Review: Steel Defier – Hop Around the Hazards

Indie games have the benefit of pushing the limits of the experiences that games can provide. They can try out new ideas and test unorthodox concepts that AAA games often avoid in favor of consistent success. This is why Steel Defier works out very well, both as something that is unique and still fun to play. And while it’s not the deepest experience that you’ll see, it definitely offers a challenge that will test you.

Set in a maximum security prison in space, Steel Defier follows a man who was imprisoned there before a massive malfunction takes place. The security system goes haywire and kills everyone else aboard, yet leaves an opening for the prisoner to escape. However, getting out of the prison will be a challenge as the entire prison is on alert and malfunctioning. If he can navigate the crazy obstacles and navigate the maze-like prison to the nearest shuttle, freedom might be within his grasp.

There are a few main things to focus on in Steel Defier, jumping and avoiding obstacles. You move around a small space to gather access cards as walls and security boxes appear to subdue you. If you’re able to collect enough access cards, you move on to the next room. Simple and to the point, with nothing complex about it. However, avoiding obstacles is a lot tougher than it seems. The more access cards you gather in each room, the tougher the obstacles get and the more of them crowd up the room. Avoiding each one that comes at you is the key to survival, even though it might look nearly impossible at times.

The rooms you enter are small but have enough space to sprint around and jump over small walls and boxes that appear. Some of the security system’s defenses can break apart or leave behind barriers to make things even more difficult, but if you’re fast enough and paying attention to your surroundings you’ll be able to avoid them. The moment you slip up and take your eye away from what’s moving is the moment you’ll fail and will have to retry the room again. Luckily, the game is forgiving enough to let you retry every room as many times as you want if you keep failing. You don’t have to worry about losing progress through the rooms you explore either.

Speaking of progress, if you go deeper into the prison you’ll be able to find upgrades that give you helpful abilities. This includes faster sprinting, quick dashes you can use mid-jump and other abilities that can help you avoid obstacles. The best part is that you don’t need to explore the entire facility and pick up every power-up in order to finish the game. As long as you reach the final rooms at the end of the prison, you’ll be able to roll the credits. After finishing, however, you’ll be able to go back and navigate through areas you skipped over to find other upgrades and take on challenges you missed out on.

This is good for anyone that doesn’t want to feel pressured into getting over challenges that they struggle with. Some might feel that takes away some of the challenges of the game, but instead, it lets you tackle the tougher parts when you’re ready to do so. Every room is still tough in its own way, especially when you have multiple defenses showing up on the screen.

Later stages will have the rooms get very crowded and block your view of what is around you, including messing with the lighting and field-of-view when a big alert happens. In situations like this, the game can feel a little cheap, especially when you can’t make out what is in front of you or nearby. If you attempt these difficult sections enough times you’ll have a grasp of where things might appear and how to avoid them, even with limited visibility.

Steel Defier is a neat concept that is fun to play. Its controls are easy to use and the end goal is very simple to understand. It might be too short for some people who will be able to run through the facility quickly enough, but for others, it’ll be a simple game to come back to over and over again. Some challenges could definitely use some tweaks to make them feel a bit fairer, but what you get in here is a solid indie game experience.

Have you gotten to play Steel Defier yet? Are you a big fan of indie games for any platform? Leave us a comment down below and tell us everything!

Steel Defier
  • 80%
    Steel Defier - 80%


This is a simple game to get into but also provides a solid challenge that will make you work to complete it. The 2.5D pixel art visuals look very good, even though some areas can get harder to see as more objects appear on the screen. A few challenges can feel cheap but will get easier to manage with repeated attempts and patience.

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Jakejames Lugo

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