neon white, out now for Switch and PC, is easily one of the best games of the year. Between the anime vibes and Machine Girl’s kickass soundtrack you’ll find a gloriously stylish speedrunning glove that’s as easy to learn as it is difficult to master. I couldn’t put it down the last few days. Here’s some advice I wish I knew before I start.
Don’t think of it as a shooter
Publisher Annapurna Interactive may technically invoice neon white as “Speedrunning FPS” but it’s not quite like that. It’s certainly not your typical first-person shooter. Instead, think of each level – which requires you to make it from start to finish and kill every demon you see along the way – as a puzzle with a solution. Your goal is to find the quickest path and then…follow it successfully. The sooner you rewire your brain from a demise mindset the better neon white You will be.
Cards are placed intentionally
You bring in guns neon white by running through cards scattered around the map. But every weapon is not just a weapon. Putting it down also gives you a one-time Traversal ability – a pistol that turns into a double jump, an SMG that turns into a ground pound, and so on. Most often, these cards are placed exactly where they need to be so you can use them. In other words, if you pick up a weapon that turns into a sprint, get ready to sprint.
Your deck is limited
So that you don’t get the wrong idea, neon white is emphatic Not a deck building game. You can only hold two types of cards in your hand, although (based on my testing) you can hold an unlimited number of each card. Your hand will be wiped clean at the end of each level. Sure, you have a permanent card for a sword, but…
Melee attacks suck
You start each level with your sword and you can’t get rid of it. It’s functionally useless in combat; Don’t waste your time killing demons. But if you want to save on ammo, you can use your sword to hit various helpful in-game objects – explosive barrels, chests (which usually contain cards for weapons), and the like.
Master a run before trying to perfect it
Even if you know you’re going to finish a level with a terrible time, it’s still worth seeing through to the end. Simply completing the level will give you the bronze medal, show you the times required to get silver, gold or ace medals and open up the option to play that level again and find his gift ( more on that in a moment). If you beat silver time, a specter will appear, recreating your previous fastest route and giving you a personal benchmark to compete with mid-run. Gold gives you an indication of the level, which is very helpful in figuring out how to win the ace. And when you do that, you can view that level’s leaderboards – that’s when the real game begins. (Beating your friends by a millisecond is a thrill.)
Collect gold medals
At certain points in neon white You’ll come across a level gate: to unlock more missions you’ll have to increase your Neon rank, your measure against all other fictional characters in the game’s story. You start at number 100. Each time you win a gold or ace medal, you move up one position. It’s much easier to get gold on an early level that you’ve gone through before than putting it on a later one on the first try.
By replaying completed levels, you can also find gifts that you can then give to other characters in the dating sim-style game. By doing so, you build your relationship with them and eventually unlock side quests – usually a skill-based trial. But in the mere finding of gifts neon white becomes more about exploring than racing. There is no pressure to set a better time. (Once you find the gift, the level ends.) You just rummage around trying to find a colorful box with a bow on it. neon whiteIt turns out to be very, very pretty once you slow down and take in the sights.
Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for a gift, hold on to any guns you have. Also try to reach the highest point in the level. Sometimes you can see the glitter of the gift shaped like a colorful box.
Attack vending machines for additional weapons
Vending machines are hidden in some corners on most levels. Hitting one will give you a card, usually one you need in order to reach the level’s hidden gift. If you’re trying to set a fast time and you have the leeway to interact with a vending machine, you’ve already failed. But these are hugely helpful in granting additional traversal tricks that you can use to find gifts.
All explosions start you
You can throw away an assault rifle to place a bomb where your cursor is. neon white says you can start yourself by jumping over it right after the explosion, which is true, but you don’t have to time a jump either. Just standing next to an explosion of any kind will automatically launch you into the air – and much higher than you can normally jump. There are ways to use this knowledge for surprisingly useful effects. For example, hitting the ground on an explosive barrel will get you pretty high. Pound the floor two Send explosive barrels even higher (exact dimensions have yet to be determined). And you won’t take any splash damage, so experiment with explosives to your heart’s content.
Try not to multitask IRL
Because level in neon white are so short, typically 30 seconds each, that you might get the impression that it’s an ideal game for multitasking – you know, send some emails, play a level, chill out a bit get to work, play a level, etc. Uh, yeah, about that. Once you start playing, it can eat up your time before you even realize it, and whatever “multitasking” you’ve been trying to do will fall completely by the wayside. You have been warned!