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9 Years Of Shadows is a metroidvania with a ghostly teddy and a stacked soundtrack

Lovely pixel art, too

9 Years Of Shadows is an in-development metroidvania which features music from Michiru Yamane, Manami Matsumae, and Norihiko Hibino, who worked on Castlevania, Mega Man and Metal Gear Solid respectively. This doesn't excite me, but I mention it in case it's appealing to you.

What does excite me is that 9 Years Of Shadows otherwise looks fab, due to richly detailed pixel art, glittering world design, and a sidekick that appears to be a teddy bear ghost.

Here's a trailer, broadcast during Gamescom 2021:

In 9 Years, you play as Europa, a young woman exploring an abandoned mechanical castle, accompanied by your ghostly teddy bear Apino. Europa wields a halberd while Apino casts ranged magic. Together you do metroidvania things: explore, collect, fight monsters and bosses, and "cleanse the corrupted world."

There's nothing I'd describe as original in the trailer above, but it's sure executed with style. If those halberd strikes feel as good as they look, and if traversing via those zoomy tunnels is as much fun, then I'm onboard.

9 Years Of Shadows was originally funded via Kickstarter, where it raked in $1,988,905 Mexican pesos (around £71,000 GBP). Updates have been steady since and 9 Years is reportedly arriving soon, though it currently has no announced release date. Until it does, you can keep an eye on it via its Steam page.

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Graham Smith

Deputy Editorial Director

Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.