Infernax Review – Classic 80s Action in the Modern Day

Infernax is a 2D sidescroller heavily influenced by retro games, especially Castlevania and maybe a little artistic influence from Berserk. It’s certainly not shy about its inspirations but that’s not a bad thing at all.

What’s new? What’s old?

Infernax has classic platformer controls. Right from the start it feels like you could be playing an NES game. You’ve got stiff attacks, heavy knockback from enemies and a jump arc that you can’t change once you’ve committed to a jump.

The more modern aspects are represented by quality of life improvements and graphics that surpass much older hardware while still echoing the retro style. There’s also the fact that you’ve got story choices that are smoothly and naturally integrated into the gameplay, as well as light RPG elements and an open world; elements you might not see in classic platformers.


Good pixel art never gets old. Beautiful is maybe the wrong word here… eye-catching perhaps.

Gameplay in general feels great. Very simple but focused. RPG elements are very simple, and each town has the same upgrades apart from a unique spell in each. There are 4 other abilities to gain and armour and weapon upgrades that are very straightforward. This is not a negative point. Each upgrade feels like you’re making significant progress and they feel well earned due to game’s difficulty.

Dungeons have branching paths but you’ll be going through each one eventually, with only a few optional pathways. However there are spells/items you can find that make exploration satisfying and rewarding.

Graphically the game is great if you’re into the classic style, and the same goes for the soundtrack. It isn’t hugely expansive but what is there is absolutely fantastic and will have you humming along the whole time.

The sidequests also add to exploration and depth. They’re all pretty much optional (we’ll get to that later) but with good rewards. The open world is so small that going between them is no problem, even before you find the teleport spell. It’s a small game over all but I count that as a point in its favour. It doesn’t go on so long you get bored and it’s very well paced. Without spoiling much, there is plenty of unlockable content to get you coming back for repeat playthroughs.

It’s a little bit gory. Just a tad.


In my opinion, there aren’t many bad things to say about Infernax. I only have to major gripes with the game, though one left kind of a bad taste in my mouth. Firstly, the bosses kind of suck. Visually speaking they’re all really interesting.

The artwork in this game, especially when it does the dramatic close up thing, is super cool. I love the horror vibe. But the bosses are all extremely easy compared to the rest of the game. Apart from the first two bosses, I beat almost all of them on my first try. Even the secret final boss only took two attempts and it was over in two minutes. It’s disappointing because the dungeons leading up to the bosses are fairly challenging, but at the end all you get is basically a timing challenge against a boss with two or three attacks.

Still, that’s only a minor complaint. The bosses are a small portion of the game. What really turned me off after my first playthrough was the ending. You see Infernax has a morality system. Each time you have a choice it’s always black and white whether it’s a good or bad choice. Each one gives you good boy and bad boy points, but they’re not weighted equally and the weighting is hidden.

I didn’t discover this until after I got to the “end” of the game. If you don’t go all good or all evil, the default ending is incredibly disappointing. You’re told that you sustained too many injuries and died in the final battle, no matter how well you did, and that evil still lurks out there somewhere. So it’s a hollow victory at best.

In my first playthrough, I made one poor choice. I ended up flooding a small town thinking it would reveal the path to a hidden dungeon with a demon hiding in it. Long story short, it didn’t and nobody liked that. The kicker is that that one negative thing outweighs every single positive choice you can make in the game. I picked the good choice in every other quest but it didn’t matter. I was locked out of the true ending, with no indication of why.

I had to go onto reddit to find out what was happening because I thought the game was bugged. The guides all said the final quest should trigger after doing every sidequest but it wasn’t until someone went data mining they found out about the scoring system for good/evil choices.

I kind of ranted a bit much there, but my point was that it’s very easy to lock yourself out of a satisfying ending, including the final dungeon. Regardless of that one choice I made, other players might choose a mix of good or evil choices depending on what they think is better and they’ll be met with disappointment at the end.

Some choices are presented as an either/or option. Some are encountered naturally in the game world

Essentially, the game wants you to be either all good or all bad, or else you get told you fucked up. It’s disappointing because it takes all meaning away from the choice system. Once you have that knowledge, you’re no longer making choices based on what you think your character would do or what’s best for the world at large. They exist only for you to pick what ending you want.

In fairness, there are some real good accessibility options in the game such as invincibility and infinite jumps. If I hadn’t been streaming the game, and if those options weren’t there, I wouldn’t have done a second playthrough and would’ve left the game with a bitter taste in my mouth. I’m glad I did, but it’s a bummer I had to spend another 3 hours mind numbingly playing again just for that.

In the end, I think Infernax is a great game with one major flaw. If you’re into retro platformers like Castlevania, or if you like well made games with a focus on challenging gameplay, give Infernax a go. Don’t worry if you’re not great at games as it has an easier difficulty mode and those accessibility options I mentioned go a long way to making it playable for less experienced players.

You can get Infernax here on Steam and on all the consoles.

If you want to read more about actual retro games, check out this article I did with some input from retro game collectors and enthusiasts: Why We Love Retro Gaming: The Fun Never Dies.

And you can see me stream games like this and more on the Bantarcade Twitch channel.

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights