While most of this review is spent talking about what went wrong, there is a certain type of gamer who will enjoy Neon Chrome.
Neon Chrome isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it may not grab you if you've played anything of the same ilk.
In case it wasn’t obvious, I really didn’t warm to Neon Chrome at all. The eighties inspired aesthetic of the opening cinematic promised big things that the mediocre shoot-em-up that the game ended up being failed to capitalise upon. The controls aren’t as responsive or intuitive as a game like this demands and the lack of refinement in almost every area leaves players with a hollow gaming experience that quickly outwears it welcome. Co-op can make the whole affair slightly more entertaining but only offering local multiplayer and completely disregarding the almost prerequisite online component seems to me to be a massive misstep on the part of developer 10Tons.
If you're really big into top-down shooters give Neon Chrome a shot, otherwise maybe wait for some local couch warriors to help out before diving in.
Neon Chrome is a fun twin-stick shooter that has a rewarding upgrade feature and a good visual aesthetic. The controls feel tight, even if they do take some getting used to, and the procedural environments, enemy placements, and character selection, all ensure that each playthrough feels fresh. The visual setting from level to level could do with a bit more distinction as each level is based in the same type of office floor, but this is a minor gripe. Overall, there is a lot of game-time to be had within Neon Chrome, and those looking for a twin-stick shooter on the Nintendo Switch should certainly take note.
It's not an original game by any means, though it also doesn't do anything wrong. I'd be surprised if this game was still finding new fans at this stage, but it's not a bad one to have on the Nintendo Switch for playing on the go either.
Of the different kinds of Nindie titles that have come to Switch this is definitely my favorite genre. I've started to become picky about what I play though as there's been a lot of roguelike titles released, almost to the point of saturation. Initially it didn't feel much different from some existing games I played until I started to realize how much freedom the levels allowed. After discovering new power ups and developing new strategies I became addicted to dethroning the Overseer. If you've been initially turned off of the genre because of the permadeath nature and potentially low replayability than Neon Chrome is a great title to get your toes wet with as it's probably the least roguelike Shooter/RPG released so far on the Switch.
Neon Chrome is an excellent addition to the bullet-hell twin-stick shooter genre that oozes with originality and ensures that no level is exactly the same as another. Despite a lackluster protagonist and simple enemy designs, Neon Chrome delivers on an excellent gameplay experience packaged in 80s science fiction that will keep players sending hundreds of Assets to their graves like pigs to the slaughter for many, many hours.
Neon Chrome certainly has its charms, and it can be a lot of fun, especially if you bring some friends along. At the same time, I feel like there’s a lot of missed opportunity here. The “succession planning” mechanics add depth and a sense of progress to the roguelike aspect of the game, but not enough to incite the obsessive “just one more try!” feeling that this genre needs.
It is good fun while it lasts, and is worth a couple (dozen) runs through to the Overseer to see what he has in store.