Browser game of the week: Insidia

How does running and jumping around a weird universe and avoiding spinning fans of death sound for a quick time-wasting exercise? If it's your idea of a good lunch break, than Insidia is right up your alley. Insidia is a Metroid-style platforming game in the simplest sense of the words, but it's a highly enjoyable experience nonetheless.

The first thing you'll notice is the game's visual style, a blend between old-school pixilation and more modern vector graphics with some great textures. The result is a game that looks and feels like it belongs in some futuristic version of the 8-bit past. It's a wonder to look at throughout, with small, strange facts about the world you've crash-landed on being revealed slowly as you explore the environment.

The exploration is the key here, actually. You don't get a weapon, but instead -- in classic Metroid style -- you get power-ups that enable you to explore new parts of the map. These include the ability to move faster, double jump and wall slide. The map isn't particularly big, but exploring it is fun nonetheless. Unlike its kin, Insidia isn't difficult by any stretch of the word.

It only takes about 20 or 30 minutes to finish the game, making it perfect for a quick lunch break stroll through an alien planet. You'll have a shot at getting one of two endings, depending on if you manage to find the secret areas spread throughout. One spells very bad news for your intrepid hero, the other is only slightly better. Basically, you're kind of screwed either way.

If there is such a thing as a casual Metroidvania genre, this is it. It's relaxing in a weird way, allowing you to just wander around and explore and not worry about too many enemies or giant pitfalls. It's certainly not as in-depth as many of its kin, but it's still worth checking out.

Play it here.

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