Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #23 Legends of IdleOn – Idle MMO
- #22 Lost Ruins
- #21 Rounds
- #20 Deepest Sword
- #19 F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch
- #18 Blade Assault
- #17 R-Type Final 2
- #16 Steel Assault
- #15 Grime
- #14 Songs for a Hero – Definitive Edition
- #13 Metal Unit
- #12 Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-
- #11 Cyber Shadow
- #10 Mighty Goose
- #9 Skul: The Hero Slayer
- #8 Kaze and the Wild Masks
- #7 Narita Boy
- #6 Until We Die
- #5 Eastern Exorcist
- #4 Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection
- #3 30XX
- #2 Streets of Rage 4 Mr. X Nightmare DLC
- #1 Metroid Dread
Side-scrolling video games were the staple for video games. It was just a given that most of the titles we picked up during the early years of gaming would be based around side-scrolling, but as time went on and we got bigger 3D worlds, we saw fewer titles released for this genre. That doesn’t mean you won’t find any new side-scrolling titles to play today. In this list, we’re going to look at some fun new exciting video games you can pick up this year. Whether they are brand new IPs, continuations for classic video game installments, or a callback to an earlier generation of gaming, here are some titles to keep on your radar.
#23 Legends of IdleOn – Idle MMO
Legends of IdleOn – Idle MMO is a bit of a different game. In this title, we’re given an MMORPG, but instead of this game having players go through the game with a focus on grinding to gain XP, the game does it for you. This title allows players to set up characters to send out their team of characters to complete various mundane tasks while taking a break from the game. Now players can hop into the game and enjoy the game with the fruits of their NPCs labor. Meanwhile, the game is free-to-play, and it’s something worth checking out. After all, you can’t beat a free game.
#22 Lost Ruins
Lost Ruins is described as a 2D side-scrolling survival game. In this title, we’re playing as a young girl that awakens with no memories. Wandering around in a dungeon, she comes across deadly monsters but is saved by a magician. However, to unlock the mystery of what’s going on and her missing memories, players will have to venture deeper into the madness, fight off horrifying enemies, master a variety of weapons and spells, along with using their wit when roaming dangerous environments.
Rounds is a quirky rouge-lite shooter. This is a 1v1 game where players take the role of a round ball-like character where your goal is to gun down the opposing player. You’ll get dropped into one of seventy different simplistic platform levels where you’ll have areas to jump around and use walls to block the opposing players’ shots. Meanwhile, the game will reward players with different upgrades. You’ll find anything from more HP, faster reload time, to new unique projectiles to fire at your enemy.
#20 Deepest Sword
A free game well worth checking out that’s short but entertaining is Deepest Sword. This game has players taking the role of a little knight having to slay a dragon. Although, you’ll find that the sword you are given is not long enough to pierce the dragon’s heart. It’s a battle to lengthen your blade in this platformer. However, you’ll find that our character cannot jump. Instead, you’ll need to use your sword to move your character around the map. In that regard, the game is a bit like another iconic indie classic, Getting Over It. If your sword is too long, you might find it difficult to maneuver around some of the tight corridors. But, again, this is a free game so give it a try.
#19 F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch
F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch is a side-scrolling Metroidvania game centered around the land that was once lived in by animals. However, an evil force has moved in and forced their regime onto the area. Players are taking the role of Rayton, a former soldier of the resistance that once again straps up for war using his mechanical fist suit when he learns that his friends were falsely imprisoned under the new order. Of course, being a Metroidvania game, you’ll have to explore the areas and find special power-ups to further progress.
#18 Blade Assault
Blade Assault throws players into a cyberpunk world where there are three societies. We have the elite class that thrives in the skies, away from the muck below. Meanwhile, mutated creatures roam the lands freely while those who survive have escaped to the underground. You’re taking the role of a protagonist seeking to fight the corrupted elite and the mutated above ground. This is a rogue-lite platformer where you’ll attempt to clear out the enemies above using brute force and a slew of weaponry along the way. Currently, the game is in early access so expect changes to happen as the developers continue working on the project.
#17 R-Type Final 2
A new R-Type game has come out into the marketplace this year. R-Type Final 2 puts players back into the side-scrolling shoot-them up. If you’re familiar with the franchise, then you can expect the same gameplay here. It’s another bullet hell type of game where you’re constantly making upgrades to your ship, explore the galaxy, and fighting off a slew of enemies along the way. You’ll need to dodge the enemy projectiles and obstacles that pop up along the way while continuing to fire back at the enemy in front of you.
