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Hyper Light Drifter is decadent, cryptic and classy

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Just last week Polygon received a preview build of Hyper Light Drifter, the first commercial game from Heart Machine and directed by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Preston. Polygon's features writer Charlie Hall and opinions editor Ben Kuchera take it for a test drive in this Overview.

It's unusual to see such a well polished game from a first-timer, but Preston seems to have gathered a good team of collaborators around him. This stylish 16-bit brawler feels incredibly refined thanks to lead programmer Beau Blyth, whose recent release of Samurai Gun shows that he knows his way around the genre. The soundtrack is similarly decadent, thanks to the work of Rich Vreeland (a.k.a. Disasterpiece). You can hear some of that soundtrack on its own, and see the trailer for the game, on their Kickstarter page.

Hyper Light Drifter will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Vita, Xbox One and Wii U.

The next level of puzzles.

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