MEGATROID by Triolith Entertainment icon

MEGATROID (Free) by Triolith Entertainment should appeal to fans of the side-scrolling Metroid or Megaman video games of yore.

I’m a fan of platformer games, so I was pleased to hear that MEGATROID was released, and surprisingly, for free. If you’re looking for a sufficient time waster that won’t break the bank, then this is it.

MEGATROID by Triolith Entertainment screenshot

You take control of the female protagonist, Hali, who must stop the wrath of the machine empire, which is fittingly named The Imperium (sounds like Samus, no?). You are part of the Galactic Rebel Information Network, who aims to defeat the droids one battle station at a time. Oh, and you get a cute robot pet, named S.P.A.K.K. (Self Propelled Aerial Kinematic Kitten), who will relay instructions from GRIN and maybe even help you out during battle. When I saw S.P.A.K.K., I couldn’t help but think of Navi from The Legend of Zelda.

While this may be another side-scrolling platform game on iOS, there is one unique trait about it that makes it stand out from the rest: randomly generated levels. This way, no two levels you play will be alike, so it keeps things fresh and interesting. Just make sure to hit the “Random” button on the title screen to get a newly created level.

The graphics in the game are rendered in 3-D, and look sharp and crisp on Retina devices. The soundtrack features 8-bit inspired sci-fi tunes that will immerse you in the galaxy of MEGATROID. The camera will also zoom in or out automatically depending on the situation, so you can clearly see what lies ahead of you at any time. For a free game, I was rather impressed.

The game’s controls are pretty easy: movement buttons on the left and action buttons on the right. You can do double jumps by simply pressing the jump button twice, and hold down the attack button to continuously fire. Hali will stick to walls immediately upon touching them, so you can comfortably perform wall jumps and navigate to higher areas without much effort.

MEGATROID by Triolith Entertainment screenshot

However, it took me a while to get used to the controls, since the buttons are not in a straight alignment. I also got confused for a while with the placement of the jump and attack buttons, since I normally think to hit the higher button to jump. I found myself shooting instead of jumping for a while, but I did get used to it, eventually. There is no way to customize the controls, and there are only two control schemes: phone and tablet. I would love to see a way to tweak controls in the future.

As you clear levels and progress through the story, you will unlock more boss stages too. If you’ve played these types of games before, then you should know what to expect for boss fights — lots of jumping, and sneak in opportune shots.

As you defeat enemies, they will leave behind currency orbs that you can collect and use in the Black Market for armor and weapon upgrades. There is also a Premium Market that has even better upgrades, but you will need to have the premium “Spacebucks” currency to obtain them. So far, I have not encountered any Spacebucks, but you can always buy them through in-app purchases.

Game Center is supported, but there are no leaderboards, just 35 achievements to obtain. When you combine the achievements and random level generation, this game definitely isn’t lacking in terms of replay value.

MEGATROID is a well-made side scrolling platform adventure, and anyone that is a fan of the genre needs to check this one out. And for free, it just can’t be beat.