Neon Chrome Reviews

  • C64 MatC64 Mat1,261,603
    01 Jun 2016 01 Jun 2016
    15 0 4
    As with all of my reviews, the verdict below is based purely on my personal time with the game, which has usually been purchased with my own money. Sometimes a developer is kind enough to provide me with a review copy - this has no bearing on the result, and will be explicitly stated after this paragraph. My reviews are not influenced by general opinions, they do not draw reference to other people’s experiences (unless I’m reviewing couch co-op play), nor are they based on any one particular element; rather, they are an account of my own experiences, and as a result are entirely subjective – as they should be! Enjoy smile

    A copy of Neon Chrome was provided by the developer for the purpose of this review. Thank you!


    Tight, birds-eye shooters have a special place in my heart. From the hours of co-op fun that my brother and I put into Super Smash TV on the C64 and Sega Master System, through the hidden gem of PS1 splatter-fest Loaded, and on to my repeated plays of literal poo-fest The Binding of Isaac, it's fair to say I get a lot of joy out of them.

    I've also played some shockers, though, which I won't name and shame here. You'd think it would be easy to create a tight, responsive, smooth experience with the advantage of dual analogue controls, but some games just don't provide that satisfying and buttery experience you need from the genre.

    Thankfully, 10tons, the developer of Neon Chrome, really knows how to make the formula work.

    You play as a master Hacker, hidden away in the titular arcology of Neon Chrome - a huge, self-sufficient structure which houses over a million people, controlled from within by the Overseer and his legions of Armocore troops. It's implied by the intro monologue that the people who live under his rule do so with a certain amount of contempt. As the master Hacker, you work out of your hub in the arcology trying to take down the Overseer to free the citizens from his oppression, via the medium of big guns, bigger explosions and mass destruction. What else?

    Your character never faces death personally. Instead, at the start of the game, you climb inside an Immersion Chair (an Animus-like device) and take control of another being in the building. This person is randomly generated, and has weapons and skills plucked from a pool of those you've unlocked in the game so far.

    As this neurally controlled asset, you shoot, burn, zap and explode your way through thirty or so procedurally generated, fully destructible floors of offices, labs and living quarters on your mission to eliminate the Overseer. Well, that's the plan. You'll find yourself dying a lot in the rooms and hallways of Neon Chrome. You're vastly outnumbered, criminally underpowered and everything is designed to kill you. Or at least, that's the case for the first ten or twenty runs.

    When you kill enemies and blow stuff up, you'll find a lot of cash left strewn around the battlefield for your collection. After your asset's inevitable demise, you awake from the Immersion Chair, back in control of the Hacker. The cash you've accumulated can be spent here to improve your chances of survival. There are permanent character upgrades, such as upgrading your maximum health, your damage dealt by weapons, and the total number of skills you can equip. There are also temporary upgrades which will only affect your next run, such as buying a particular weapon or skill to start out with. Then, upgraded and a little more prepared, you climb back into your chair to take over the body of another unwitting citizen and start again.

    Every single time you restart, the entire game is reseeded. The rooms are different, the enemies and their numbers are altered, the lift to the next floor - and your key to progression - is in a new place. As you explore, you'll find plenty of lootable boxes, machines and vendors which may contain upgrades and unlockables for use in future runs. If you discover a burst laser for example, that weapon becomes permanently unlocked, meaning the pool of random choices when taking over a new asset increases. Combining this mechanic with the RPG-lite upgrade system means you're always building a bigger, better starting point for your next run. It's like the Formula One of top-down shooters: By the time you start your run, you're already obsolete, already thinking about the next play-through, planning in advance, mentally calculating, being one step ahead.

    These elements give the game a fantastic sense of progression and reward, leading to the clichéd "just one more go" element that the best progressive games have. It helps that, after every five or six levels, you come to a hand-built, non-random boss floor. Elimination of this boss gives you a checkpoint of sorts, a plateau you can choose to start from in future runs, meaning you don't have to face climbing thirty floors in one run to beat the Overseer.

    Scattered around the floors of Neon Chrome are also hidden lifts, which provide a secondary exit to some stages leading to other, hand-crafted rooms such as laboratories, store rooms, and even shooting galleries and many other surprises where you can unlock unique and rare weapons and skills for your character to use in combat. Some of these even provide some hidden narrative, offering a little background to the arcology, the Overseer and the corporations which worked to build it.

    None of the above would matter however if the gameplay sucked. News flash: It doesn't. The controls are tight and responsive, using the left stick to move and the right one to aim. Shoot the hell out of everything with the right trigger, and activate destructive secondary weapons with the tap of a button. The pace of the action and speed of control is spot on, and there are surprising nuances to the AI: Line of sight is at work, so sneak attacks and surprise ambushes through walls are possible. The more you play, the more you see, and just when you think you're learning it all you come across a new enemy, a new trap or a different way to progress.

