Six years after a successful mission (whatever that was) and I’m trying to find my way back to Earth. Not that I’d want to go back honestly, that place is a dump. Maybe you’d feel the same way after a few minutes in the alien world created by Ritual Games. Return to Earth plays like Metroid with a couple game mechanics seen in titles like Bomberman and Prince of Persia. Sounds intense, right? With gameplay like that, Ritual Games has concocted a recipe for an addicting open world side-scroller with some intense synth wave tracks to set the mood. Though the game can be a bit fast-paced, there are some things to ponder if one takes a moment to examine the world around them. Off the bat, you’ll trek through the labs full of evacuation and danger signs, indicating a disaster of some sort. Then there are what I’m assuming to be native species of gorilla bears that just chill out all over the level props. Though the most unsettling element lies within the biology of the planets inhabitants… There must be something in the water, because some of the locals have contracted a virus. In the most unexpected moments, they can morph into larvae or killer plants that seek only your demise. I know you’re getting a feeling that this is a hostile place, but it gets worse.
In this short demo, the player will unlock new areas of the map by finding and utilizing new augments brought on by power suits. First, the dash suit allows the player to, well, dash. However the first two button presses of the dash will leave a tiny portal, which the player can “rewind” to by pressing the rewind key. This is where you have to think Sands of Time, and tactically place those portals in just the right spot to recall to when things get hot. Secondly, the bomb suit gives the player the power to drop a time bomb in place. Use it to break the blue blocks to access new areas or time it just right and put one in the path of an incoming foe. There are also kiosks where a new weapon can be purchased using gems collected from dead aliens. The weapon is determined by a random roulette, a box of chocolates if you will. You never know what you’re gonna get. The demo features two boss fights, and is cut at the end of the second one, leaving you wanting more. The gameplay is paced just right to play into that side-scroller action addiction, and you’ll be dashing, shooting and swearing all the way through. Return to Earth has style, and has recently fallen shy of its Kickstarter goal. However that hasn’t discouraged this small team of two, and the duo plans to keep moving forward with development.
Download the alpha demo here.
Played it? We’d love to know what you thought about it.
This article is written by the fantastic @thenegaverse