It’s not often that you see a game that released 30 years ago get a sequel but that’s exactly what we have in Andro Dunos II from publisher PixelHeart and developer Picorinne Soft. The original Andro Dunos was a shoot ‘em up that released on the NEO GEO back in 1992. It wasn’t the most popular game on the platform and so no one really would’ve expected it to get a sequel several decades later. With so many choices being available for shoot ‘em ups does Andro Dunos II do anything to stand out?
Andro Dunos II is a horizontal side-scrolling shoot ‘em up that plays really well. It’s a bit light on modes as you get the arcade mode, a boss rush mode, and a stage select and that’s about it. Arcade mode is the main attraction as you fly through 7 varied stages blasting a variety of aliens out of existence. There isn’t much of a story here other than you’re a pilot having to stop this alien invasion. You have a main firing button on X while the circle button amplifies your shots to do more damage but then causes your shots to do less damage for a short time once it runs out. This creates a risk/reward mechanic where you are getting a boost when you might need it but then have to deal with being weaker for a period of time. You also are armed with four different weapon loadouts that you can switch between at any time using L1 and R1 so you want to figure out the best one for each situation.
The overall challenge is a bit light in my opinion as it really wasn’t hard to deal with most of the regular enemies. After each stage you finish, you’ll face off against a boss who will give you a tougher time. Each boss is unique and will unleash all kinds of shots on you that you’ll have to dodge while dealing damage to them. You can get a bit stronger as you play as enemies will drop power-ups that will amp up your missiles, shields, and other weapons. You’ll accumulate score as you play but for some reason there is no online leaderboards present so I found it to be pretty pointless to worry about what your score was.
Andro Dunos II has a great art style that looks modern while also looking retro. There is good variety in the stages you fly through so I never felt like I was looking at the same thing for too long. The music is fine but it wasn’t quite as enjoyable as what I’ve heard in many other shoot ‘em ups. The sound effects on the other hand are done well with the sound of bullets and explosions having some punch to them. Trophy hunters will find an easy trophy list but also one that doesn’t have a Platinum with only 10 being present in total. If you can beat all the stages and boss rush mode then you’ll earn them all.
Andro Dunos II is a solid side-scrolling shoot ‘em up that should please any fan of the original but one that also doesn’t have a lot going for it. It is very light on content in terms of modes and without it even having online leaderboards, you’ll probably be done with it in a couple hours. My overall stance on it is that it was fun while it lasted but I don’t think you need to rush out and play this shoot ‘em up right away.
*Andro Dunos II is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. PlayStation 4 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.