I am about 4 hours into my first playthrough of Monster World IV, and I am having a blast. I played Dragon’s Trap and a bit of the new Monster Boy but I am enjoying this much more.
It got me thinking about how Metroidvanias have really dominated the discussion of any sort of exploration based platformer. I realized that aside from the Monster Boy games (which I have seen labeled as Metroidvanias too, so I may be using a bad example!) I can’t really think of many platform games that aren’t made with Metroid in mind.
So what I’m looking for now are games you feel are good for exploration in a 2D world but are definitely NOT Metroidvaias in your opinion for whatever reason.
Shadow of the Beast 2 is one example I can think of. As far as I can tell, you pretty much have to go around the world and do things in a set order in specific ways to complete the game (I’ve never really figured this game out past a few initial moves). It really doesn’t feel like Metroid since you’re not backtracking across areas with new abilities generally. Instead it has almost an adventure game logic to it. This is a style I’d love to see developed in some modern indie games.