Devil Engine Is A Fresh Side-Scroller With A Classic Feel

Devil Engine feels like a game I dug out of my attic. The side-scrolling shooter, which released on PC and Nintendo Switch on February 21, reminds me of the games I played when I was younger. It’s like busting out R-Type DX or playing that one level of Rocket Knight Adventures if they were also mainlining Ikaruga, and I love it.


I play a lot of games for Kotaku, which doesn’t always leave time for the popcorn gaming experiences I love. My Switch has slowly turned into a one-stop location for intense bullet-hell games and twitchy action. Games like Danmaku Unlimited 3, Bleed 2, or even ports like Furi capture the intense, dodgy gameplay that I’m eager for. Devil Engine is no different, offering side-scrolling shooting that’s punishing and great to look at.

If you’ve played an arcade shooter, you’ll be familiar with how Devil Engine works. You fly around the screen blasting baddies and bosses. There’s power-ups to find, like spread shots and homing lasers. Devil Engine isn’t a game that’s breaking new ground. Instead, it works with a tried and true formula, creating an honest and devilishly fun homage to what’s come before.


It’s been a slow drip for games on the Nintendo Switch for now, and while I eagerly await mech action in Daemon x Machina and slowly work through Hollow Knight, it’s good to have some more blasty-shooty to change the pace. Devil Engine is straightforward, but that’s what you need sometimes. After all, it’s always good to bomb a floating orb boss into bits with a Macross worthy confetti-blast of missiles.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.

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I think this is the first time I’ve seen a shmup called a side scroller.