Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny PC Review

Out today on PC (Steam) and the Nintendo Switch, sci-fi pixel art platformer Anyaroth: The Queen's Tyranny.

Let’s be straight: you aren’t here for Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny’s graphics, and unless you’re Yggdraseed or Firenut Games, you’re either here for some retro nostalgia or curious based on the title. Let’s have a look, shall we?

As I’ve insinuated that this isn’t much of a looker, it does meet those nostalgic needs for something old-school but somewhat fresh at the same time. A pitch that isn’t much different to a straight-to-video title from the era this sort of replicates, you’re a hero that has to free its people from the Queen’s Regime and its enviable mind control system.

Yes, Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny is a sci-fi game, and the chap you play is bug-like and a one-creature army against the evil queen and her goons. But you’re helped along the way with some rebels and whatnot, adding to the story and mythos behind it all. It’s enjoyable enough, and meeting up with these new NPCs will unlock new gear and items to equip.

Anyaroth: The Queen's Tyranny
Source: Steam

Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny PC Review

I’d put this down as a run-and-gun type, but not in the Metal Slug sense. Instead, you’ll be running, shooting, hiding, shooting again and then perhaps whipping out your melee attack for anyone stupid enough to get close. As a preferred melee type (having cut my teeth on Melee Island), I have to say that ranged combat is better. Playing with the Steam Deck, I would use the left stick to move, and while not a dedicated twin-stick shooter, the right stick could be used to aim. 

Look at the GIFs and videos on Steam, and you may think Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny’s animation is a bit janky. Alas, it is a bit, and first impressions weren’t the best. Our hero bounces when they stride, and when they turn to face enemies, there’s a slight lag verging on a moonwalk. But hey, this is a sci-fi game – maybe it’s gravity. Put that to one side, though, as once you get into it, it’s almost like a nod to the Heavy Metal series with its colour palettes and plot.

Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny reminds me of one of those free full games that used to come with a cover disc on a magazine (remember those!?). It would be a title you’d never heard of, and perhaps (if being honest) would poo-poo it, only to find it was way better than all the triple-A demos included. That’s sort of the same here. Though the presentation threw me off a tad at the start, along with the unintentional moonwalks, it was an entraining experience, free of frustrations. In many respects, I like the design, but it took a couple of hours to win me over.

Verdict

Another busy week and another quick summary. Anyaroth: The Queen’s Tyranny is an entertaining pixel art (ish) platformer with decent weapons, a story that pays respect to the golden age of sci-fi, with a somewhat charming yet unusual aesthetic.