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A Mind-Bending Universe with Vibrant Colors, This Metroidvania Takes You Flying- Ultros, PC Review

A Mind-Bending Universe with Vibrant Colors, This Metroidvania Takes You Flying- Ultros, PC

Release: February 13, 2024
Publisher: Kepler Interactive
Developer: Hadoque
Genre: Adventure, Platformer


Perfect About Rating
9.5 - Gameplay
10 - Video
10 - Audio

One of the most visually stimulating games of the year, Ultros delivers the most unique and unexpected twist on the Metroidvania genre. Developed by Hadoque and published by Kepler-Interactive, you’ll only experience this psychedelic, vibrant, narrative Metroidvania once, but will want to keep coming back to replay it again.

This game took me back to when I was a little girl and I had owned a kaleidoscope. You know when you’d stare into it for a long time, turning the tube to change the patterns, and just by turning it a few times, you would be enveloped into its charm and become mesmerized by its wondrous patterns and colors. If you owned one too, then you should understand me. Ultros became my kaleidoscope for the duration of my gameplay and I became enchanted by the spell it had put on me.



You begin the game on a vessel where you wake up from a dream, without your memories intact, surrounded by insects, terrain and statues. Everything at this moment is a mystery to you, and unknown to us, what exactly happened and why your character is in dire need to leave. We eventually discover that we are trapped in a time-loop, on a ship that is shaped as a uterus. One of the NPCs even says that while he can no longer leave, you still have a chance to. The game does a fascinating job unraveling the answers to the questions we have along the journey, all in due time and with each new cycle within the time-loop, more lore about the story of the game is unraveled to you.



The gameplay style of this game is different from other Metroidvanias. Actually, it is more on the obscure side if you think about how the main character advances in this game. The game entails an upgradable chart where you unlock various upgrades, such as a wall jump, a longer slide, or stronger attacks and a higher health bar. However, in order to do this, you must eat insects that give you delicious nutrition. The higher the quality, the more you upgrade your status bars and then unlock these abilities.

The main character grabs a sword in the beginning of the game that is used throughout the game to attack enemies and break through walls. It’s a very basic attack in the beginning, but with the upgradable chart, you will get new combos as you progress. These combos are extremely important for you to upgrade your abilities. When attacking an insect, depending on your attack pattern, the insect drops a change in nutritious value, which you can then utilize toward either upgrading or healing yourself.


Another interesting aspect of this game is that it mixes a little of rogue-lite elements. The time-loop restarts the character and places them back into the beginning of the game, however, you do lose all the progress you’ve made with the upgrades in the chart, which is where the rogue-lite elements take over. But don’t feel discouraged, it can feel repetitive and a bit exasperating having to restart all of your exploration and progress, but each start of a new cycle brings new lore and secrets to unlock, so it is definitely worth getting stuck in the time-loop.

There are also permanent upgrades that you uncover with the help of your flying sidekick robot. Some of these features are cutting through plants and replanting seeds, which will be very helpful with every new cycle.

Seeds are an important part of this game, and can get confusing.The purpose of the seeds is that with each cycle the seeds grow and evolve, helping you unlock new areas. My suggestion when starting this game is to keep a journal handy to write what each seed’s its prime focus is, because eventually they will all just look like colors to you and you will begin planting them all over the place. This will make it frustrating in cycles where you don’t have the ability to replant seeds, making it more challenging to discover new areas.



Upon entering the world of Ultros, I automatically realized that this game was the work of Niklas Åkerblad, known as “El Huervo,” a visual artist and musician who is known for his iconic contributions to the Hotline Miami series. The artwork is mesmerizing and at first I couldn’t concentrate on the game as much because I was so taken away by the artwork, the details and the inspiration behind this beautiful game.

Composed by Oscar “Ratvader” Rydelius, the exquisite soundtrack of ULTROS transports listeners to a totally unique and mystical soundscape featuring sounds of nature, classical instruments, and other sound-making tools from Peru. It brought me back to my favorite music from Peru, known as musica andina, which are original chants and melodies that came from the people living in the area of the Inca Empire, and their ancestors today.

Running on 60 FPS, this game runs flawlessly on the PC and it gives a smooth transition from running around on the map, to its attacks and cut scenes. This game captivates you from the start, and while it has a very trippy artwork of nature, it is that 70s vibe, psychedelic aspect of the game that sort of hypnotizes you.


Steam Deck: 

This game is Steam Deck verified prior to its release. It  works flawlessly at 60 FPS, the load time between areas was great, there were no issues and during combat there were no delays or glitches. From what I experienced thus far, it is a great combination of switching between a gaming chair and couch, without any issues.


The only two improvements that I would recommend the developers work on in future patches are the controls and maybe a bit more of a challenge from the enemies.

The controls were a bit difficult to maneuver when hitting certain patterns performing the attacks, which could get frustrating since the more unique your attacks, the higher the nutrition, so messing up on the attacks were a bit of a disappointment. Another issue with the controls was that sometimes you meant to heal yourself, but instead you’d throw the item accidentally during an enemy attack or boss fight, so it did get a bit frustrating in that situation. However, nothing major.

Finally, maybe upgrading the enemies as the cycles change to get harder as you reach the end of the game would be interesting. It would be a nice challenge for the hardcore metroidvania gamers, and maybe it can be a choice of difficulty level and not something that everyone will have to experience.


Ultros brings you through a mind-bending adventure across space and time, while becoming and discovering yourself within the womb of the world you are partaking in. It is coming out on Steam, PlayStation 4/5, and Epic on February 13, 2024 and you can pre-order it right now on steam. There is also a demo available on steam if you’d like to go and see how hallucinogenic this adventure really is. A physical deluxe edition is available for purchase for the Playstation 5 that comes with amazing goodies so definitely make sure to check that out, because we all love our physicals.

With themes like rebirth, growth and a maternal understanding of the earth and its abilities, Ultros is not just a Metroidvania, but a muse that unites you spiritually and brings you to ask yourself, if you had the chance to be reborn many times, can you live your life more fruitfully?

Thank you to the Hadoque and Kepler Interactive for the review code.



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