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Bionfly: a new retro side-scroller with lots of potential

Retro-looking games are a big category right now, and Bionfly is a new entry that not only impresses now but has plenty of potential to offer more in the future. The game has just launched in the Play Store with throwback graphics, original lo-fi soundtrack and simple controls. We've seen games of this style before, but Bionfly still stands out as an independent game.

Hang with us after the break and learn a little more about Bionfly, a new 2D retro side-scroller game.

If you grew up playing side-scroller games, you'll fall right into a groove with Bionfly. The controls couldn't be more basic, with left and right navigation controls on the bottom left of the screen, and a jump / fly control on the bottom right. The top of the screen will show the level and number of coins you've collected, while a bar at the bottom of the screen shows your time and power.

The levels are designed in the same style as games like Mario Brothers and the like, where you're just going to be moving left and right, jumping on and over objects, and avoiding spikes, pits and barriers. The entire game as a cool retro industrial post-apocalypse kind of feel, accented by a great soundtrack. Speaking of, the soundtrack is all original and fits perfectly with the graphics of Bionfly in a lo-fi style.

The main restriction of the game is this power meter, which drains as you use the bottom right button to jump and fly around. The power drains very quickly, but starts regenerating just as fast when you're on the ground. The main restriction of the game is trying to manage this power to get over and around the obstacles. Getting over larger pits by landing on platforms part of the way through becomes a necessity more than an easy way out. Timing becomes everything, as platforms often break or move right as you need the power up.

You get points for completing levels, naturally, but it's important to also grab as many of the available coins as possible along the way. This gives the game extreme replay value because you can always shoot to beat your best time. This is one of those games that is so simple, yet frustratingly difficult because of its simplicity. With only a couple of controls, you have to plan every move to make it through levels with high points.

This is a free game, and the other side of the coin (so to speak) on free games is advertisements. Bionfly puts notably large banner ads on the bottom of menus and at the end of levels, which doesn't detract too much from the experience but are definitely noticeable -- that's kind of the point. Thankfully, there are no ads during gameplay, which is most important. Bionfly at this point doesn't have an in-app purchase to remove ads or a paid version without them, but we would assume as development moves on that this would be the case. The quality and gameplay in Bionfly is certainly worth a few dollars, and your average player would like to have the option of an immersive experience without ads

That being said, the game is available now and worth your time to check it out. There are 20 levels at the moment that can be unlocked and played, and the developer notes that more are on the way soon. You can grab a download of Bionfly from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

1 Comment
  • Thanks for the article! Just played the game and it's really well done - bit more difficult than I thought though. Just wish that the controls and text at the bottom of the screen were transparent or better placed so that they don't obscure the environment of the game. On a related note, anyone have any recommendations for similar side-scrolling type games with great graphics and retro music?