Xenoraid, by developer 10tons Ltd., is a surprisingly fresh take on the vertically scrolling shoot’em up genre.

Developer 10tons has added some fun gameplay mechanics to help differentiate Xenoraid from the rest of the pack. The ability to fire in 20-30 degrees in front of the ship instead of being limited to just straight ahead is a welcome addition. Players can also upgrade individual ships throughout the game with new weapon modifications and a series of new abilities like shield upgrades, homing-missile deterrents, and more. Xenoraid also features some very detailed explosions for each enemy craft you encounter. The sound design was also worth noting as each weapon had a distinct and satisfying sound to it. Some spacecraft can be equipped with typical machine-guns, shotgun-like burst weapons, rail guns, rockets, and more. The variety in weapons and customizations is definitely one of game’s strong suits.

Visually, the game features a very polished, 2D presentation. The menus are all well-designed and intuitive, and the animations are well-implemented. Enemy spacecraft will even show sparks and other animations when they are damaged over time.

Along with the customizations and keen visuals, the real selling point of Xenoraid is the 4-player co-op. Playing with friends in this game was a lot of fun and there is a rewarding challenge to each level. I wouldn’t put the game up as high as Overcooked or Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime in terms of amazing co-op games available for the Switch, but it’s certainly a great value for the $9.99 price tag. The game features 5 worlds with a number of levels in each so there is plenty of content for the money.

I felt like the enemy variety and the boss battles/design could have been improved, but other than that, Xenoraid is a really solid shoot’em up. If you’re looking for a great multiplayer shoot’em up game to play with friends, Xenoraid offers a lot of customization and fun!