Straimium Immortaly is a bit of a weird game – no, it’s not just because it has a really peculiar title, but also because the game itself can be strange as heck to play too. There’s no doubting that it’s one of the more bizarre games to appear on the Nintendo eShop (you’ve only got to look at the screenshots to see that), but is it one that’s fun to play?
At its core, Straimium Immortaly is a rogue-like schmup that sees you working through a variety of strange and vibrant locales with your jetpack, all whilst taking down a range of alien-like creatures, collecting power-ups, and surviving the many dangerous situations you’re put in. Levels are procedurally generated and come in different sizes, so you won’t have the same experience twice across your multiple attempts at beating the game – you’ll also unlock different ‘mutators’ as you progress that can change up the gameplay experience too, so there’s a fair bit of variety to be found between runs. One thing remains constant though: the sense of progress felt as you find yourself creeping towards your goal of vanquishing Queeni Emperess, the big baddie of the game.
Finding or purchasing power-ups is essential to your progress in Straimium Immortaly, especially since the game itself is pretty tough. You can expect to face a bombardment of weird enemies that can really push your skills to the limit, with their arsenal of weapons and sheer number easily seeing your run through the game cut short. The bosses are just as unforgiving too, though your battles with them are one of the game’s strongest points thanks to just how unique they look and feel to take on.
Fortunately, the different weapons and abilities you unlock can even the odds for you, with stronger weapons packing one heck of a punch and your abilities allowing you to slip your way out of tricky situations. Some of the abilities allow you to dash out of reach of enemies, turn invisible, or even teleport to safety, so they’re certainly game changers – they work on a cool-down timer though, so you’ll want to time their usage carefully to make the most of them. They’re all fun to use and some of the weapons certainly live up to the game’s bizarre nature, but still, Straimium Immortaly is tough and will push even the most well-equipped player’s skills to the limit.
Whilst a lot of this is down to the overwhelming enemies, I also found that the finicky controls could be troublesome. This was most obvious with the shooting, with the direction-changing not feeling as fluid as in your typical twin-stick shooter thanks to the fact that you’ve got to stop shooting and aim again in order to change the direction of your gunfire – it just felt like it slowed the action down a bit and made it difficult to flow satisfying streams of bullets at your foes. Using your jetpack to get around can take some getting used to too, with the sometimes clumsy controls making it difficult to weave your way around the influx of enemies at times. You will get used to it, but your initial few runs through the game may end swiftly thanks to the fact that you’re not adjust to the somewhat finicky controls yet.
So Straimium Immortaly has some flaws, but it still felt fun to play. It has this peculiarly satisfying sense of discovery to it, with the random-nature of level generation ensuring you never know what you’re going to see next – it could be some vicious trap, a showdown with baddies, a new character to meet, or just a bizarre event that adds this unique sense of charm to the game. I won’t detail that last one because it offers some of Straimium Immortaly’s more unique and enjoyable moments, but expect to encounter some strange situations in the game that’ll keep you wanting to come back for more. The gameplay mechanics themselves might not be something that you haven’t seen before, but the general strange vibe of the game certainly helps it stand out as one of the more intriguing games I’ve played for some time.
I’d be remiss not to mention Straimium Immortaly’s presentation, with the bizarre (and sometimes grotesque) visuals proving to be one of the game’s most unique aspects. It offers a simple aesthetic that won’t necessarily blow gamers away, but its vivid colours and strange sights certainly help it stand out amongst similar games in the genre. Its oddities manage to fit the outlandish nature of the game perfectly though, whilst it also manages to look particularly eye-catching when played on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode.
Straimium Immortaly is certainly a unique experience and its many zany scenarios will certainly prove a highlight for fans of rogue-likes. However, it can also be a very challenging game and not always for the right reasons – sure, it has its share of tough showdowns with enemies, but it also has some controls that can be finicky and take getting used to.
They don’t stop the game from being fun to play though, with the bizarre mixture of weapons and abilities ensuring that Straimium Immortaly remains action-packed and satisfying to progress through. It doesn’t do anything too special from a gameplay perspective, but the fact that it’s fun and so damn weird should help it stand out within its crowded genre.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC