Port roundup: Enter Digiton, Clone Drone in the Danger Zone & Spelunker HD Deluxe

As we wait for the real wave of next gen games to arrive, we’re seeing a lot of ports come to last gen consoles. Today we’re looking at three more of them, with Enter Digiton: Heart of Corruption from Eastasiasoft, Clone Drone in the Danger Zone, Clone Drone in the Danger Zone from Deborog and Spelunker HD Deluxe from ININ Games.

Enter Digiton: Heart of Corruption

Originally released on Steam by developer Morne Venter, Enter Digiton is a pixel art metroidvania style action adventure. It’s now been brought to consoles with an expanded version called Enter Digiton: Hearts of Corruption, which includes the post-release content that made it into the PC release after its initial release about a year ago. Available on PlayStation, Xbox and the Nintendo Switch, we tried out the PS4 version.

Digiton is the name of an underground empire that was built underneath a surface where no one can live anymore. A society that once thrived thanks to modern wonders of science and engineering, it’s fallen into disarray, with four demons now ruling the subterranean world and the former inhabitants now struggling to survive. As protagonist Ahad, your destiny is to try and save Digiton.

enter digiton2

While that sounds like a setup for a narrative-driven game, Enter Digiton is not. It’s firmly focused on being a challenging metroidvania-type game with a relatively open structure that lets you explore the world of Digiton in the order you choose – to a degree. Defeating demon bosses grants you new abilities, which in turn make it easier to navigate other parts of the world. In true metroidvania style, this means you might make some progress here and there, only to have to turn back because the insta-death obstacles you came across are too much for you at the moment.

Ahab is armed only with a shield, which makes combat interesting. Incoming projectiles need to be deflected, which requires timing, and you can also use it to bash enemies to death or at least stun them. Boss fights are designed around these abilities as well, so even though they still require you to learn the right tactics to beat them they feel novel in how they need to be approached. Your (new) abilities also factor into this, because you have the ability to do a double jump or dash/shadow step definitely makes things easier. In addition, you can also find and wear masks that give you perks while hurting you elsewhere – a nice trade-off that might help you defeat that one boss that was giving you a hard time.

With responsive controls and retro-inspired visuals where you’ll rarely see more than 4 colors on screen at once, this is another lovely little indie from Eastasiasoft.

Clone Drone in the Danger Zone

Doborog’s Clone Drone in the Danger Zone spent about four years in Steam’s Early Access program, but in addition to its recent 1.0 release it was also ported to consoles – letting us play it on a PlayStation 5 through backward compatibility. The title reminds me of the very first game in which I heard digitized speech (Floyd the Droid – On the Run) back in 1986, and funnily enough that was also a (very primitive) arena-based game. Clone Drone features many modern mechanics from the roguelike and arena brawling genres though, for something that’s fun with a voxel aesthetic to make it look retro-futuristic.

clone drone

These voxels let you dismember others in the game as well, as little chunks/blocks break off and you take down large foes or at least take off an arm, leg or head. Doing so with a laser sword is (as you’d expect) satisfying, but there’s a range of weapons you can use. Whatever you use, seeing an enemy robot limp about because he’s missing a leg because of you makes it feel like you have the upper hand, but you might get your arm chopped off a second later as well, evening the odds.

The game’s premise is a world in which robots have taken over and humans are now mere slaves, their minds being uploaded to robots in which they do battle for the robots’ enjoyment. And enjoy it, they do – which brings me back to that digitized speech comment from earlier. Battles in Clone Drone in the Danger Zone feature commentary by a hilarious duo of robots, who have a huge library of lines at their disposal and add a lot of personality to the entire game with it – poking fun at what’s happening and at humankind in general.

As a wave-based arena fighter, this is a game where you stay alive as long as you can against progressively harder enemies and even trickier bosses. In between waves you can spend skill points on upgrades for yourself or your weapons, so depending on your playstyle you can really boost your survival chances with these. Combat’s more tactical than you’d initially think as well, because some attacks and abilities run on energy and different weapons come with different speeds and styles.

clone drone2

You can play Clone Drone in single player mode through story, endless and challenge mode, the last one being a collection of random challenges with very specific objectives to complete – something that also acts as a tutorial for more advanced players looking to try new things. Another thing to try is to go online though, where the usual 1 vs 1 and battle royale (Last Bot Standing) modes await you. We had the most fun with the co-op multiplayer where you tackle robots with a friend, though Last Bot Standing is the easiest one to jump into without having to coordinate with another player.

Once you master the game’s learning curve and have some fun online battles after you’re done with the single player content you might grow tired of this one, but Clone Drone in the Danger Zone is a blast while it lasts.

Spelunker HD Deluxe

I can’t help but mix up Spelunker and Spelunky in my head, but where one is a bit of a modern classic, Spelunker is actually a 1983 arcade title that kickstarted the genre almost 40 years ago. ININ Games just launched its latest iteration, Spelunker HD Deluxe, which is an expanded re-release of the Spelunker HD game that was released for PlayStation 3 about a decade ago. This one’s available for PlayStation 4 and the Nintendo Switch, with full forward compatibility with the PS5 as well.

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元祖みんなでスペランカー_20210305111836

And if you thought that Spelunky was challenging, then this similar-looking game is going to be a bit of a rude awakening – Spelunker is notorious hard and you’ll kick the bucket a lot over the course of its 100 stages. Your main character is extremely vulnerable to the dangers of these caves, and even a short fall will kill you – “better be careful” is an understatement here. It’s also a learning experience though, as the controls are responsive and you’ll generally feel that it was you who messed up and you know where you went wrong – a fine line to walk, but this game is one that alternates nicely between frustration and wanting to give it one more try.

Having to find (color-coded) keys in order to open doors and progress, along with a ton of secrets to find, means there’s a lot of platforming over the course of an impressive 100 stages, so there’s a wealth of content here for those willing to endure the punishing difficulty level. You can also tackle the caves together or against a few friends in both cooperative and competitive multiplayer, and the NEO mode introduces you to randomly generated caves to let you see how far you can get that way.

Visually, you have a choice between HD visuals (which are quite similar to the PS3 version of the game) and retro visuals, which take you back to the early 1980s with all their pixelated glory. If you already own the PS3 game and still have the console hooked up then this one won’t feel too different, but if you want to revisit this golden oldie on a PS4 or PS5 then this is a solid release.

元祖みんなでスペランカー_20210305135859
元祖みんなでスペランカー_20210305135859

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