthirsty nightmare. It falls behind when it requests precision from a monster only capable of blunt violence. As mad science grants sentience to raw brutality, articulation must be sacrificed for overwhelming power. It leaves Carrion as a mesmerizing concept overcommitted to its code.


Digitally Downloaded - 4 / 5 stars

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Not everyone will be able to stomach Carrion's atmosphere and gleeful violence. But those that can will find an experience that is beautiful in being so grotesque.


DualShockers - 8 / 10

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Carrion is a bloody, intricate experience with a consistency problem that breaks the momentum that's central to a game like Carrion.


Game Rant - 4 / 5 stars

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Carrion delivers on its unique 'reverse-horror game' concept, letting players wreak havoc as a massive, disgusting blob of tentacles and teeth.


GameSkinny - 8 / 10 stars

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Carrion is a beautifully orchestrated symphony of blood, guts, and dismembered limbs.


Gamers Heroes - 80 / 100

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Carrion is undoubtedly a unique take on the survival horror genre. There are a couple of misses, but for the most part it works well for those with a few hours to kill.


Impulsegamer - 4 / 5

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Carrion is an excellent 2D action game that lets you unleash mayhem as a terrifying, destructive monster.


MonsterVine - 4 / 5

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Carrion is the perfect marriage of John Carpenter and Cronenberg horror, with an almost unsettling glee as you careen through the game devouring all in your path.


Movies Games and Tech - 8 / 10

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Carrion proves that it’s a capable beast of a game that is able to entertain for the couple of hours that its story lasts. It’s shocking and gruesome at times without any real meaning and that makes it all the more worth experiencing.


New Game Network - 80 / 100

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Carrion is simply a great time. The metroidvania gameplay loop is addictive, while its sound design and highly detailed pixel-art look makes it a joy to hear and look at. An average story and lack of an in-game map sap some of the enjoyment, but Carrion's ability to have you play as an unstoppable monster is gory grandeur.


Niche Gamer - 8 / 10

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If you would like to spend five hours ripping and tearing your way through scientists and security guards as a bloodthirsty tentacle monster though, then you’ll probably have a lot of fun with Carrion.


Nintendo Life - 8 / 10

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Carrion is a special thing in many ways, but its actual meat and potatoes structure is as formulaic as the genre gets. Thankfully, its core gameplay of tearing room after room of people into wet chunks of corpse never, ever gets old, and sustains the experience throughout. It looks superb, sounds great and is plenty of fun to play, despite some minor issues which just hold Carrion back from the upper echelons of the Switch library.


PC Invasion - 8 / 10

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Although Carrion is a relatively short game with little replayability, its quirky theme and ravenous flesh monster make for a fun feeding frenzy.


Paste Magazine - 8 / 10

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With Carrion, I wondered how Phobia Game Studio would be able to keep me interested without that dynamic. They managed it through the careful balance of giving you enough agency to feel powerful, while still requiring you to plan and act with precision to use that power effectively. The result is a razor-sharp campaign that fully put me in the amorphous shoes of its terrifying beast.


Press Start - 8 / 10

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Devolver’s seal of approval is more than ever evidence of a classic as Carrion’s credentials as an incredible Metroidvania title as well as an inverse horror experience will never be in question.


Stevivor - 8 / 10

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Despite its flaws, Carrion is immensely enjoyable, though I would imagine its grotesque nature will turn some away.


The Digital Fix - 8 / 10

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Carrion is very entertaining and extremely unique. Making humans whimper in fear never gets old and killing them is even more fun. I wish some of the areas were more distinguishable from each other but that's a very small issue really.  If you want to play something a bit different then you won't go far wrong with this one.


The Outerhaven Productions - 4 / 5 stars

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CARRION is a game that only someone associated with the madhouse publisher that is Devolver Digital could create.


TheSixthAxis - 8 / 10

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Turning the horror game genre on its head, Carrion is a gory delight for you rip and tear your way through.


We Got This Covered - 4 / 5 stars

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CARRION mixes familiar and alien elements to produce a memorably brutal inversion of the horror genre.


ZTGD - 8 / 10

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Easy to pick up and play, CARRION is original, absorbing and entertaining.It also has an excellent soundtrack – it’s cinematic horror vibe is the perfect accompaniment for the bloodbath that ensues.


IGN Italy - Italian - 7.8 / 10

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An anomalous metroidvania in the intent as traditional in the realization. The creature's alien and brutal beauty is only partially supported by an equally good world to explore. It remains a fascinating title, made with care, that really lacks that extra flicker to excel.


NoobFeed - 75 / 100

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Carrion’s concept of playing the evil, inhuman creature that’s out to eat everyone is definitely interesting and, at times undoubtedly visceral despite its distant 2D perspective, letting you bloody up rooms and leave halves of corpses lying around for later consumption. Its movement enforces the foreign nature of its protagonist but frequent frustrations like repeated difficulty spikes during combat and getting lost in its unremarkable facility do chip away at its awesome parts. Nevertheless, if you can weather some frustration, you’re in for a lot of delicious dismemberment and many horrified screams as you take Carrion’s flesh beast on its bloody journey.


AusGamers - 7.4 / 10

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Carrion is ultimately fascinating, engaging, and short and sweet. By putting you in the role of the alien threat it imbues you with a strange supervillain-like sense of playing in an insect farm.


Game Informer - 7.3 / 10

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With the gameplay flow struggling to find a pulse, the novelty of controlling a monster doesn't fully take shape


PC Gamer - 72 / 100

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Carrion is a fun reverse-horror adventure, though it doesn't push the concept to the heights of its potential.


