If you’re a fan of Metroidvania games, then you might want to keep an eye on Anima Flux, an upcoming couch co-op title where you’ll take control of two characters to cut and shoot your way through the most ferocious foes on the last remaining human city – a space ark that’s being invaded by mutants!
What is Anima Flux?
Anima Flux – is a couch co-op metroidvania with two genetically enhanced soldiers, special agents of a theocratic dictatorial regime. The game is set in a desolate, dystopian space city, where you have to fight your way through swarms of mutants and save humanity’s last stronghold, if anyone is still alive.Steam
The game boasts a unique co-op system, where you can combine the main characters’ abilities to solve puzzles, break through the Interstellar ARK sections filled with horrible mutants, and challenge bosses. You can take control of two elite soldiers, each with their own skills and weapons, and switch between them at any time. You can also play with a friend on the same couch, and enjoy the retro feel of the game.
Anima Flux is being developed by a core team of 12 developers from Eastern Europe, in the Republic of Moldova, partly in Romania. The team was inspired by Shovel Knight, and as with Metroid itself, has taken atmospheric influence from “Alien”, “Blade Runner”, “Ghost in the Shell” and “Akira”. The game features stunning pixel art, fluid animations, dynamic lighting and shadows, and a rich sci-fi soundtrack.
Did you say Couch Co-op?
That’s right, I sure did! As you’re probably already aware, this was a popular play style that died out with the invention of, well, the internet, but has seen a resurgence in recent years due to its nostalgia and ability to connect people in an increasingly disconnected or superficially connected world.
A unique aspect of the game is that when your co-op partner gets ambushed or seriously injured, you can run to their rescue and help them up. Despite the fact that it’s best played alongside a buddy, you can also play solo and slay mutants and bosses in a more challenging single player mode.
Inspired by the greatest era of anime
The art style itself is gorgeous and reminiscent of the aforementioned titles. In fact, the way the character drops gives me serious Ghost in the Shell, Aeon Flux and Animatrix vibes! Part of me can’t help but think that the game’s title is partially a nod to these other beloved IPs. Hand drawn anime cutscenes and gameplay seen through the artistic lens of 80s and 90s retro sci-fi aesthetics? Deep and engaging though tragic character arcs? Elaborate dialogue laced with irony and wit? You can count me in on a whole ‘nother level!
Anima Flux is currently in final development stage, and you can wishlist it right now on Steam, and the developers are planning to release the full version in 2023. They also have plans to create a sequel to Anima Flux if the game succeeds, and already have enough lore and art to continue the story (which gets me super excited as a lore nerd). They are also open to feedback and suggestions from the community, and you can join their Discord server to chat with them and other fans.
Don’t miss this unique take on the genre
This is a game that promises to deliver a thrilling and immersive couch co-op action with a captivating story, gorgeous graphics, and engaging gameplay. I particularly love how the input feels as responsive as games like Dead Cells and the sound design is so rewarding. Watch the trailer above to see what I mean. The character design is top notch as well, and a lot of care has gone in to make the player and mutants stand out in a crowded and oversaturated marketplace of dark and gritty 2D hack ‘n slash games that share its genre. If you’re looking for a new game to play with your friends, or just want to explore a dystopian world, you should definitely check out Anima Flux – I truly don’t think you’ll regret it!