Smelter from X Plus and Dangen Entertainment combines 2D action platforming with sim elements for an interesting combo. Check our Smelter review!
In Smelter from X Plus and Dangen Enterrainment, you’ll be taking on a game that combines 2D action platforming segments with sim management sequences. To sum things up quickly, it’s a game that will probably remind you of the Mega Man X series and the city sim segments from the excellent ActRaiser. The game begins when Adam and Eve spot an apple from a tree. Once Adam takes a big bite, an explosion far in the distance separates them, sending Eve plummeting underground.
Since the game is split between the 2D action segments and the sim sections, controls will be a bit different for each one. You’ll move with the left analog stick or the D-Pad. For platforming segments, you’ll attack with the Y button and jump with the B button. The A button will be for defending yourself, while the X button is for the Smelt Blade. To use it, you’ll have to fill up Eve’s Smelt Power gauge. Each use of the Smelt Blade will cost three bars. You can refill the Smelt Power gauge by defeating enemies. You can dash with the R button. If you need to switch around between the available elements, you can do it with the ZL and ZR buttons.
As for the sim segments that, as mentioned before, have a bit of an ActRaiser feel to them, you’ll interact with areas with the A button. You’ll shoot with the right analog stick to defend the land, changing between elements with the ZL and ZR buttons, You can cast repair with the R button to try and fix things. Repairing something will use up Hellium, so you’ll first have to collect some to be ready. You can also call on Zyrms with the Y button. They can harvest Hellium from fissures, or move into the barracks to prepare for battle.
When you start, you won’t have much to protect yourself since Eve doesn’t have more than a bikini on. She’ll soon meet a creature named Smelt, which can fusion with her to provide a powerful armor as well as special abilities. By pressing the L button, Smelt will be able to interact with objects that have a green glow to them. If an enemy glows green, they can also be Smelted, and you will gain some HP to heal your wounds. This is a must at the start, since you’re going to take a lot of damage if you make a mistake.
As you explore each of the 2D action platforming areas, you should search for forges. Forges will help you unlock new skills for Smelter and Eve, such as being able to unleash a three-hit combo bu quickly pressing the Y button, or being able do to an upward or downward attack to combo up your opponents. There’s a skill tree with almost 20 skills for you to unlock, so there’s a lot for you to do in this one These include a double jump for eve, a high-damage charge attack, and more! You should also keep an eye out for Apple Cores. They are scattered around the many areas you’ll visit, and are needed for upgrading Smelter’s Heart. Doing this will gran bonuses for his empire and structure upgrades.
There will also be special Trial Rooms for you to complete. Trial Rooms will increase the difficulty, featuring layouts that don’t leave much margin for error by, say, placing some indestructible wall crawling enemies along with a ton of deadly spikes that can kill you in a single hit. Complete them, and you will gain Tokens. Tokens can be used at special Forges, so that Smelter and Eve can grow stronger, which makes them extremely important for your efforts.
Smelter is a game that pays homage to its inspirations – most noticeably Mega Man X and the sim side of ActRaiser – while also managing to go above and beyond both to give us a game that manages to stand out on its own. There’s plenty of content to enjoy, and lots of collectibles to find in each of the 2D action platforming stages you visit – apple cores, trials with tokens, schematics, and moxie deposits (the large brown-ish gem clusters). Smelter is out on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 price, and it’s one you should definitely check out.
This Smelter review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Dangen Entertainment.