GameSpew - 7 / 10

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It’s a real treat for horror fans and one of the most original games I’ve come across. There were so many moments that left me with a grin a mile wide, from pulling a string of victims up into the ceiling to turning a soldier against their former friends. But if you choose to wreak your own brand of horror upon Carrion‘s hapless humans, just be prepared to step away when there’s no-one left to torment.


GameSpot - 7 / 10

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Carrion makes being a vicious monster satisfyingly simple and captivatingly gruesome, even if it doesn't always capitalize on its strengths.


Gameliner - Dutch - 3.5 / 5 stars

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The horror genre is packed with everything you could wish for.


Gamer Escape - 7 / 10

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However, frustrations aside, Carrion was still an entertaining playthrough. As one of Devolver’s major releases of the year it doesn’t quite hit the high mark I expected. It doesn’t need to be a breakthrough experience, though. It’s just plain fun, and I could see myself playing through again.


Hardcore Gamer - 3.5 / 5

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There's plenty that Carrion gets right beyond the fluidity and attention to detail its horrific, blood-red monstrosity is given.


IGN - 7 / 10

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Carrion nails the power fantasy of being a horror movie monster, but makes exploration a chore that pads the adventure.


USgamer - 3.5 / 5 stars

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Carrion is an energetic and taut game that flips the tables on The Thing, putting you in command of the alien creature and tasking you with simply going to town on the hapless humans surrounding you. The loose physics-based gameplay is satisfying to play, and the enigmatic creature's bloodlust is crucially never too powerful to render the armed humans that challenge you entirely helpless. Although Carrion's story falls largely flat, it's a very satisfying slaughterhouse of gnashing teeth and tentacles.


VideoGamer - 7 / 10

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Carrion abounds with the thrills of being the monster, then, but, less common and more cosy, with the kick of being in a monster movie—of slithering in celebration over the tropes of the genre. The good news is that, for a while, it works.


Xbox Achievements - 70 / 100

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Carrion is an excellent power fantasy that casts you as the monstrous villain in your own horror film. The wonderfully gloopy animation and conception of Carrion's meaty monster makes it enjoyable to play, especially when tearing through the unfortunate humans that stand in your way. But dull exploration, a lack of memorable environments and disparate gameplay ideas that never really come together, mean that Carrion never truly reaches its full potential.


Easy Allies - 6 / 10

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An intriguing and promising premise isn't enough to keep Carrion from feeling like empty calories.

 


Game Revolution - 3 / 5 stars

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Carrion is a great concept that becomes repetitive in practice.


Metro GameCentral - 6 / 10

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Playing as an alien monstrosity is a great idea, and at times works well, but the fiddly controls and awkward mix of gameplay ideas doesn't gel together well.


Hu3br - Portuguese - 5 / 10

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Carrion struggles to depict the idea of “having power” as nothing else than a brainless venture. Something you inherited. Therefore, every action and every killing lose its meaning. Even though you are a monster, your actions are never questioned or given context. In the end, the gore is the only thing that really makes you feel something. Gross, at most.


GamingTrend - 40 / 100

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There just isn't a reason to play Carrion. There is little narrative, repetitive combat, limited puzzles, and almost zero horror elements. The atmosphere is okay and it reminds me of Alien but that's about as far as it goes with horror. Just leave this monster stuck in the vent.


Ars Technica - Unscored

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Buy (or claim on Xbox Game Pass for either console or PC).


Chicas Gamers - Spanish - Unscored

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Carrion is a good title, perfect for those who look for a fun challenge that combines action and stealth mechanics and puzzles.


Entertainium - Unscored

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In the end, Carrion is less about your blood soaked rampage through human filled hallways than it is about rampant, persistent, perpetual fear. The lingering fear that permeates many of the areas in the game is almost tangible and it is your greatest weapon against the humans that stand in your way. Peering out from darkened alcoves in corners or silently picking your moments from watery depths, as the humans above pace nervously, knowing their lives are yours for the taking, is when Carrion is at its best.


Eurogamer - Recommended

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A squirming body horror labyrinth whose mix of ability-gating and backtracking slightly cramps its matchless creature design.


Kotaku - Unscored

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Most importantly, Carrion’s smart. It’s an extremely finely crafted game, so much so that you’re essentially playing a meat-smeared Metroidvania without a map, and you won’t even miss it. That’s quite something.


Polygon - Polygon Recommends

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Carrion is a body horror masterpiece


Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Unscored

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The result, for me, was anxiety. A low background hum of “did I miss something”, combined with the high notes of being unable to find the next new area. It was enough to shade my entire experience with Carrion, turning a pleasant enough Metroidvania with a one-of-a-kind protagonist into something I felt like I was struggling to escape from.


cublikefoot - Yes

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Definitely worthy of recommendation. It looks great, has some nice combat and exploration balancing, and, most importantly, is just fun to play. It never got old zipping around, eating dudes, and unlocking new abilities. Sure, it’s a shorter experience at just three hours, but those were some fun three hours and it’s still definitely worth a look.

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That Easy Allies review sticks out like a sore thumb. 

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I played it for an hour or so. I liked it a lot.

I didn't think of it would be so Metroidvania-ish but it is!

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I finished it last night. It's very short, but it was quite enjoyable. I will say that navigating tight spaces once you get to the biggest size can be a pain, at least using a controller.

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