Review: Minishoot’ Adventures is a match made in bullet heaven

minishoot' adventures

It’s absolutely flabbergasting how well smaller development teams have been doing in the game space lately. Minishoot’ Adventures is the latest case of how a tiny team managed to come up with a genre mash-up that’s an absolute pleasure to play. How no one up to this point has come up with this is beyond me, combining Geometry Wars-like precision movement and shooting with elements from classic pre-Breath of the Wild The Legend of Zelda!

But SoulGame Studio, a two-person Spanish developer have not only done that – they’ve hit it out of the park with one of the best playing games I’ve had the pleasure to play so far this year, so much so that I would be remiss not to include it in my year end wrap article for 2024. It’s still April and my list is already full of contenders, with Minishoot’ Adventures being the latest thanks to its delicious twin-stick gameplay that keeps me coming back for more and more.

The setup for the game is simple: you play as an adorable little ship who was part of a village attacked by the main baddie. Upon “waking up”, you’re tasked with freeing your friends and powering yourself up in order to rid the world of that menace, all the while exploring every nook and cranny of a surprisingly big map. While not exactly the most original of premises, it’s in the execution that Minishoot’ Adventures shines so bright, delivering what could’ve been another Zelda clone that’s anything but stale.

We’re talking about an incredibly well playing game that rivals its inspiration in terms of control and delight in overcoming challenges, infused with the best parts of the classic isometric games of the 8 and 16-bit generations, resulting in an amalgam that is both incredibly unique and comfortingly familiar. You start out as a plucky, dingy ship with nothing more than a pea shooter and quickly develop into a force to be reckoned with by both collecting pieces of gems dropped by enemies and destructible objects, as well as the powers that you find inside one of Minishoot’ Adventures’ numerous dungeons before dancing with their bosses.

minishoot' adventures
Gold is a big theme in the game’s visual style.

Minishoot’ Adventures is downright amazing when it comes to moment to moment gameplay as it takes bullet hell to an entirely different plane, forcing you to be quick on your toes as you face continually stronger opponents in closed-off arenas and while out and about in the world. The main structure you’d expect in a Zelda game is ever present here, including heart pieces, which turn into a new pip on your health bar after finding four of them.

There’s a reason why Nintendo’s flagship franchise is so popular, and that catharsis is here as well in Minishoot’ Adventures. It’s just fun to poke around and discover all the secrets that the developers so cleverly hid all over the place, and the game rewards you for your curiosity by giving you plenty of bonuses for your efforts, such as the ability to have structures be permanently marked on your map and upgrading your main weapon, both requiring different currency.

Minishoot’ Adventures wouldn’t be much of a Zelda-like if it didn’t have personality, and in that regard, it does so in spades. Its limited and thoughtful high contrast art style works well by not overstating its presence with needlessly distracting effects. Your ship protagonist is downright adorable as it excitedly chips and chirps in very R2-D2-ish fashion as you surmount challenges or simply hit a ramp while boosting. I couldn’t help but grow fond of the thing even though it has no eyes or distinct visual features like most main characters do in these games.

minishoot' adventures
The boss awaits…

That coupled with some a very videogame-y techno soundtrack and you got me hook, line and sinker, my friend. Minishoot’ Adventures is a package that’s so tightly put together that it’s truly hard to find a fault in it. Failing isn’t an obstacle as it’s quick to get you back in the action and thanks to its easygoing but still dynamic progression, it’s always a breeze finding wherever you need to head next as shortcuts are frequently unlocked, making movement about the map a cinch. 

I couldn’t be happier with how Minishoot’ Adventures turned out. It caught me completely by surprise as one of this year’s most delightful releases for sure. If I had to form my top Zelda-likes ever, this would surely score very highly among my favorites in this often overlooked subgenre in gaming. I would very much recommend this to just about anyone who enjoys games, from newcomers to veterans, there are plenty of accessibility options to boot in order to make things easier or more difficult as you see fit. Whatever your flavor, Minishoot’ Adventures has got you covered.

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