#16 Steel Assault
If you grew up loving the 16-bit retro gaming, then Steel Assault is a game not to pass up on. This is a side-scrolling platformer where you’re tossed into the future. Set in a corrupt post-apocalyptic world, players are stepping into the role of Taro Takashi, a resistance soldier. Your goal is centered around revenge as you battle against an evil dictator. Using an assortment of weapons and mechanics like a zipline, grappling hook, and electronic whip, you’ll not only fluidly make your way around the map but also take down all kinds of vehicular machines and enemies. This game was also developed to give some players a challenge if they crank up the difficulty. Those that thrive in these types of games should jump past normal.
Grime is an unusual kind of game. In this title, players are taking the role of a man with a black hole as their head. It’s an artsy type of game, so the narrative can be abstract and leave you wondering just what’s going on. Still, it’s a thrilling Metroidvania game as you battle against enemies, scavenge for power-ups, seek treasure, and make different equipment upgrades. If you’re after a challenging Metroidvania-type of side-scroller with some souls-like gameplay, this might be the title for you.
#14 Songs for a Hero – Definitive Edition
Songs for a Hero is your typical platformer. You’re a protagonist seeking an adventure to save the princess. You’re venturing through the side-scroller fighting off different enemies, platforming across dangerous areas, and seeking treasure along the way. What makes this game different is that it’s an interactive musical. As you progress, the narrator will sing a song about what he’s doing and about the enemies you’re facing against. It’s a wacky game, but at least you have a bard singing your fame and glory as you attempt to save the day.
#13 Metal Unit
Metal Unit throws players into a futuristic Earth during a time of great tribulation. Ancient beings from underground have emerged to claim Earth once again while an alien species have invaded Earth for the same territory claim. In the middle is humanity seeking to find a way to fight off both forces. Players are stepping into the role of a female named Joanna. Equipped with a powerful mech-like suit called the M-Unit, Joanna sets off to fight off both sides and reclaim Earth for humanity. However, she will face foreign enemies and her sister, who has taken upsides with the Alien race.
#12 Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-
Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth- is quite the title but if you enjoy Metroidvania games, check this one out. It’s a bit like Castlevania in visuals and gameplay. In this title, Deedlit is a protagonist that awakens in a mysterious place. Players set out to find answers with no memory of how she got there or where she even is. Although, it’s clear that this place is full of enemies that would seek Deedlit’s demise, so you’ll have to melee with swords or use a bow and arrow from a distance to defeat the enemies that roam the area. To top it off, Deedlit will have a variety of elemental spirits to give an edge in different attributes.
#11 Cyber Shadow
Cyber Shadow throws players into a future where synthetic life has taken over and begun to harvest the powers of others around the world. Here players are taking the role of Shadow, a cyborg ninja that has vowed to help those in need and to fight for his fallen clan. Not only is this a bit of a nostalgia trip to those that enjoyed the earlier years of gaming, but it’s a title that’s generally been well-received. It’s currently available as it just missed the 2020 release year for a launch in January of this year. Likewise, you can find this game available on PC and console platforms such as the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
#10 Mighty Goose
Might Goose is a run and gun shooter where players take the role of a supped-up goose that takes on the Void King. Set in a galaxy where the Void King has taken control with his army of minions, our protagonist will be equipping a wide range of weapons to blow away any hostile creature or robot that stands between him and the Void King. The game offers pixelated art with high-speed, action-packed gameplay. So far, the game has had been well received by players who gave this indie title a chance.
#9 Skul: The Hero Slayer
A game that was released in January of this year is Skul: The Hero Slayer. This is a 2D platformer where players are going through an action roguelike title where you’ll get different maps and challenging enemies to battle against. In terms of the narrative, the world was mainly conquered by demons, and while humans have put up a fight, there wasn’t much fear of humanity taking charge. That was until humanity banded together and decided to attack the demonic kingdom together, which they succeeded. There is just one small little demon left, a skeleton that can use various heads to unleash different attacks. While our protagonist Skul may be small and seemingly insignificant in a world that hardened adventurers now dominate, players will have to use all of Skul’s powers to fight off his attackers.
#8 Kaze and the Wild Masks
If you grew up in the 1990s playing video games, the developers hope to take you back to those years with Kaze and the Wild Masks. This is an action platformer where players take the role of a long-eared rabbit character named Kaze who has to save their friend after a strange curse spreads across the island. Here players will be battling off evil vegetables that have come to life while carefully moving around hazardous environments. With over thirty main stage levels along with fifty bonus levels you can stumble upon, there is a ton of content for players to get through. Most players can best describe his game because it’s a bit like a Donkey Kong Country title.
