Valfaris: A Two-Dimensional Action Game

Anyone who has played the Metroid series in the past will feel very familiar at the start of the game as Therion lands his spaceship on the planet Valfaris, which has become a breeding ground for these monstrous alien creatures. With the violent landing it became clear what kind of adventure awaits us in Valfaris, the latest two-dimensional action game, and here we review it.

Developed by Steel Mantis

The game was developed by Steel Mantis, the same developer who worked on the game Slain, which left players with mixed impressions. While Slain was an action game with a similar art style to Konami’s famous Castlevania series, Valfaris followed a different art direction, taking cues from games like Metroid and Doom. The game has been released on PC and Switch and will be released on other home devices next month.

An Amazing Game

This game is absolutely amazing and you will read nothing but praise about it in our review. It’s one of the nicest surprises we’ve gotten from independent games this year. The game begins with the arrival of Therion, the game’s hero, with his spaceship and his supporting artificial intelligence on the planet Valfaris to settle scores with his father, and the adventure begins. The game is purely kinetic and belongs to the action genre. It is also a linear game and is not designed in the Metroidvania style. In terms of gameplay, you can imagine it as a mixture of Contra and Metal Slug, but it is not either a “Bullet Hell” or Bullet Hell game, but rather a classic action game with diverse ideas and a truly wonderful design.

Intelligent Enemy Distribution

To have a successful action game, enemies need to be distributed intelligently throughout the levels, and that’s exactly what Valfaris does brilliantly. The locations of the enemies and their distribution reflect a very clever sense of design on the part of the developers, great mastery and skill for this type of game. There are a large number of enemies that attack the player in different ways, from the ground and from the air and even from above the walls, in different ways.

A Respectable Arsenal of Weapons

Of course, the player is given a respectable arsenal of weapons to take out hordes of strangers. There are 3 basic weapons that can be used together. The primary weapon has unlimited ammunition and is a plasma cannon, similar to Samus Aran’s space adventure weapon. The second weapon consumes an energy meter with the ability to fill this meter by breaking objects or collecting skulls. The three weapons are a hand weapon, represented by a sword. (You’ll get the whip later! Greetings, Belmont family.) The player can collect several weapons from these three categories, including a weapon that can penetrate the body of enemies and attack them instantly, or even a rocket launcher. Yes, the weapons are varied, satisfying and able to satisfy every player’s playstyle.

The basic gameplay is simple and far from the complexity found in many modern games. There are no forms of weapons or characters, no experience point systems or anything like that. Rather, it is a two-dimensional shooting experience with a nice classic feel that relies on diversification in the design of the stages and the ideas contained within them. For example, a horizontal or overhead design with lots of obstacles trying to eliminate the player, or moving through wires above monsters, etc. However, it is possible to upgrade the weapons in the game by collecting coins that pass through the stages be distributed. We recommend focusing on and developing a specific number of weapons first, rather than spreading them across multiple weapons. As for aiming, it allows shooting while moving or standing, as well as aiming in four directions and angles.

An Intelligent Save Point System

The game contains an intelligent system of save points (checkpoints), where the player can use one of the statues he has collected to set a save point. However, the game makes this decision difficult and presents a kind of risk/reward every time. Keeping these statues results in an increase in the overall counter. Energy for your character: What is the optimal decision: do you keep the statues and lose the ability to save, which could mean a lot of replays, or do you use the statues and risk the next area with a lower energy meter?

A Balanced Level of Challenge

In any case, we never felt like we couldn’t progress in any area of ​​the game as the level of challenge is very balanced and the game may be a bit difficult, but this difficulty level is well thought out and balanced and is not at all out of the ordinary Kind of creates a feeling of helplessness in the player. Even the boss fights weren’t that difficult and just required knowing their attacks and getting used to their pattern in order to avoid them or defend them with a shield and then defeat them. The shield also allows the player to block certain types of attacks, but using it consumes a meter.

A Stunning Visual Treat

This game is a stunning visual treat and one of the most graphically impressive 2D games we’ve ever seen. There are so many details that make Valfaris a living world. Just look at these strange plants that are unlike anything else on planet Earth, look at the flying grains of energy, and look at the blue glowing plasma shots reflected in the desolate environment, that’s absolutely the case breathtaking, and the screen even shakes under the impact of frenetic shooting. This game is the most beautiful pixel art game we have tried so far.

Wonderful Music

As for the game’s music album, it is wonderful and gives a sense of adventure. At first I expected it to be annoying since it belongs to the metal music genre, a genre that I don’t particularly like. However, the melodies are completely appropriate to the dynamics of the game and are neither disturbing nor too harsh. The gunshot sounds and sound effects are satisfactory and appropriate and there is nothing to complain about, but there is no voice acting.

A Gem for 2D Action Game Fans

Fans of 2D action games have a new gem to look forward to: Valfaris, one of the most amazing independent experiences we’ve had this year, and perhaps I can even say it’s a great game for anyone who enjoys a good 2D game seek. The action is fun with the clever distribution of enemies and the balanced level of difficulty, the only drawback of which is the repetition of constantly resurrecting monsters in some places (respawn). The graphics are amazing and full of bright lighting effects, and the game is so even without the philosophy and complexity of many modern games. This is an action game from the good old days, and it’s worth buying.

The game was reviewed using a Switch copy received from the publisher.


  • Amazing two-dimensional action gameplay
  • Intelligent enemy distribution and level design
  • Varied and satisfying arsenal of weapons
  • Simple and classic gameplay with diversification in stage design
  • Balanced difficulty level
  • Stunning and impressive pixel art graphics
  • Wonderful music album that adds to the sense of adventure


  • Repetition of constantly resurrecting monsters in some areas
  • No voice acting

Frequently Asked Questions – Valfaris PC Game

1. What genre does Valfaris belong to?

Valfaris is a two-dimensional action game with gameplay elements similar to Contra and Metal Slug. It is a classic action game with diverse ideas and a unique design.

2. Is Valfaris a Metroidvania-style game?

No, Valfaris is not designed in the Metroidvania style. It is a linear game with a purely kinetic gameplay experience.

3. What weapons are available in Valfaris?

Valfaris offers a respectable arsenal of weapons, including a plasma cannon, a sword, and various other weapons that can be collected throughout the game. The weapons are varied, satisfying, and cater to different playstyles.

4. How does the save system work in Valfaris?

Valfaris features an intelligent system of save points, where players can use collected statues to set a save point. However, using these statues presents a risk/reward decision, as it consumes energy for the character. Players must decide whether to keep the statues and risk replaying sections or use them and face the next area with a lower energy meter.

5. How challenging is Valfaris?

Valfaris offers a balanced level of difficulty. While the game may be challenging, it is well thought out and balanced, creating a satisfying gameplay experience. Boss fights require knowledge of their attacks and patterns, and the use of a shield can help block certain types of attacks.

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