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BACKTRACKING GAMES. No you can't go there yet, you need the double-jump powerup.
Note: Despite conflicts with "definitions" and diction, the generally accepted term for these sorts of games is "Metroidvania".
|Aquaria||Windows, OS X, Linux||Massive award-winning indie title created by Spelunky programmer Derek Yu and Crayon Physics Deluxe composer Alec Holowka. Aquaria features huge underwater environments with an emphasis on exploration, challenging-but-not-stupid boss battles and an absolutely phenomenally AWESOME soundtrack. Before you ask: yes, there is a nude mod. An absolute must-have for any Metroidvania game fan.|
|Aztaka||Windows, OS X||Aztaka is an indie throwback to the good old side-scrolling action RPG genre. In this gorgeous hand-painted world, you play Huitzilo, heir of the Sun God, able to equip gears and cast spells. http://www.citeremis.com/index.php/games|
|Cave Story||Windows, OS X, Linux, PSP, Wii, DS, 3DS||Widely considered to be one of the best freeware games and the great pioneer of modern indie game development. Good story, great gameplay and cute pixel graphics and chiptune music (composed on the creator's custom program no less!). Also on Wiiware with slightly different options, DSiWare in original flavor with some nifty touchscreen bonuses, and soon on 3DS, but remixed and remastered. Doesn't "really" have backtracking, so you might be let down when it comes to re-exploration.|
|Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition||Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U||You are Juan Aguacate, an agave farmer by day and a luchador by night, who must defeat an evil skeleton's army to save the daughter of El Presidente. Do cool grappling moves! Make wicked cool combos! And before you ask, you can ignore the memes in the background. Includes co-op, too.|
|Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet||Windows, Xbox 360||The game is set on an alien planet and includes exploration elements similar to Metroid and Castlevania.|
|Maze of Galious, The||Windows, OS X, Linux, MSX, NES||A remake of the best La-Mulana inspiration you've never heard of, which is also the cornerstone that the entire genre was built upon. Unlike later games, this one does NOT mess around. You have to find out everything by yourself in a huge game filled with areas and enemies ready to EASILY kill you. Protip: If you play the original on an MSX (or MSX emulator) you can take advantage of 2nd slot rom carts, which add power-ups from the get-go. Had a NES version which is notably different in several areas. Although there's a large hub-world, the bosses all have their own sub-worlds to tackle (somewhat like the later Portrait of Ruin on DS).|
|Scurge: Hive||Gba, Nds||The game follows the protagonist Jenosa Arma, a female bounty hunter tasked with hunting a parasitic lifeform called the "Scurge" an alien entity capable of rapidly adapting to and infecting biological, mechanical, and digital systems, including the player.|
|Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition||Windows, Xbox One||Very beautiful game with cute story, and good metroidvania gameplay.|
|An Untitled Story||A platform game including a few Metroidvania elements, like a unified giant level with a map and different abilities to access new paths. MS Paint graphics, but without the usual background/platform confusion associated with it. Game is gigantic, with tons of secret zones. You'll need at least 10 hours to finish the game and 20 hours for a 100%. Also has a cute but not important story.|
|Chelsea's Gotta Kill 7 Devils (AKA Bunny Must Die)||Being that it's Platine, expect an innocuous, sort of cute-looking game that kills you repeatedly and without mercy. Translation patch courtesy of NDT:|
Hasslevania: The Quest For Shuteye
|A parody of Castlevania, starring a average guy named Rovert who must stop Dracula's scandalous noise so he can sleep. Though hard and sometimes unfair, (you gotta really grind for money because, infamously, save points won't heal you) the game can be a lot fun if you can get some momentum. Also includes intentionally narmful voice acting. Get it here: http://kevinski.com/downloads.ph A sequel is in the works.|
|Hero/Hero Core||These are about a jetpack man out in a mission to destroy Cruiser Tetron and his world domination plans. These games have a charming minimalistic style both in visuals using only black and white and in gameplay as you can only shoot left or right. Though both games have the same style and mechanics, only the sequel (Hero Core) is a full fledged Metroidvania game as the first one lacks some traits like power ups to get to new areas, a map and the backtracking feel as it is more straightforward. Both have multiple difficulties wich must be unlocked, secrets and bonus content. First game. It also has a handy guide for if you get stuck. Second game. There is no guide since it doesnt need it.|
|Hydra Castle Labyrinth||Guardian of Paradise creator, Buster, decided to take on a Metroidvania game in the vein of classics like Knightmare II and the original Metroid. It's done in his crew's well-known style, but the gameplay may be unfamiliar to those new to old styled games. Outside of boss fights, the game is fairly non-linear. You can find a shitload of gear before you even take on the first boss. However, it can be difficult because of this, and quite easy to get lost. If you're patient and can get the hang of it, you'll find an enjoyable game here. Game + Rough Translation Patch|
|Ikachan||Daisuke Amaya/Pixel's first masterpiece (the guy behind Cave Story). This game, Ikachan, is the original title that the gameplay engine used in Cave Story was developed for, and it shows. Instead of running around, you're swimming around however as you play the squid Ikachan in this amazingly charming title that mixes in elements of Metroidvania platformers (without actually platforming seeing as how you swim) and RPGs. While there's hardly any story to speak of, Ikachan is a must-play for any Cave Story fans.|
|Kurovadis||A hentai game that has a surprisingly good gameplay, mixing Metroid with some beat 'em up elements. The H-scenes you get after dying are pretty average quality, some border on bad. Unfortunately, ultimately short and has few real action abilities for unlocking new areas aside from 3 nearly-identical-in-function beams. Good for an H-game though.|
|Knytt||A game which focuses on exploration. Doesn't have much combat, you can only evade enemies. Have a beautiful world and relaxed gameplay. You may also try Knytt Stories which is a sequel and have level editor.|
|La-Mulana||A game meant to induce memories of the old MSX2 Konami adventure games, La-Mulana is one of the best. With deep challenge, free-roaming, intricate puzzles, and even quirks like using an MSX in game, La-Mulana is just great. http://agtp.romhack.net/project.php?id=lamulana A remake that alters some stuff and brings aesthetics to more modern times was released for Wiiware and ported to Windows and is available on Playism.|
|Legend Cave||A Metroidvania game reminiscent of old Falcom and Metroidvania games. Each class starts with different equipment, but mostly play the same. There's hint tablets, but the devteam seems to have died before they finished translating it (it's playable without reading though). Auto-pauses when you're away. Find gold for shops, use keys, and generally explore dat dungeon. Controls: Save your game on blue diamonds. Up jumps, down saves and enters shops, space attacks, Z uses an item, X throws an item, ctrl at the same time as up and/or down selects items, Esc is exit. Main Menu: Start game, Load game, Highscores, Options, Exit game.|
|Poacher||A Metroidvania game made by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw where you play as a Yorkshire poacher that gets sucked in to a centuries-old war between two ancient underground civilizations. Good gameplay and story, with two endings to be had. Get it at Yahtzee's blog:|
|The Power||A simple Metroidvania game that manages to be pretty fun. Everything looks like it is made out of neon lights. A bit hard at the beginning, but with a little exploration, you should find the difficulty to even out. Controls are a bit stiff but stick with it and you have a neat little game.|
|The Underside||So far there is only a demo made, but it is a DAMN good demo. It's basically Cave Story, but with characters, dialogue, and plot that are reminiscent to Earthbound. Fun platforming, weapon gaining, Metroid-esque game. This game has been under development since 2005 and he is making little progress so don't expect to see the full game any time soon. http://www.superfundungeonrun.com/?page_id=215|