There was an indie game that slipped through the cracks of many peoples’ radars in 2018, despite receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and gamers alike. That game was Akane, a high octane, top-down arena beat-em-up with a beautifully crafted cyber-punk aesthetic. The game was released on September 10th, 2018 and it’s a little disappointing that it went so unnoticed.
Story-wise, it’s nothing special. You play as a woman named Akane and she’s angry. There is a little bit of lore for the cyber-punk world they drop you in and your objective is to kill all of the yakuza in your way.
However, where Akane shines is in its gameplay and mechanics. Akane rewards players for playing aggressively and keeping a combo going. The higher your combo is, the more the enemies vary to try and keep you on your toes, like tank enemies that take more than one hit, or gunmen who try to shoot you from a distance.
You are given a sword and a handgun to start off and you must complete the objectives the game gives you in order to unlock new equipment. What’s surprising, however, is that none of the equipment is necessarily better or worse than what you currently have, rather the unlocks change how you play. Some guns can be fired extremely quickly at the cost of damage while others have a low fire rate and ammo but have spread shot and high damage. The base sword gives you 20% more stamina than the other swords, but the other swords have special moves.
No matter what you chose to play with you will always have to be fast and aggressive if you want to get anywhere. So, what are you waiting for? Go play Akane! It deserves the attention!
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol.49 Issue 09 on February 12th, 2020