Retrograde Arena (Switch, PC)

Retrograde Arena is a multiplayer twin stick shooter, with a retro vector visual style.  It’s free for Nintendo Switch Online users, so I figured, ‘what the heck, I’ll give it a go.’  Like most twin stick shooters, you move with the left JoyCon and aim with the right.  Fire your lasers with the Z trigger button.  But from what I could tell, most weapons won’t kill you, but push you back farther.  Firing your own weapon does that, too, so you can use that to your advantage to move faster.  What you really have to watch out for are dangerous walls that you can bump into, that can ether bounce you around or outright kill you!

There are several modes of play, from straight up deathmatches to nabbing a crown and holding onto it for a certain amount of time.  You can pick up weapons like rapid fire and shields, but be careful as they can push you back even farther.  There’s also a tutorial where you can learn the basics, view your stats, and edit your character’s looks.  I think this is where you can purchase things, but it wasn’t very clear to me.

Really the biggest problem I had with this game is just how laggy it is.  You wouldn’t think that such a simple game would run this slow.  I know Nintendo’s Online service is crappy, but come on!  And even if it’s not laggy and just plays that slow, that’s a problem, too!  I lost interest pretty quickly because of that.  I’ll just stick with Pac-Man 99 thank you.

Kid Factor

Retrograde Arena is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You shoot neon lasers at geometric shapes that explode into a white circle when defeated, and that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Parental supervision is recommended for the online interactions and possible in-game purchases.

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