Review – Remote Life (Xbox Series S/X)

As weird as this might sound, what caught my attention when I first heard of Ratalaika Games’ Remote Life was… its price tag. The Spanish publisher is mostly known for very small games that never sell for more than ten bucks at launch, so when I saw a bullet hell shooter with somewhat impressive visuals with an asking price of $19.99, I was wondering if this was a sign of the company starting to venture into larger, more complex games. Well, ultimately, it wasn’t, for the game is still beyond simple in size and scope, but I had a moderately good time with it regardless.

Remote Life Twin-Stick Shooting

Twin-stick shooting makes one hell of a difference in a game designed after R-Type.

In fact, Remote Life is a one-man project. It was entirely developed by Mario Malagrino, who did a surprising job with what little resources he had at his disposal, namely the visuals. This is the first shooter I can remember where everything is comprised of pre-rendered visuals turned into sprites, just like in old-school Mortal Kombat, as well as Donkey Kong Country. It looks odd at first, especially on a larger screen, which results in the game showing clear signs of its small budget. However, the art direction is really strong, being a mixture of R-Type and Giger, which more than makes up for it. I’d say the game would look even better on a portable like the Switch.

Remote Life Bosses

Save your bombs and better weaponry for boss battles, so then they can last for like ten seconds, tops.

Gameplay-wise, this is a bog standard shoot ’em up set in R-Type-inspired levels, full of small corridors and countless enemies to deal with. The cramped environments are an issue, without a doubt, as Remote Life‘s collision detection is not ideal. That said, you can get used to it, since the game itself is not challenging whatsoever. Yep, even though you die whenever a millimeter-sized particle touches you, Remote Life is very bearable for bullet hell standards. That’s mostly due to what I consider the most innovative (and honestly, sole innovative) feature in the game: twin-stick shooting, which allows you to maneuver through Remote Life‘s tight corridors without worrying about lining yourself towards enemies at all times.

It will be really enjoyable… once. My issue with Remote Life, aside from its occasionally weird presentation and awful voice acting, is the fact that despite featuring a wide array of unlockables and extra features, it is the quintessential “one and done” kind of game. Beat levels, gain achievements, try to comprehend the nonsense that is its plot, increase your gamerscore, and uninstall it once you beat the final boss. Its lasting appeal is nonexistent, making its higher price tag a bit steep when compared to other Ratalaika titles.


I couldn’t even tell what I was shooting at. All I know is that it probably didn’t survive.

In short, Remote Life is an interesting shoot ’em up with a strong art style, neat implementation of twin-stick shooting mechanics in an R-Type-esque setting, and the occasionally impressive boss battle. It is your standard “one and done” game, though. As fun as it may be at first, and despite featuring unlockables and extra bonuses, it offers little incentive to convince you to play it more than once. With that said, if you’re a fan of the genre, you could a lot worse. Considering it was made by a single person, that makes the overall product even more impressive at the end of the day.


Graphics: 7.0

It’s all pre-rendered, like a game from the mid-90s. It looks odd at first, but you get used to it after a while. The art direction more than makes up for it.

Gameplay: 7.5

Shoddy hit detection aside, it’s a functional take on traditional R-Type-esque shooters, with the addition of twin-stick aiming controls.

Sound: 6.0

A bog standard electronic soundtrack that gets the job done during tense sections, until it eventually gets ruined by some terrible voice acting.

Fun Factor: 6.5

It’s pretty fun for one run. You’ll nab plenty of achievements in the process. A bit forgettable afterwards, even though there are a handful of unlockables.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Remote Life is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, and Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series S.

A copy of Remote Life was provided by the publisher.