A headstrong female space marine in powered armor, with a gun for a hand. Miles of twisting, turning passageways to explore. Double-jumps, power ups, and huge, terrifying bosses. Stop me if you've heard all this before. You'd be forgiven for thinking that MEGATROID is a Nintendo 3DS title that somehow made it onto the Google Play Store: the game wears its inspiration from the likes of Metroid and Castlevania on its sleeve. But that's no reason to ignore it. And here's one to do just the opposite: MEGATROID comes from Triolith Entertainment AB, the developer of the well-received Wisp.
If MEGATROID is inspired by gaming's past, it certainly isn't restrained by it. The 2D gameplay is fleshed out in vibrant 3D visuals, and while it won't bring the latest generation of Tegras and Snapdragons to their knees, it probably won't play well on your dusty Nexus One. Controls are tight (a blessing for a twitchy platformer like this one) and while the story presented in between the action is fairly vanilla sci-fi, it's enough to keep you interested past the next boss fight. Heroine Hali's dialogue (as well as the various text and voice-overs) is punchy, if not overly clever. Replay is theoretically infinite thanks to randomly-generated stages, and you can even create and share your own.
MEGATROID is a free download with no ads, and packs solid gameplay and runtime without costing a dime of your hard-earned cash. The Black Market store lets you buy randomly-occurring weapons and armor with points earned in-game. For those who want to go into hyperspace, there are extra-powerful weapons and armor available at any time in the premium store, for "Spacebucks" bought via an in-app purchase. That said, it should be possible to finish the game without spending any real money - something that frugal gamers will surely appreciate.