SkulFox Reviews: Infernax

SkulFox is beaten by Infernax

So I recently beat Infernax, the 2022 game from Berzerk Studio and published by The Arcade Crew and would like to propose my off-the-cuff thoughts. Overall, the gamewas pretty awesome, with a few caveats. If you're a fan of the metroidvania style and/or retro graphics, this game definitely should get your attention.


In the land of Upel (You-pell, Ooh-pull? notquite sure how to pronounce made up words), Duke Alcedor returns fromthe crusades to find his home invaded by the demonic forces of evil. You, as the Duke (in an RPG-lite kind of way), get to opt in to be a good crusader/paladin and rid the dukedom of evil, or join forces with it and become a terror to your homeland. I personally just got the "Righteous" ending, but there are several others that I won't spoil. You can look them up or, better yet, play the game and see what ending you get.

The one thing I will say, as I found from the wiki while looking up some information on the endings, is that the "morality" is very black or white. Good or bad points are given based on what choices you make, and that does affect your ending.


The game operates like your typical metroidvania; side-scrolling "kill the monsters" action, with certain upgrades barring progress which does railroad you into going to certain areas before others. Your basic weapon, the mace, is a bit shorter than you would anticipate, but it's not hard to adjust once you start getting into the game. Killing the monsters feels good, properly punchy and fun. Getting upgrades has appropriate fanfare, if a little drawn out; it could be a couple of seconds shorter and nothing would be lost. And again, slaying monsters and demons and the like feels great.It is definitely the main draw for me to have played this and almost nothing else for the last week.


The game immediately brings to mind, with the graphical fidelity and challenge, games like Zelda 2: The Adventureof Link and Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest, albeit a bit less cryptic. The game does look properly NES era, which is around what I grew up with (though I was much more SNES/Genesis era, I did play a lot of original NES games) and the graphics will properly contrast so you don't lose yourself or your enemies in the background or anything. Very much not "everything is varying shades of brown," no, the game is colorful and sprites pop out like you'd expect of old games.


Here is where a lot of people are going to probably turn their noses up at this game. The early game is fairly easy if you keep an eye on your health bar, a bit less emphasis needs to be on your magic meter. Also, once you hit a certain point very early on, you can get health restore potions for free as long as you have an empty bottle.

However, the late game is full of pretty precise platforming with minimal, if any, margin for error, and a single misstep means dying in lava, acid, catching a spear to the face, becoming the human bonfire... the list goes on. While the deaths are amusing at first because there are several unique "death animations," the precision platforming can definitely wear on your patience in the late game. If an enemy kills me because I wasn't paying attention to my health or they hit harder than I expected, that's one thing. Falling into the same lava pit seven times after having successfully done that platforming challenge before becomes really grating. And the mid and late game are full of instant death pits.

Thankfully, aside from that, and even several times with the instant death, I didn't really feel like the game was cheap. If you know the controls, you can usually point out where you went wrong with both the enemies and the platforming.

If the difficulty isn't really your jam, there is a casual mode that makes some of the challenges easier and throws in extra save points. I didn’t really try it much before getting into this review, but it is there if you want a bit less stress in your game.


Overall, as I'm sure I stated before, this game is pretty awesome. Very retro metroidvania, with some throw backs to older games like Zelda 2 or Castlevania 2, among others. The short version? If you're a metroidvania fan (and who isn't, honestly?) then it's worth the $20 or so to pick it up. It took me a week of relatively regular play to get one ending of the... six or so, not counting the super-secret endings. Would definitely give this a "Hityour head on Deborah Cliff" out of ten.

By the way, if you find a spot that looks like Deborah Cliff, do not hit your head. Or do, I'm not your dad.