Dystoria. Tri-coastal’s love letter to 80s and 90s kids.


A fine example of how the Unity engine was meant to be used and a loving mix of 80s era goodies. The game reminds me most of an inverted Tempest. It does draw deeply from the Decent well too. A recent game that’s much like this is Vektor War. That game lacked the need for a sixth axis and played more like an FPS. The art styles and mechanics are similar. The ships you can unlock have a lot in common with vessels you’d see in popular movies and other games. Someone look at the one being serviced on the mothership and tell me that’s not an X-Wing. Ofc it isn’t but the look vaguely related. The levels look like either a Decent level turned inside out or maybe an intentionally  failed Tetris puzzle. They can get very complex early on.

Dystoria uses a heavy synth-wave sound track. I’d expect something like this being unearthed in the backyard of Uncle Rico. It’s practically “Savlonic the Game”. Or at least very close to what I’d want one to look like if one were ever made.
The game pumps nicely and matches the game’s tone. The sounds have a satisfying crunch to them as well. When you get better at blow up baddies from a distance you start to miss the big BOOM and I caught myself intentionally getting closer in combat to get my ‘splosion fix.

Oh boy. This game has a challenge curve to it. It’s not apparent right away either. Luckily it has full gamepad support and fluid controls. It feels like a casual mobile game the way the levels are broken up and tallies at the end of each level really remind you of a FB game or something from Google Play or App Store. Not in a bad way either. You collect salvage and nucleons in order to purchase upgrades. Even early on it is wise to go back to the mothership and see if you can afford an upgrade around the 4th level. Grind previous levels a few times for more salvage if needed. It’s easy to miss salvage that ends up floating too high and it’s too risky to attempt to detach and fetch it. People who look for the retro games in the arcade for a good challenge won’t be disappointed. This game is tough enough that you’ll be thankful for the ability to upgrade your ships.

TL: DR; This game is a bundle of Neon tropes wrapped up and delivered. Those who love this sort of ‘future retro’ aesthetic and challenging game play are sure to enjoy. The graphics are clean. The UI uncluttered. The music matches the game’s style. Sadly the game’s purchase price doesn’t include a copy of the OST. There’s no multi-player. Though you can easily compete for high score which means your buddies can competitively help you progress in the game. A nice bonus.

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