#7 Narita Boy
Narita Boy is another pixelated side-scrolling adventure game that fans can jump into right now. The title has players going straight back into the 1980s, where a mastermind developer created Narita Boy’s video game. This game blew up, and everyone was picking up a copy around the world. However, when a virus takes over the creator’s memories, players are dragged into this digital world and are forced into battling all kinds of hostile enemies to reclaim what was stolen. There are some light puzzles to go through and hack and slash combat as well. With that said, it’s a short title that’s worth checking into if you haven’t already given it a chance.
#6 Until We Die
Until We Die is a game from indie development studio Pixeye Games. This is a side-scrolling strategy game where you’re tossed into a world full of mutants and monsters. Players are following a crew trying to survive the harsh world within an underground train station. However, with an onslaught of monsters to battle, players will need to run around researching new technologies and preparing their fortifications. Meanwhile, you still have to gather supplies such as food to ensure that your people are well fed and protected.
#5 Eastern Exorcist
Eastern Exorcist is an action side-scrolling game that puts players into a fictional ancient Chinese storyline. In the game, the narrative war continues to brew over the lands leaving nothing but chaos. However, this war coincides with a natural disaster that leaves demonic monsters to flood the realm. Now a new battle, unmatched by humanity, has emerged. Fortunately, this is a battle that a special warrior, an exorcist, fights. Here you’ll be taking the role of an exorcist demon hunter who will go around the lands, slaying the monsters and bringing peace again. Visually, the developers have made this game look like a classic hand-drawn Chinese ink painting with backgrounds that developers hope conveys some gorgeous atmospheric scenes for players.
#4 Ghost ‘n Goblins Resurrection
Another blast from the past game players might find some enjoyment with is Ghost’ n Goblins Resurrection. This franchise came back completely reimagined, where you’ll once again have to save the day by battling all sorts of demonic enemies that pop up along the way. This franchise can sometimes be viewed as pretty difficult, but it’s gained a massive following over the years. You can likely expect another hard game here but surrounded by simple controls. As you progress, players will unlock more weapons and magical skills to use, but that doesn’t mean you will have to go through this game alone. For the first time in the series, you’ll also find a two-player co-op experience available here.
A game that is currently out but through early access is 30XX, another roguelike action platformer. This particular title takes place after the events of 20XX, where our protagonist has awakened thousands of years into the future. Now you’ll discover that life has changed after the arrival of a Synthetic Mind took over humanity. If you enjoyed 20XX, then chances are you’ll have just as much enjoyment out of 30XX with a new collection of levels, enemies, and powers. However, this is a roguelike title, so there will be plenty of changes made along the way to keep you on your toes. Best of all, when you’re entirely done with this game, you’ll find that there is a level editor that will come packed with all the tools to build up your unique levels and campaigns. With that said, since this is in early access, you’ll likely find plenty of changes made along the way until the game is fully launched into the marketplace.
#2 Streets of Rage 4 Mr. X Nightmare DLC
Streets of Rage is an action beat ‘em up title that came out back during the days of the Sega Genesis platform. If you had this console, chances are you had the Streets of Rage collection. There was so much enjoyment from these titles that it was a bit of a welcome surprise to see Streets of Rage 4 suddenly announced and released within 2020. Decades later, we love this gameplay all over again with a narrative after the events from the previous installments. With that said, fans received a DLC expansion this year called Mr. X Nightmare DLC. While Mr. X is no longer a threat, the gang decides to get some training in for whatever else may pop up, and that’s when Dr. Zan was able to tap into the brain of Mr. X to bring out some simulation battles. There are brand new stages, additional new characters, weapons, and enemies featured in this game DLC.
#1 Metroid Dread
Metroid Dread was a massive hit when it first launched and hopefully shows Nintendo that this IP is still a big deal today. This installment is currently the last installment within the chronology. In the narrative, the Galactic Federation discovers that X parasites have survived on a distant planet. Sending out specialized robots called EMMI’s, the federation soon realizes that after the robots landed, they mysterious went offline. Now Samus is forced into traveling to this distant planet, taking care of the X parasites and finding out what’s going on with the EMMI robots that now seemingly have turned on her. This is a classic Metroid game with plenty of exploration, battles, and seeking power-ups to continue progressing the narrative.