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This $15 Steam game is a must-buy for Zelda fans

A ship dodges bullets in Minishoot' Adventures.
SoulGame Studio

The past year was the Legend of Zelda series’ moment to shine thanks to the excellent Tears of the Kingdom. Unfortunately, there’s something bittersweet about that: It means we’re likely not getting another Zelda game for a long time. While Switch ports of some classic 3D games have been long-rumored for Switch and we could always get a surprise remake à la Link’s Awakening, Link isn’t currently scheduled to set off on his next journey anytime soon.

Thankfully, there’s a great new game available on Steam that can help fill the void: Minishoot’ Adventures. The $15 indie title is an ode to classic, top-down Zelda games — but there’s a twist. It’s also a twin-stick shooter that has players piloting a tiny ship, blasting enemies in every direction, and weaving around chaotic bullet hell encounters.

It isn’t just a novel genre hybrid; -it’s one of the best games of the year so far.

A ship shoots enemies in Minishoot' Adventures.
SoulGame Studio

Minishoot’ Adventures is a perfect hybrid of its two genres. It immediately looks the part of a Zelda game with its interweaving maps loaded with secrets and a colorful art style. Everything I love about the original The Legend of Zelda for NES is maintained here, including hidden caves, dungeons, great boss designs, and a bevy of tools that slowly open up its compact world.

When I start, I’m simply a ship armed with a blaster. I move with the left stick and fire by holding the right stick in a certain direction. It’s a classic shoot-’em-up gameplay hook as I orbit around enemies, peppering them with shots while dodging theirs. That idea melds shockingly well with an exploration-based adventure game. The more enemy ships I destroy, the more crystals I get to upgrade my ship’s damage, rate of fire, and more. I go from having a dinky single shot to a five-shot spread that fires significantly faster by the end. That gradual growth nails the joy of classic arcade space shooters that build a ship’s shots through mounting power-ups.

Developer SoulGame Studio deserves a heap of praise here for filling its overworld with worthwhile collectibles. There aren’t just scattered heart pieces and crystals to find. There’s also a wealth of optional ship upgrades, like a trinket that gives shots an increased stun chance or tools that better highlight how much there is to collect in an area. The world is filled with secret caverns and hidden bosses that push the game’s bullet hell elements to the extreme. And there are enough avenues of progression that it always feels like there’s a way to grow if a battle is kicking my butt.

A ship dodges bullets in Minishoot' Adventures.
SoulGame Studio

It’s not that Minishoot’ Adventures does anything particularly complex here (especially in its loose narrative backdrop). It’s just that SoulGame Studio nails both genres it sets out to hit. It’s a challenging twin-stick shooter that feels smooth as heck to control, and an intricately designed Zelda-like in terms of its scale. I’m not only engrossed when I find secrets in the overworld; actually flying to them is just as satisfying.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a good top-down Zelda throwback, a unique indie that plays great, or an inexpensive PC game that runs perfectly on Steam Deck, Minishoot’ Adventures is the indie to try this month.

Minishoot’ Adventures is now available on PC.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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