D is for Dandara

Bonus mini-review! I downloaded Dandara on a whim over the weekend, and boy did it hook me. I literally haven’t played anything else for the past three days. I had read good things about it on your friendly neighborhood Kotaku, but man, I was still super impressed.

Dandara is a Metroidvania game, and I suspect I’ve already got some of you sold on that alone. The mechanical hook is that Dandara can’t actually move along the ground. Your sole method of navigation is jumping from surface to surface around the room and to the next door. This makes for some interesting platforming challenges because some of the surfaces are only reachable from certain angles. In true Metroid fashion, upgrades and unlockables also open up new pathways and ways to navigate past obstacles.

Aesthetically, the graphics are retro flavored, but not overwhelmingly so. They’re smooth and crisp, landing somewhere between Shovel Knight and Sonic Mania in terms of ‘retro-ness’. The soundtrack (available in the Steam special edition or on bandcamp) is outstanding, perfectly balancing mysteriously ominous and kick-butt actiony. In sum, please go play this game. It’s an indie gem that deserves all the praise I can heap upon it. It’s available now on your modern platform of choice.

P.S. My actual review for March will officially be Ori and the Blind Forest, winner of the most recent poll! Yay for more Metroidvania!

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