    And you know what? You can do all the above, every bit of it, in 2-4 player, same-screen couch co-op. Seriously; how brilliant is that?


    The game isn't difficult to 100% per sé, just time consuming. There are a handful of achievements for doing unusual things, such as finishing a level without killing anything, or without being seen, but most of them are for progression: Raising your stats, killing bosses, finishing the game etc. I imagine the ratios will always be pretty high for this game, but only down to the time you'll need to invest to complete it. But that shouldn't put anyone off, as Neon Chrome is really good fun!


    Never boring, always changing and fun to play, Neon Chrome is a game every indie gamer should have in their collection. It offers bite-size chunks of co-op play time with a lot to discover, second only to the inimitable Binding of Isaac for content in the niche genre of top-down shooters. Unlike that game, however, you're always getting stronger, always progressing and always pushing that little further towards reaching your goal.


    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    C64 MatThanks! Only my third - I only tend to review Indies, as they need the most exposure
    Posted by C64 Mat on 01 Jun 16 at 11:47
    TheOnlyMattoplayed it because of this review, agree with the review and look forward to more in the future.
    Posted by TheOnlyMatto on 01 Feb 20 at 06:01
    C64 MatThanks! Still a game I love so much. You should also check out Jydge, set in the same universe. It's more level based than the upwards progression system here, but the gameplay is just as tight and just as fun, using the same destructible engine. Not as good as Neon Chrome, and it does for the letter 'Y' what Mortal Kombat did for 'K', but it's very very fun.
    Posted by C64 Mat on 01 Feb 20 at 09:22
  • FullMoonBeaverFullMoonBeaver1,091,834
    31 May 2016
    6 1 5
    Welcome to my review for Neon Chrome

    Developed by 10Tons Ltd
    Release date: June 8th
    Price: Not confirmed yet
    Genre: Run and Gun

    Neon Chrome is a ruthless top-down cyberpunk shooter with rogue-like elements. The game takes place inside an arcology – a massive sci-fi mega structure.
    Blast your way through walls with guns and cybernetic abilities and try alternate approaches with different roles like the Assassin, Corporate Soldier or the Cyber Psycho. Upgrade your character stats, discover new cybernetic enhancements and build up strength to finally face the Overseer. Every death is a new beginning – the path to defeating the Overseer is never the same.

    The above blurb is direct from the 10Tons website.

    As you have read above, Neon Chrome is a Cyber Punk themed game, whereby you need to defeat the overseer. The game is procedurally generated, and in my experience, no 2 levels are identical. There may be instances where some look similar, but this creates a steady challenge for you as you progress through each floor of the office block.

    The aim is simple, get to the exit via the green coloured square room. Sounds simple doesn't it? Well, yes and no. Yes because in essence, run and gun your way there via key collecting for coloured doors if need be. No, because you will get obliterated. Many times over. Seriously, this game is unforgiving and will punish you for being careless. But this is not an issue. Neon Chrome is addictive. So far, I've been saying, just one more go many times over.

    Being a top down twin stick shooter, you get a good view of the level ahead and can see what enemies lie ahead. Movement is fluid, and controls are set up just right and allow you to make your way through the game with ease. Or until a quick death, which will be the norm at first.

    Upon your death, your in game character is able to return to the game hub, purchase any upgrades for your next run. These include Health, Damage, Luck, Energy and Slots. The first two skills are self explanatory, whilst Luck increases rare loot drop rate, critical hit chances and higher amounts of credits dropped. Energy lows you to use your special abilities more often the higher it is increased. Finally, slots will allow you to acquire more temporary upgrades to your character in the levels. These can be melee upgrades, invisibility whilst stationary, health increases and several more.

    Below your hub are cryogenic containers where your next asset will appear from once you sit in the immersion chair. Each one has a different name, and main ability. Techie, Assassin or Cyber Psycho will offer you different beginning stats, such as increased hit points, extra slots, increased speed. They will also have set a weapon and ability which uses energy. Such as mines, micro missiles, grenades and laser pulses.

    Above your hub, is the Public Services room. Here you can customise your next asset with Enhancements which you normally find within the levels via enhancement booths. Or start with a weapon of your choice, or energy consuming abilities. However, you will need to unlock these first during regular gameplay.

    The game itself, is a very simple concept, and a lot of fun. You will die a lot, and at times, may become frustrated with the lack of progress. But I became determined to over come this obstacle, and started investing into the health and damage upgrades. This costs you money, of which you can loot from various containers in each level.

