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Ex-Zodiac's demo is Star Fox through and through

Do a barrel roll!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Whisker Squadron, a Star Fox-like with procedural bosses. Commenter 'treat' suggested that we should also look at Ex-Zodiac, another indie Star Fox homage - and they were right.

Ex-Zodiac looks, feels and plays like Star Fox, and there's a demo available to play now.

First check out this trailer:

The checkerboard floor, the polygonal enemies, the aliased edges and flashing weak spots. Ex-Zodiac even has Star Fox's hibber-jibber voices when folks talk to you over the radio. You can customise how it looks - making those jagged edges smooth, for example - but if it's Super FX nostalgia you want, then Ex-Zodiac is a trip.

It also feels great to play. The demo features two worlds to fly and shoot through, and the second world jumps straight to spectacle as enormous machines burst from the floor and ceiling to block your path. Each world ends with a boss fight - the spinning claw-blades of the lobster bot pictured above in world one, and a snake-like behemoth that did me in at the end of world two.

It's a short demo, but I found it challenging enough. You've got three lives before it's game over, and you can restart from any level you've previously unlocked. You may be better at these games than I am, but in any case it offered enough that I'm excited to play more. Ex-Zodiac was successfully kickstarted last year and aims to launch into Steam Early Access sometime in 2021. It'll have six stages when it enters early access and aims to have 12 by the time it's complete.

You can find the demo on Ex-Zodiac's Steam page now. It's a fun 20 minutes.

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Graham Smith

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Graham used to be to blame for all this.

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