Top Critic Average
The RTS layer is limited and repetitive, but the platforming levels are well-designed and challenging.
Smelter's opening cutscene got me very pumped for what was to follow, but what did follow left me despondent. I'd been set up and felt ready for an awesome 16-bit experience that, thanks to its promised smelting of genres, would feel genuinely fresh. The game that followed wasn't fresh, it was past its sell by date and starting to smell like feet.
If you want to platform one minute and build houses the next, then Smelter might just be the genre hybrid for you.
Smelter is a game that's a mix of platforming and real-time strategy, though it's the platforming that shines more. The controls are tight and the challenge is pretty fair though it can ramp up quite a bit later on. Plus the Trials are a great way to test your skills and help unlock new abilities. The RTS segments aren't bad but they feel a little too simplified with no major consequences.
A satisfying combination of action platformer and strategy game. The former might be notably better here than the latter, but Smelter is a decently long game with great visuals and gameplay.
Smelter is a fun action packed game with plenty of depth to keep players engaged for a while. The combat system is intuitive and works a charm with the level design actually presenting a challenge rather than just being superficial. However I do wish the developers focused more on these parts of the game and minimise the real time strategy sections which felt like drawn out mini games. Saying that Smelter is a well devised indie game filled with witty dialogue and stellar action to match.
The side scrolling side of Smelter has a lot going for it. It has a welcome execution that doesn't demand much effort and doesn't bog you down with much, even if it is overly simplistic. The tower defense side of Smelter contradicts this simplicity, however. Bad control choices coupled with halfhearted explanations makes it a hard sell for the entire package. Smelter has something unique, but that's nowhere near enough to warrant your time.
With enjoyable sim gameplay, an engaging element combat system, and excellent boss fights, Smelter is a game with a lot of good pieces across 12-15 hours of play. Unfortunately, it never becomes more than the whole of its parts. The platforming level design feels a bit unremarkable, and the Trials ruin the pacing. Still, if you love ActRaiser or Mega Man X, there's enough to make Smelter worth recommending.
One of those rare titles that takes inspiration from the classics but manages to forge its own identity, Smelter is a breath of fresh air that uses its influences very wisely, assisted to excellence by generally pretty terrific level design with only a handful of lesser segments bringing things down just a tad. The proceedings feel confident, original and polished, with gorgeous graphics and an outstanding soundtrack that calls to mind the likes of Mega Man X4 for its action stages and evokes Yuzo Koshiro's majestic ActRaiser score for its side-scrolling levels.
Smelter is a clever mashup of genres with a cute style and fun action. The jolt between action and strategy sections can take some getting used to, but it's worth sticking with until you get the hang of the rhythm.