BIOTA is an indie metroidvania, and for some reason it’s really gotten to me. I really love it. I love the range of colour palettes you can select, at least one of which gives the game’s sci-fi horrors a sort of holiday ice cream chic. I love the chunkiness of the art. I love the chugging chiptune soundtrack. I love the fact that the whole thing is set on an asteroid.
More than anything, though, I am a sucker for games in which each screen is its own fixed unit of the world. For whatever reason these are the games that most feel like real places. Run off the edge of the screen in BIOTA and you end up in a new screen. Go back and the enemies have respawned. I love this.
It’s particularly useful for a metroidvania, I think, because your brain kind of snapshots each environment, the layout of the platforms and what-have-you, and so it’s easier to start building your own internal map – a map that is at least in part a map of exits and entrances, of unseen doors that connect very seen spaces.