For my first review, I was originally going to write about a certain indie title that I had become quite enamored with. Then, I found a nice little surprise in my inbox. It was my first review code from a publisher. I was pretty damn excited. Maybe a little too much. The code was from EastAsiaSoft for their new Nintendo Switch release, Blue Rider. BR was developed by Ratalaika Games and Ravegan

I can’t remember where or when I first saw footage of Blue Rider. (Forty-six years will do that to a memory.) What I do remember is that the game looked like it had some interesting gameplay. Maybe it could even offer up something different to set it apart from the flood of indie games on the Switch’s eShop. Or maybe I was sleep deprived and a little loopy. Either way, I definitely wanted to try it for myself.


What Blue Rider’s About

Blue Rider is a shoot-em-up played from an isometric (3/4 view) viewpoint. I haven’t played every platform in existence but I haven’t seen too many shooters go that route. Vertical or horizontal. Those are the norm. Personally, I like Blue Rider’s slightly skewed perspective. 

The game is single player with online leaderboards for all of you score chasers out there. You start each game with one life but can earn extras through scoring points. 

The controls are simple and easy to come to grips with. You control your ship’s momentum with the left stick and you can change the direction you’re facing with the right stick. Your ship has an unlimited primary weapon (ZR) and some secondary missiles (ZL) that you can find refills for. The little ship also has a handy turbo boost to help you get out of tight spots.

Thoughts on Gameplay 

Your ship just feels good when you’re flying (hovering??) around, attempting to dispatch enemies. It’s tight yet, at the same time, you can feel your little craft has some momentum to it. Once you’re comfortable with the handling, you’ll be pulling off some cool maneuvers. At one point I found myself spinning around as I was strafing through a group of enemies while on my way to trying to secure one of the game’s secret collectibles. It felt kinda cool as I finished off the last of their group and received a weapon upgrade for my troubles. 

About those enemies. You come across a decent variety of enemy types as you work your way through each of the game’s nine levels. Even though I was encountering some of the same enemies, I never found myself getting bored. Plus, I always knew there was a boss waiting for me at the end of each level…. I really enjoyed the bosses in this title. They were one of the big surprises in the game, for me. And I mean that literally. The bosses were bigger (and more involved) than I expected. I won’t spoil anything but I will say, if you decide to pick this one up, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised with them, as well. 

Let’s Talk About Content

There are 9 levels (or biomes, as the game calls them). Each with it’s own, unique environment. The levels are pretty straight forward. No branching paths or alternate routes. There are weapon upgrades to be  found as well as hidden relics. You move through the levels, taking out enemies and their defenses, until you’re ultimately faced with another fun boss battle. It’s enjoyable, simple fun. I only wish there were more. More biomes and glorious bosses. More ship and weapon options. Give me more of everything! 


Graphics and Audio

The graphical engine being used isn’t groundbreaking but the game still looks great. The biomes have different color pallettes. Your ship and the enemies are all well done and the explosions are satisfying. The game also performs well. I only noticed one graphical hiccup (I’ve got a clip on Twitter) and the frame rate is smooth. (I’m not a frames per second snob so I can’t give you hard numbers.)

The audio and the soundtrack are both very well done. The sound effects are satisfying and, again, the explosions in particular are the highlight. The background music has a sci-fi feel to it and it never tries to dominate what’s happening on screen. There are plenty of titles where I end up turning down the background music and play my own through Spotify. I didn’t do that while I was playing Blue Rider. 

Blue Rider Logo

Conclusion

I’m happy to say that Blue Rider delivers on the promise of offering something a little different from the myriad of shooters on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Now, I’m no hardcore SHMUP gamer but I do rank them as one of my favorite genres. In my opinion, Blue Rider is a great indie shooter. Especially at the asking price. At only 9.99 USD, Blue Rider has more than enough content. Plus, it looks and plays great. If you’re interested in SHMUPs, do yourself a favor and check it out on the Switch eShop today. 

8/10 Highly Recommended !!

Pros

  • Clean, bright Graphics
  • Tight controls
  • Fun combat and Great Boss Battles
  • Good Replayability
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • No story whatsoever
  • Limited Ship and Weapon Selection

chrisunseen

I'm a mature gamer. (nearly 47!) I can be opinionated and sarcastic, but I'm very laid back. And I love Nintendo more than any forty-something probably should. (They did help raise me.) I'm also the Editor-in-chief, here at The Nintendo Nomad. Hit me up anywhere you can find me on social media. I'm open to talking about almost any topic (because, politics...).

6 Comments

  • Age of Boredom · December 15, 2018 at 4:40 am

    Nice review Chris! I like the sound of the ship controls, when that’s done right in a game like this then it can make something g quite ordinary be very enjoyable. Keep it up!

      chrisunseen · December 15, 2018 at 7:02 am

      Thanks Age! I appreciate the support!

    Switch Indie Fix · December 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Hey Chris! What an awesome first review. I’d never heard of Blue Rider but you’ve got me interested in the game. The site looks great too!

      chrisunseen · December 14, 2018 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Adam, thanks for the kind words! It’s been a while since I’ve written a review but this one was really fun to do. It doesn’t hurt that the game was a lot of fun too! It’s a fun, little SHMUP,for sure.

    IndieXmas 2018 Review Roundup: Super Destronaut DX - The Nintendo Nomad · February 12, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    […] I started to write this review, I realized something. This review will make the fourth in a row that features a shooter of some sort. I do love me some SHMUP action (and there’s […]

    First Review Goes Live Tomorrow - The Nintendo Nomad · February 5, 2019 at 1:10 am

    […] then, head over to the game’s official page and check it out before release.[Update] The Blue Rider Review is now live! Find out whether or not it’s worth your time and […]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *