'Nex Machina: Death Machine'
The classic arcade game Robotron: 2084 popularized the twin-stick shooter, and has continued influencing games for the last 35 years. Development studio Housemarque sought out the designer responsible for that control scheme, Eugene Jarvis, to collaborate with them on their own twin-stick shooter, and so Nex Machina was born. A homage to Robotron: 2084, it features similar controls and is also about rescuing humans from robots who have taken over the world, but updates everything else. It's now a frenetic score attack game where rescues can be chained together into combos, and it has a dash move that can get you out of the way but also safely pushes through an expanding barrier attack. Levels are filled with lasers, glowing balls of energy, and voxel-based explosions that are as nice to look at as any video game explosion has ever been. Nex Machina makes it feel like there's enough ideas left for the genre to explore that we'll still be playing games inspired by Robotron: 2084 when 2084 eventually rolls around.