From the creator of Iji comes an even more crystalline instance of retro-craft. Hero Core strips down the form of a closed-circuit, 2D macro-level design to its bare pixels, two colors, 8-bit sound or something like it. This is the hard core of a gem fashioned over eons of geophysical activity, or in this case the creator's nights of labor and detail. It's so basic it's sick. Tiny bits of text create context. It unfolds like an onion blocked up in white pixel groups.
Like the typical Metroidvania, you've got zones dividing up the game world, they'd have their own color schemes, backgrounds and backstories. Here, you have a quick name, like War Factory, and a Threat Level. The Threat Level is a psychologically intimidating scrap of ASCII, the corresponding number scales 1-10 and correlates to the levels you gain by defeating the boss of each sector. Remar executes a beautiful minimalism of feedback corresponding to an elegant pacing mechanic, where the 1-10 of the sectors and 1-10 of the levels finds a symmetry in time.
Playing this makes me want to do something fresh with Metroidvania, and it may make you feel that way too.