Syder Arcade for Linux Review

key review info
  • Game: Syder Arcade for Linux
  • Platform: Linux
  • Gamepad support: Yes  
  • Reviewed on:
  • Written by:
  • Show system requirements
Syder Arcade gameplay

A long time ago, games were fun and then they weren’t fun anymore. Somewhere along the line, other stuff became more important than simple fun and the joy of playing games was lost. Syder Arcade is a successful attempt at resurrecting our childhood melancholy while keeping in touch with modern times.

Syder Arcade has been released for a few months, but the game recently received Linux support and the developer managed to get it through the Steam Greenlight program.

I stumbled across this title when I was trying to find some good side-scrolling shooters made in the vein of the ones from the golden era of gaming, when we needed to go to the arcades for some quality entertainment.

To my immense surprise I discovered two important facts. People have started to misunderstand the name of the genre, side-scrolling shooter. It's difficult to know why or how things got screwed up, but now the term is more widely used for 2D platforming games that also include some shooting.

A better term that is now in use is “shmup,” which stands for shoot 'em up, which is also quite redundant.

The other problem I encountered was the fact that there are actually very few games of this type available on the Linux platform. With the exception of Jamestown, which stands in a class of its own, there is literally nothing of quality. There are a few smaller titles, but nothing worth mentioning.

Story and Gameplay

Every good game needs a good story, you might think. In the case of shmup games this is not true. It's nice to get a story, but all we need is an excuse to feel kids again.

The developers have a huge section of their website dedicated to the backstory of Syder Arcade, and it's something about a future in which the need for raw material is driving the human exploration of space, backed by greedy corporations. I have to be frank. I couldn’t care less about the story. Give me ships and moving targets, and I'll fill in the blaks.

The gameplay is pretty standard, with a twist. The players are not moving forward in a linear map. The entire map is loaded from the get-go and you can move freely from right to left and left to right. This is certainly a new way of dealing with waves after waves of enemies, but it's been used before, especially on consoles.

The gameplay is broken down, as you would expect, into levels of ever-increasing difficulty, until you just throw the controller and you need to buy another one.

The first difficulty level will probably get you through 4 or 5 maps and you might start to feel good about yourself, but the end levels are brutal and you are going to do a lot of running and strafing just to finish them, nevermind the score.

When you think that you're man enough (or woman, we're not trying to discriminate anyone), you might want to move to the next difficulty level, but be prepared, it's going to be a brutal ride.

There are only a couple of areas that can be criticized. The length of the game and the limited number of ships available. The developers have just added a new ship and a couple of new bonus levels, so we can hope that more are incoming.

Everything else works just as you would think. You will get upgrades for your ship from time to time, ranging from better weapons, to repair tokens and temporary shields.

Syder Arcade might be a title for older gamers, but it also incorporate some new technologies, and if you set it on “Godlike” quality, it will torture your video card, but only a little.

To make things even more interesting, the developers from Studio Evil have implemented a series of filters that make the game look like it's running on very old systems from 25 years ago.

The Good

  • Perfect arcade action
  • Brutal difficulty
  • Lots of powerups

The Bad

  • Too few levels
  • Needs more ships


Syder Arcade is a jewel, simply put. It hasn't been promoted a lot, but Linux users should pick this game up without moment's pause. It's exquisite and it shows that good games for the older generations still have a cult following.

I'm sure that younger players will also find it interesting, but the thing I think recommends it the best is the brutal difficulty. In a world of quick-time events, a game that honestly tests your skills will be king.

story 7
gameplay 10
concept 10
graphics 8
audio 9
multiplayer 0
final rating 9
Editor's review

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