When it comes to the idea of a modern day indie arcade title, Cecconoid is something that is scratching up the right tree. The package comes with two games in one, but they play exactly the same. The only difference is one is a exploration title with arcade elements (Cecconoid) and the other is a survival game with arcade elements (Eugatron). This may not seem like a big package at the front, but there is actually a lot going on here.
So is Cecconoid the indie arcade title you have been longing for? Or is this another forgetful game that simply tries? Let’s find out!
Since Cecconoid lacks any story element, I think it would be best to review both of the games as individuals, as this is kind of a package deal. Both Cecconoid and Eugatron share similarities, but they are two very different arcade experiences whether we like it or not.
We will start with Cecconoid.
Cecconoid is an interesting concept. This is a roguelike title of sorts where you control a small ship called the Samurai-1, and you traverse through a metroidvania-like map that is constant (Unlike randomized maps like The Binding of Isaac or Spelunky 2). Basically, the map never changes, but that does not mean the game is easy to navigate. Death is around every corner, and since this is very much an arcade experience, lives are one of the most valuable currencies.
You begin the game with 3 lives (But you can gain more during gameplay), and similar to many roguelikes out there, death is easy to come by. In Cecconoid, basically everything can kill you in one hit, so dodging, weaving, and patience are absolutely key. One of the interesting mechanics is that you can enter a room and quickly exit to avoid seemingly unfair death from oncoming missiles, bullets, or other enemies. This mechanic is important to advance further in the game, which is incredibly deeper than I expected, although painfully difficult.
The difficulty is a double-edged sword, for sure. On the one hand, you learn through experience, and that experience comes with dying over and over again. Advancing a little bit more each time is both exhilarating and frustrating, because… well… on the other hand, some of the rooms are straight-up unfair and attempt to kill you immediately upon entering. If it is your first time entering said room, the odds of you dying are pretty high, which can be maddening on a solid run. Again, with lives being such a valuable currency, losing one in a cheap way is poor design.
Combat is subject to twin-stick shooting, very similar to The Binding of Isaac, as you simply move with the left stick and shoot with the right stick. Cecconoid has a powerup system, but it is not a progressive system like your standard metroidvania. Instead, these powerups like speed-boosting and better guns help to make progress easier. Progression is locked behind finding orbs and such that unlock doors or turn off laser walls so you can move to the next area. In total, there are 6 powerups you can collect to fully maximize the Samurai-1, and there are roughly 50 rooms in the large, interconnected world of Cecconoid.
The main game is a solid experience, but it is a bit marred by its insanely high difficulty and frequent unfair deaths. Combat is a lot of fun when you enter rooms that don’t instantly kill you, and for the most part, deaths do feel like the fault of the player. It is just unfortunate that there are quite a few rooms that try to blow you up as soon as you enter. Overall, the amount of time you invest into this one depends largely on your skill level and patience, because Cecconoid will test you from every angle. Believe me on that.
Eugatron is essentially the same game, but instead of traversing through challenge room after challenge room, you are in one walled-up screen with a horde of enemies trying to kill you. You need to eliminate everything that is able to die in order for it to move to the next wave. As is the case in these type of survival games, the waves get harder and harder the further you go, and Eugatron can go from 0-100 really quick.
But don’t let that discourage you. Honestly, I think this is the better game of the package. It feels more like an authentic arcade experience, and it is painfully difficult in all the right ways. In Eugatron, I never once felt that death was my fault, and I had a blast with it every time I played. Lives apply the same way they do in Cecconoid, where you start with three, and dying will result in losing gained powerups.
It is a fun step-away from the main game, and it is perfect for a quick gaming session, especially for those looking to climb leaderboards, which unfortunately are local only (No online support for the leaderboards). For a game boasting to be a modern arcade experience, it is sad to not have friends or randos online to compete against.
For both games, the monochromatic color scheme is nice, as well as the minimalist style. The splashes of red that pop on screen really stand out, but enemy fire being often the same color as your attacks is difficult to see at times and can get lost in the shuffle. Despite that, the game looks amazing considering the approach, but there is one area better than the graphics…
THE SOUNDTRACK. Cecconoid‘s soundtrack is absolutely awesome! The intense base lines and the wild bit-tune synthesizer add a ton of layer to the songs that keep the beats flowing from start to finish. Definitely the highlight of the entire package!
As a whole, though, it is a bit of a high price for what you are getting, but at the same time, Cecconoid will be a phenomenal experience in the right hands. It’s high difficulty and unfair rooms will be a huge turn-off for the casual crowd, but hardcore arcade gamers will get a ton out of this one. All I can say is: proceed and purchase with caution, because this one will test you.
Both games provide a solid modern arcade experience
Nice minimalistic graphics
Some rooms in Cecconoid are unfair
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.