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Release Date: July 26th, 2016 Movie Release Year: 2016

Hyper Light Drifter

Overview -

Heart Machine is an American indie studio helmed by Alex Preston. He wanted to make a game that captured both the spirit of his SNES-infused childhood and the numerous health complications accompanying his congenital heart condition, and that brainchild is 'Hyper Light Drifter'. Heart Machine requested a modest $27,000 on Kickstarter in 2013 and finished the campaign with nearly $650,000. Its PC release was in March and it is now available for consoles.

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Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
July 26th, 2016

Video Review


'Hyper Light Drifter' does have an amazing retro look going for it. The pixelated environments and animations are smooth and detailed, and everything is vibrantly colored. Enemies are easy to distinguish from one another and the effects, while simple, are still pretty neat. I did have some issues with the controls as I mentioned, not to mention the horribly inconvenient healing animation, but otherwise it runs fine from a technical standpoint. No doubt the huge Kickstarter response was to thank for the polish and bug testing.

Audio Review


The sound is also quite good, an admirable combination of modern indie stuff with old-timey chip music. It was composed by Disasterpeace, who has previously worked on 'Shoot Many Robots', 'Fez' and 'It Follows'. It's mostly sad and low tempo, but is one of the few things about the game's obscure atmosphere I could appreciate.

Final Thoughts

I can see why some people like 'Hyper Light Drifter'. Its combination of nostalgia, pretty pixels, and cruel gameplay are an intoxicating drug to some. I'm not one of those people, unfortunately. As I played I felt like the annoying moviegoing companion, always asking for an explanation of events onscreen from fellow viewers also watching for the first time, equally mystified.