    The amount of levels per chapter differs each time you play, but the end of each chapter remains the same. You have a boss fight to contend with. Die here, and you start each chapter from the beginning. Unless you want to backtrack and start from a previous chapter. The bosses have 3 stages of health bar, and increases their aggression of attacks the more you damage them. Relentless is a word I would most certainly use here. Thankfully, normal enemies can be sneak attacked if the don't see you.

    There is a decent selection of weapons to unlock in the game, from Sub MG, Assault Rifle, Burst Rifle, Shotgun, to Ion and Laser variants. I was lucky enough to find a Rail Gun. The latter can shoot enemies through most walls. Pick which ever you find easiest to take with you. If you wish to choose your own weapon before a level run, be prepared to pay with credits.

    Visually, it's a pretty Indie game, with small assets, and nicely detailed office floors. Never thought I would say that in any context. The cyber punk look is certainly a refreshing one, and a theme I for one love almost as much as Steampunk.

    The music is a perfect match for the Cyber Punk look. Electro punk? Whatever you want to call it, it works well along with the game. Sound effects for guns an explosions sound right, and when it comes to the shotgun.

    You will certainly be here a while as you push forward to deafeat the Overseer. Unless you're a gaming God. By no means easy, Neon Chrome is a tough game, that will have you trying again, just one more time. There is also a couch co op mode available for those lucky enough to have a gaming buddy nearby.

    The achievements don't seem to difficult on paper, and they're not. The difficulty is what makes them hard to unlock. By no means a quick completion. Don't let this put you off though. Neon Chrome is a fun Indie game, and the more you play and upgrade, the better chance of progression you will have.

    I have enjoyed my time with Neon Chrome. Although at first I felt disheartened by my lack of progress, I stuck at it. Slowly, I am getting further in the game. Maybe I'll unlock another achievemdnt some day.

    I award Neon Chrome 4 stars on True Achievements or 8/10 if you prefer that score.

    Thank you to Jaakko at 10tons for supplying me with a code to review Neon Chrome.
    I will have a video review on my YouTube channel live June 1st and will add a link here once I have recorded it.
  • dudecrazy108dudecrazy108317,865
    13 Dec 2016
    0 0 0
    In Neon Chrome you work for a company all about trust, sadly though you no longer can be trusted and thus are destined for termination, not a loss of job however but more so a loss of life. You won't go down easy though as you climb floor to floor in the building leading up to getting to the top to take down the Overseer that controls it all. It won't be you directly doing the killing though instead you will be hacking into others to do your bidding for you.

    From the get go each session you are given the choice to picking different characters presented to you each with their own distinctive traits. They could be more of a solider type or more into hacking bringing a bot with them. Having to start with different weapons and skills does help keep the game feeling fresh each time. After choosing your guy you start on floor 1 and go floor to floor wiping out enemies, collecting loot, and killing bosses all with the hopes of making it to the top to take down your main boss. The levels are mixed between normal levels, special ones, and boss levels.

    Now the normal levels will start to look the game after while with the same rooms and halls feeling the same with only a minor paint job but thankfully since the game is so randomly generated it won't be identical as it was before. Be prepared for a fight as well since almost every level will feature handfuls of enemies. Now killing them isn't always necessary but I found most times they'd hold keys needed to progress forward on that floor. Even though it controls like your standard twin stick shooter running straight in isn't always the best choice as you have little health and only takes a few good hits to die. This is one game that will have you dying a lot. Now once dead you will lose whatever weapons upgrades you have unlocked that round as well as character upgrades but you will keep your loot currency you acquired. That currency can be used to buy weapons to start with next round or used to upgrade your overall health, damage, etc. Now as much as it does suck when you are on a roll with a good upgraded character the fact that you can buy those skills and weapons again is a plus and helps lessen being sour about dying. After upgrading for a bit as well you do start to feel more powerful too which is always a plus for games of this nature.

    The sound and visuals for this game have to be noted as well for standing out so much. We are treated to a bright visual look often radiating in a neon glow to it. Musically we are given a futuristic sound as well that compliments the game as well.

    Sadly it all isn't great though. After a while of dying and going through the motions again the game does start to feel stale. You can only run through levels similar to each other so many times before it starts to grow old. The difficulty as well may be a deterrent for some as well since the game can sometimes be quite unrelenting in it's pursuit to kill you.

    Overall Neon Chrome is a fun twin stick shooter with light RPG elements. If you can make it past a difficult beginning you'll find something to kill a few hours with though after that time you may find that the game doesn't have anything too new to present you.

    Score : 6/10

    Digital Review Code Provided Courtesy Of 10tons LTD