Feb 22, 2024 5 min read

Quadroids Review — An unusual puzzle platformer packed with great ideas

Chris reviews this novel 2D puzzle-platformer that's full of fun ideas and challenging gameplay.


Chris reviews this novel 2D puzzle-platformer that's full of fun ideas and challenging gameplay.

At first glance, you may take Quadroids for yet another puzzle platformer — but take a closer look, and you'll quickly realise that this 2D sci-fi affair has a novel twist and a real mind-bending challenge to those willing to take it on.

The action in this precision platformer takes place across four split screens — and it appears on the surface to be a four-player experience — but no, you, as a single player, are put in control of all four screens at once.

I first tried Quadroids back at Gamescom last year, and following a brief hands-on demo, I found it to be quite a fresh and unusual take on the genre. It left quite the impression on me as one of the more memorable experiences I had at the show. As such, I was keen to see if the promising work-in-progress flourished into the creative finished product it was shaping up to be. Thankfully, that's exactly what's been delivered here.

Solo developer of Quadroids Guillaume Crouzille at Gamescom 2023
Solo developer of Quadroids Guillaume Crouzille at Gamescom 2023

The split-screen single-player approach is a novel concept and one that could easily be a confusing mess, but thankfully, the result here is a tight and well-designed single-player puzzle adventure that really tests those taking it on. It demands that each of the roughly 100 levels is approached with a certain level of increasing consideration as to how to overcome it. It's just as much a puzzle game as it is a platformer.

This unique 'quadrant' concept works thanks to a very simple control scheme — each quarter of the screen is controlled by just one button. These are the left bumper and left trigger, along with their bumper and trigger counterparts on the right side of your controller.

Tap the left bumper, and your character on the top left screen will jump — and that's pretty much it. Your mini-droid character automatically walks, you're just in control of jumping here.

Beyond some on-screen input labels, the overall four-screen core gameplay mechanic isn't overly explained beyond a brief 30 second tutorial — instead, the game trusts you to just figure things out. There's a certain joy to this which I found refreshing, as not only are you left to surmise how to best navigate the four screens, but you're also constantly challenged to overcome new and gruelling obstacles.

Things start simple enough. You'll find yourself controlling just one of the almost Lemming-like droids that's walking across the four panels. Get from the initial starting point over towards the end goal, and its job done. But soon, you'll have to time jumps, vault over pits, and wall jump to victory — all whilst remembering to tap the correct button depending on which screen your droid has wandered into. There were a few times when I'd be scaling a wall on one panel, and my character would then ascend into the panel above, and I'd just forget to change over to tapping whichever button I now needed to switch to — it initially felt frustrating, but once the muscle memory sets in it offers a satisfying sense of being in control of things.

The simplicity found in the first few levels quickly gives way to challenges in which you have to control two, three, or even more of the little pixel-perfect droids. You'll soon be taking on levels where you need to control multiple characters, wandering across all four of the screens at once.

Quadroids becomes a real juggling act — one where unwavering coordination becomes an essential tool for success. I found myself staring at a level, attempting to figure out how best to approach it, before even giving things an earnest try. It's a big game of trial and error, but one that feels really fun to figure out and pick apart.

The challenge noticeably amps up further in later levels, with projectiles to dodge, timed jump pads to launch yourself off, doors to open, collectables to grab, and much more. At times, the challenge can feel a bit overwhelming, but on the whole, Quadroids does a really good job at taking the initial concept and exploring just how far it can be taken.

In some of the levels, for example, one such strategy you need to employ is purposely killing yourself over and over again in order to make a bridge out of expired droids — the realisation that this is what the game wants you to do was one delightful, and frankly amusing, example of Quadroids building upon its initial idea in inventive ways. This game has the confidence to just try new ideas, and it's full of them.

If completing the 100 or so levels wasn't enough of a challenge in and of itself, the game also has a neat scoring system where you're tasked with completing a level in a set number of moves and in under a certain time. It's a simple enough addition, but one that adds another wrinkle to the overall test on offer — especially thanks to the online leaderboards that update after you complete every level. Overall, there's a difficult, well-realised and unique challenge on offer here.

During my time with Quadroids, I played it exclusively on the Steam Deck — as a 2D pixel-art experience, it runs without any problems — however, the on-screen text did seem a bit small to my eyes.

Quadroids is a really successful effort and one that I had a ton of fun with. It is a gruelling multitasking ordeal that tests your nimbleness, instincts, and, most of all, coordination. A difficult, but great slice of plate-spinning puzzle platforming that nails its core idea and explores it to its fullest.

Quadroids is out today (22 February, 2024) on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.

Quadroids on Steam
Quadroids is a single-player puzzle platformer with a twist! Don’t be fooled by its simple pixel-art style and put your neocortex to the test while you try to control 4 screens by yourself and clear 100+ mind-twisting levels!
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