Don't Let This NES-Style Shmup Fly Under Your Radar 1
Image: Pixel

Given the sheer volume of games hitting digital stores these days, it's understandable that some true gems fall through the cracks and don't get the attention they deserve – and it seems that Pixel's Xelan Force might be one such game.

It arrived on Steam last month and has just been launched on the Nintendo Switch eShop, alongside more than 65 other games – so it's little wonder that it has gotten slightly lost in the crush.

That's unfortunate because Xelan Force is a fantastic homage to the Famicom / NES that's well worth a look for shmup fans.

"We developed this product with the idea that we want people to remember the excitement of those days and to pass it on to the next generation," says the game's Steam page. "It is a retro-style game that has the same sound as the actual FC machine, limited the number of colours, and eliminates the expressions of modern games as much as possible."

The soundtrack is supplied by Yasuhiro Inazawa, who also composed the music for the cult classic Death Crimson OX.

"It's an unashamedly 8-bit old school shooter which has elements of Aleste and the PC Engine Soldier series," says one of the game's many positive Steam reviews. "It does nothing new, but it's very enjoyable to play and has an approachable difficulty. The music is fantastic, and the graphics have that Famicom look to them. Over the past year, I have been enjoying the resurgence in old school style shooters with Ganablade, Raioh, Kaikan, Zakesta-Z and the Toaplan collections. Xelan Force now joins my playlist and it fits in very nicely to my collection."

With a low price of just £7 / $10, Xelan Force is certainly worth a look – let us know if you took the plunge by posting a comment below.