Nintendo Nintendo Switch

REPLIKATOR First Impressions - Shoot, Squash, Survive


Developer: R_Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Release Date: May 26, 2023
Available as: Digital

REPLIKATOR (all caps when you spell the game's name) is an interesting top down survival twin-stick shooter rogue like. Say that five times fast in your head because that's a lot of genres and sub genres floating around but there is a method to the madness.

At the time of this writing I am on an airplane playing this on my Nintendo Switch. By the time this goes live, however, this would have already passed of course. Since I was on my way in transit anyway I might as well kill two aliens with one plasma rifle with my firstpimpressions. Thanks to Ratalaika Games once again for the opportunity as always!

Utilizing the map means the difference between life and death, but it doesn't pause the game so be careful.

The story for REPLIKATOR is fortunately the weakest part of the game as it's the cliche Aliens ordeal. A rogue AI is threatening humanity and it's up to the heroes to venture to various space stations that the AI has control over and defeat them. Robots and disgusting slimy critters awaits the player but be careful not to overstay your welcome.

That's because unlike most roguelikes it's not enough to get "from Point A to Point B" as I like to say all the time. Each level and station is procedurally generated meaning that for the first few runs, it may not be apparent where the exit is. Even if the player finds the exit, it's guarded by a bigger mob and that mob is fair easier to deal with when the player doesn't have to deal with enemies constantly respawning. 

This is an example of an event you don't want to happen

The player has a set time limit to reach the exit at the end. Failure to do so will cause the replication virus to activated, respawning every enemy defeated, will be defeated, and would be defeated until the player finally reaches the exit. There's a generous time limit but it can become too easy to get lost and explore too much. Your resources are limited and health and ammo are worth more than gold. Players will find ample enough from destroyed crates and enemies but can fall back on using their Shockwave. It does melee range and pitiful damage but it's something used to defend themselves when there's no ammo.

Another cool mechanic are the teleporters. Never again does the player have to pass up on a useful power-up because they already have full health. Placing a teleporter at a room with useful stuff means the player can always return later should there come a time when the player needs it. REPLIKATOR gives the player two teleporters so they can go back and forth. This also offers a form of strategy. See a room that has too many enemies but you know the exit is there? Drop a teleporter and use it to return when you have the Terminal Key to open the door.

There are several playable characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

REPLIKATOR has it's fair share of humor in relation to it's source material as it is very self aware of the circumstances the player is put through. All of the dialogue has the right amount of flavor and some of its lines gave me a chuckle. The overall gameplay works well enough on my Switch Lite although some flexibility was needed from my fingers in order to use both analog sticks. If there wasn't a giant screen in between the buttons I'd imagine it'd be a fair touch more comfortable with the joycons together or even a Pro Controller. Of course a gamepad from any other console would feel right at home.

Overall, as per my preview yesterday, I was pretty excited to try REPLIKATOR on the go as I rarely have a chance to use my Switch like this otherwise. Usually it stays in my workplace, but to answer the burning question yes a good bug is a dead bug. REPLIKATOR was also good company for a two hour flight so it passes that test as well. Fans of roguelikes and twin sticks will be an easy fan as well.

Always leave it on Roguelite. Always.

REPLIKATOR is now available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It's also available on PC.

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