Impressively, Next Game Level is a developer comprised of just one man; clearly he’s someone who’s got a real passion for the arcade shooters of yesteryear. His game Remote Life is a nicely playable homage to the scrolling shooters of the past – which adds plenty of its own elements to give it a unique feel.

I was surprised at how much of a narrative Remote Life has – the shoot ’em up genre isn’t exactly known for its storytelling. However, the game opens with a plan to take down a giant alien ship by teleporting our own craft inside it – a plan which fails instantly, setting the player’s mission to infiltrate it from the outside in motion. Cutscenes and dialogue are sprinkled throughout too, though the voice used is synthesized and seems a little clunkily executed.

The dark, biomechanical visual design can become a bit overly reliant on grey, metallic colours, but there’s some lovely, bright and colourful weaponry – with loads of different weapons on offer – that serve as a great contrast to the alien ship. There’s a good variety of enemies – and impressively sized, uniquely designed bosses – to take down too, with biomechanical designs that are impressive, if somewhat gross at times. This is, however, quite fitting – and they definitely feel very alien.

I must mention the superb electronic soundtrack too, which provides suitably thumping music to accompany the frantic, action-packed experience.

Remote Life is a tough game and for the most part it plays fair; there’s a few obstacles that can feel somewhat unfairly placed, however, with little chance to get through them unless you’re forewarned of their presence – ie, if you’ve already played the level and have been killed by them, which is just lazy design in my opinion.

Despite its flaws, Remote Life is a really fun game to play as long as you don’t mind a serious challenge. Old school shoot ’em up fans should get a real kick out of Remote Life – and if they hunger for more action of this nature, they’ll be pleased to hear that the sequel is already on its way for the end of 2022!

Remote Life is now available on all current consoles: PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One/Series X/S, priced at priced at $18.99 / €17.99 / £14.99. Many thanks to PR Hound for providing me with a code for review purposes.

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