AK-xolotl review - More than just a roguelike

2 weeks ago 30

AK-xolotl is simply a must-play if you’re a instrumentality of roguelikes and slug hells. Its assorted enemies connection absorbing attacks and are chiseled capable that you tin customize effectual antiaircraft strategies against them with a scope of weapons and abilities. However, immoderate of the runs tin get rather repetitive


  • +

    Variety of levels and biomes

  • +

    Nice scope of enemies

  • +

    Fun broadside quests


  • -

    Limited mini-games

  • -

    Fights go precise repetitive

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Review info

Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC and PS5
Release date: September 14, 2023

AK-xolotl makes the astir of its deadly and adorable premise with mountains of guns and adjacent much unsocial axolotls to play with. If you’re a instrumentality of roguelikes that are connected the cuter side, past you request to cheque retired this top-down shooter developed by 2Awesome Studio. 

In this Bullet Hell, you play arsenic a lone axolotl connected a ngo to rescue your kidnapped babies and, much importantly, find the nutrient that went missing with them. This quest volition spot you combat done assorted biomes and against aggregate gun-wielding enemies similar spinning crabs and rabid wood dwellers. 

No 1 tally is the aforesaid acknowledgment to the random paths you tin take, but each roads yet pb to the deadly brag that lays successful hold astatine the precise end. While this does assistance to marque each tally consciousness somewhat fresh, constricted representation layouts mean you’re struck with deja vu each excessively often. 

AK-pex predator 

Mid fight

(Image credit: Playstack)

Ak-xolotl’s premise is unique; determination aren’t galore games wherever you tin play arsenic a disgruntled axolotl warring its mode done hordes of rabbits, raccoons, and rats. There’s besides a large woody of weapons for you to get your webby paws on. While the classical AK gives you unlimited ammo, you ever person the prime to transportation different weapon. This could beryllium thing from a katana to an automatic pistol. Each limb brings with it its ain benefits, specified arsenic powerfulness oregon occurrence rate, and negatives, specified arsenic constricted ammo. 

Best bit:

Baby axolotls successful  a herd together

(Image credit: Playstack)

While I emotion the dungeon-crawling constituent of AK-xolotl, nurturing each the babe axolotls I recovered scattered astir the representation was a invited alteration to the chaotic dungeon runs. Thanks to time, care, and a batch of food, I grew each antithetic kinds of axolotl their big signifier - which I could past play as.  

Luckily, you won’t person to prevention these other weapons for a rainy day, arsenic you’ll ever beryllium capable to prime up much arsenic you forge ahead. Almost each country you travel crossed volition person much than 1 doorway to take from aft you’ve wiped it cleanable of enemies. Behind these doors often lies a caller gun, power-ups, coins, oregon adjacent a babe axolotl successful request of rescuing.  Therefore, earlier unleashing an full mag connected immoderate assertive rabbits, it’s champion signifier to look up and spot if a caller weapon is going to beryllium disposable afterwards. 

There are besides useful power-ups to get to grips with. Once you wide a country of rabid animals, you tin take 1 of 3 power-ups to assistance you connected your adventure. While immoderate are straightforward, specified arsenic giving you much wellness oregon accelerating your speed, others are much imaginative and massively powerful. You tin permission a way of goo that volition dilatory down opponents, electrocute enemies that travel excessively close, oregon adjacent harm attackers erstwhile you get hurt. Each power-up is captious successful getting you to the brag room, and beyond, arsenic you hurtle done assorted biomes and obstacles, facing much and much unsafe enemies. 

You could descend hours into this Bullet Hell arsenic a result. The fig of assorted power-ups and weapons means there’s truthful overmuch experimentation to effort successful bid to make a imaginable game-winning combination. No substance however galore times you extremity backmost astatine the beginning, you’ll ever privation to spell backmost for much conscionable successful lawsuit your caller operation works out.

Nature oregon nurture 

baby axolotl's room

(Image credit: Playstack)

While witnessing the hyper-aggressive quality of these gun-wielding axolotls tin beryllium fun, the similarity of representation layouts tin marque runs frustratingly repetitive. Luckily, however, there’s much to bash successful AK-xolotl than simply weapon down wood dwellers, which volition assistance to premix things up. 

A fewer broadside quests tin assistance capable the clip successful AK-xolotl and besides springiness you a much-needed reprieve from the deadly slug hell. One of my favorites has to beryllium nurturing the babe axolotls that you find crossed the maps. There are small banana axolotls, cattle axolotls, and of course, beauteous small pinkish ones. You tin put a superior magnitude of clip into looking aft them. 

If you implicit the fewer mini-games aimed astatine caring for the babies, specified arsenic cleaning them up oregon changing their diapers, they volition past turn into bare teenagers. After this, you volition person to navigator meals and provender the teen axolotls to guarantee they turn beardown and healthy. Only aft they’ve reached adulthood tin you swap characters and play done levels arsenic them. 

axolotl warring  enemies

(Image credit: Playstack)

It’s a large alternate to simply unlocking caller skins, and, this way, you’ve got mode much of an inducement to rescue the babe axolotls because, portion they are cute, it provides a amusive mode to capable your clip betwixt hellish runs. 

However, if permadeath and monolithic restarts aren’t for you, beryllium definite to deliberation things done earlier entering into AK-xolotl, arsenic nary substance however acold you get erstwhile you die, you’ll commencement again from the precise beginning. For newcomers to the roguelike genre, you whitethorn beryllium capable to circumvent these aggravating restarts by splitting your clip betwixt Bullet Hells and Nursery.  The nurturing mini-games for babe axolotls connection up capable reprieve to assistance you easiness into the game's often brutal ways of progressing done levels.

There’s not overmuch other to accidental astir AK-xolotll; it’s a well-made crippled that’s entertaining to play, with a comic conception that makes it basal retired from the crowd. If you’re a instrumentality of Bullet Hells, past this perfectly delivers. At the aforesaid time, the dungeon-crawling facet of this roguelike is hard capable to marque you travel backmost for much but doesn’t transverse the enactment implicit to go incredibly frustrating.  


Accessibility settings

(Image credit: Playstack)

The accessibility settings aren’t massively fleshed retired successful AK-xolotl, but immoderate utile options are present. Screen shake, blood, camera focus, and vibration tin each beryllium toggled connected oregon off. There are besides 2 trouble options to marque things a spot much accessible, arsenic good arsenic antithetic degrees of purpose assistance to assistance you successful battle. 

How we reviewed

I played 6 hours of AK-xolotl on its astir challenging mode to spot however assorted enemies and weapons faired nether pressure. Despite much than a fewer restarts, I had a large clip crushing done hordes of evil animals and adjacent a fewer of the starter bosses.

While I reviewed AK-xolotl on PC, I did person a spell astatine the console mentation during my preview astatine Gamescom. I recovered that utilizing a rodent and keyboard is much straightforward than playing with a controller, chiefly owed to aggravating purpose assist, which tin backfire during fights and nonstop your axolotl shooting disconnected successful random directions.  

For much fantastic permadeath struggles, beryllium definite to cheque retired these fantastic roguelike games and indie games you tin play close now.

Elie Gould

Elie is simply a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, present to constitute astir thing caller oregon somewhat weird. Before penning for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters astatine Cardiff University JOMEC successful International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their escaped clip filming abbreviated docs oregon editing the gaming conception for their pupil publications. 

Elie’s archetypal measurement into gaming was done Pokémon but they've taken the earthy adjacent measurement successful the fearfulness genre. Any and each crippled that would support you up astatine nighttime is connected their database to play - contempt the information that 1 of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased. 

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