Review | Blood Alloy: Reborn

Blood Alloy: Reborn is a game that doesn’t give you enough time for a break to have a breather. It’s a game with flying space flies, and a game with a constant stream of death. Sounds like a hella load of fun to me!

Blood Alloy: Reborn launches you into a cyberpunk-esque world against a bunch of, what I can only describe as, evil robot space flies and other sorts. You play as the cyborg, Nia Rhys, specialist in jumping, sliding along walls, fancy melee attacks, shooting, and being really fast. It’s a game that requires your full attention once you’ve hit the Start button, because once you start the round, you’ll be begging for breath.


The world that Nia does her fancy cyborg aerobics in is a hand-drawn 2D one, that is several cyborg footsteps long and many guns high. Nia can jump, slide, rush, and double jump her way around the map, it’s her playground, but only yours if you can master it. It’s this full width, and verticallity, that you’ll be using alongside your death-dealing ability to conquer the levels as you fight the pesky bionic bugs and take full control of your BLAST system to propel yourself along walls, floors, and ceilings. Your goal – you see – is to just keep killing them, raking in the points, rising up in the rankings, dinging your level up meter, and in time, upgrading Nia’s armour and weapons with over 60 weapon and armour combinations availabile in total to aid your mechanised massacre.

Blood Alloy: Reborn is so intensive my fingers have worn to the bone, my mousemat has a dent in it, and my teeth have been worn down from grinding!

Being aggressive and chaining combat moves is where the game rewards you. Want to go and hide in a corner for a second and take a quick break for your probably already worn fingers? Think again. If you do, you can kiss the top score ranking goodbye! Chain shooting with melee attacks, jump towards the enemy like a badass? Just. Kill. Everything.

Slight texture changes apparently change a level, at least you’re too focused on killing to notice.
Slight texture changes apparently change a level, at least you’re too focused on killing to notice.

There may only be 3 levels in Blood Alloy: Reborn, which may sound unappealing, but when you’re in the game the type of level you’re within means nothing to you as you’re drastically trying to stay alive around the airborne robots. In all frankness it’s a good thing you get so distracted because you won’t notice that the levels only have a slight texture change, and that the alterations to layout are simply a rearrangement of the platforms – there’s nothing major to really set them apart from each other.

Not all of the robots are “flies” as I have kept stating. There are also weird ground tails, tentacles that whip you, floating red armoured aliens in suits, angry mechanical ground turrets that enjoy firing missiles at you, odd red bubble spitting ground aliens, and… even gigantic spaceships. Ten different enemies make up the hordes that are hell bent on ending your run – each operates differently, and you’ll do well to remember the habits of each.

It’s a game that keeps pouring more, and more at you, essentially a bullet-hell platformer – rewarding your skill and awareness as you perfectly synch with the level, shredding the mechanised masses. As a matter of fact, with it’s extremely clean, minimalistic top screen UI, and the brutal pace it’s closer to a bullet hell than an action hack n slash – maybe a result of an elevator pitch of ‘Darius Burst meets Devil May Cry‘, but certainly a result of a lot of care from a very small, specialist team.

Sliding up and down walls, along ceilings….this game is 90’s action-movie cool.
Sliding up and down walls, along ceilings….this game is 90’s action-movie cool.

Blood Alloy: Reborn has a punchy soundtrack that really suits the game. While I could hardly imagine playing the game with a solemn, piano piece clattering around in the background, the music completely surpassed my expectations, and massively added to the fast beat, and pace, of the game. For the graphics, it sits along the lines of Super Metroid in terms of colour, meaning that it’s a darker palette of pastel colours that litter the game world. That said, it’s a touch higher than the 32bit systems, and while it’s not a particularly pretty game the backgrounds hold a stark contrast against the enemies, which mean you’ll never struggle to find the enemies as they move to end your run.

I’m not a huge fan of the pain system, it doesn’t exactly give you a noticeable damage indication, just a quick flash of white that’s barely noticeable, and you don’t really pay much attention to it anyway when you’re playing because you’re so focused on staying alive, jumping, and aiming. Sure there’s a on screen red flashing effect that warns you, but it doesn’t mean you pay attention when the games so frantic.

So if you’re a fan of fast paced, robo-slicing, wall jumping, slow motion, aerobatic cyborg insanity – who isn’t? – then this game might just be for you!

Oh, and all the best of luck when you reach the boss.

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