Rebel Transmute Review (Switch eShop)

About Rebel Transmute

About five years ago, solo developer Evan Tor set out to make a new game in the crowded Metroidvania genre called Rebel Transmute. Tor launched a Kickstarter in 2022 to secure the funding to get the game over the line, and after a successful campaign and development period, the title has finally made it to consoles and PC. Rebel Transmute may not be a particularly innovative new entry in the genre, but what it lacks in novel ideas it more than makes up for in polish and quality. Rebel Transmute is great comfort food for the dedicated Metroidvania fan, and we’d suggest you pay attention to it.

The Storyline of Rebel Transmute

Rebel Transmute places you in the role of Moon Mikono, a “space scrapper” in search of her mother who’s gone missing in action. Her search brings her to the isolated planet of Terra 6, which was once home to an extensive research facility helmed by the mysterious Foray corporation that her mother worked for. An EMP causes Moon’s ship to crash on Terra 6, and she wakes up twelve years later in a hostile and decrepit environment where something has since clearly gone wrong. Moon’s mother appears to be alive and somewhere on the planet, so our unlikely heroine sets out on a journey to find her and figure out what happened to the facility.

Gameplay and Challenges

Gameplay can be most closely described as the lovechild of Hollow Knight and classic Metroid, though it takes much more strongly after the former due to its focus on combat and difficulty. Moon carries a gun, but its range is less effective than a Super Soaker, essentially making it a melee weapon. It does a decent amount of damage but has quite a bit of knockback when shots connect, meaning that positioning is something you have to be vigilant of, lest you accidentally knock yourself off of a cliff or into a spike pit when you’re trying to finish off an enemy.

Strategic Gameplay and Boss Battles

To add to the challenge, you start with only four health points, and it doesn’t take long before you find yourself getting caught in choke points where enemies can easily swarm you. Rebel Transmute is fair in how it challenges you, but you’re expected to closely study and practice boss fights before you can hope to overcome them. Even so, we loved the thrill of these battles—they offer up some of the most intense and memorable moments in the whole adventure.

Exploration and Upgrades

While Moon will pick up various stat, weapon, and mobility upgrades through exploration or snagging collectibles at shops, there’s also an RPG-lite character-building system that’s similar to Hollow Knight’s charms system. Each augment carries a cost, and different loadouts suit different situations, adding depth to combat and exploration.

Level Design and Platforming

As for the level design, Rebel Transmute quickly widens the scope of its map considerably, offering a dense world full of collectibles and secrets. The platforming in Rebel Transmute is challenging but well-designed, providing a satisfying experience for those who enjoy difficult platforming sections.

Visuals and Presentation

In terms of its presentation, Rebel Transmute goes for a basic sci-fi art style that feels like a simpler version of the art from Axiom Verge. The environments and enemy designs show creativity, though the visuals may not stand out as much as other games in the genre.


Rebel Transmute is a must-play for Metroidvania fans looking for a challenging and rewarding experience. Its blend of high difficulty, compelling narrative, and satisfying exploration make it a standout title in the genre. If you’re a fan of games like Hollow Knight, Rebel Transmute is worth your time and attention.