A downloadable game for Windows

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Take control of the RECURSOR robot and traverse through a randomly generated labyrinth of trials. Enhance your build by installing a wide variety of upgrades.

RECURSOR's mechanics takes inspiration from the platform fighter genre with both movement and combat, but also classics in the platformer genre like Super Metroid and Celeste. This combined with randomized levels and upgrades of the rogue-lite genre multiplies the depth and replayability.

RECURSOR has an extensive moveset allowing you complete freedom of movement! For the speedrunners and labbers, RECURSOR comes with a debug mode to move frame by frame, view your current state, see hitboxes and more!

RECURSOR's artstyle takes the classic pixel art charm and makes use of modern graphics technology to give it a fresh look. Most evidently is the lighting system that casts soft shadows and uses normal maps to create the illusion of 3d.

Inspired by the scifi films and anime of the 80s and 90s, RECURSOR frames the game within a computer terminal / CCTV station that grants the user the ability to monitor and control the RECURSOR robot.

StatusIn development
Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
GenrePlatformer, Action
Tags2D, Arcade, combos, GameMaker, Roguelite


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

recursor_alpha_demo_v1_5.zip 72 MB


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To be honest I feel the controls are extremely awkward and stiff. They don't feel responsive at all and I keep dying due to basic lack of control of my character, and I'm not exactly new to platformers - they're my favourite genre and I've played near every metroidvania you can think of that's half-decent.

I see a lot of people talking about Melee, so maybe that's something I'm missing, but I used to play Melee a lot as a kid and never had any problems with the controls.

Specific greivances I have:

Only two jump heights instead of variable heights - very awkward when trying to platform precisely. Hard to time shots correctly with the gun to hit targets and such

Walking/Dashing is very awkward feeling and the gap between speeds is too big

Default xbox control scheme is super weird - B and Y to jump? Why? And if I remap it it changes which buttons I use to navigate the menu too which is super annoying.

The game in general seems cool and I like a lot of the mechanics in theory, but to me the gamefeel is so off that I just can't enjoy it. I died in some room where glowing floor and wall panels hurt you because I find it near impossible to accurately navigate around platforms with these controls.

Hey thanks for playing the game. All the mechanics in the game are near identical to Melee, including the 2 jump heights, the walk and dash difference and importantly the lack of an input buffer. This design is quite unforgiving and has a steep learning curve, but I do think it is very rewarding when mastered.

It's tricky because I think smash gets away with this more because for a beginner the chaos of it all is the fun. Plus since the mechanics were designed with fighting in mind, there are numerous restrictions to give risk to movement which is important for the fighting design. It's only when you master the movements and employ exploits like wavedashing that movement really opens up.

Since this demo release, I've already made a lot of changes to improve the game feel, and I'm always learning what does and doesn't work. But I don't think I will stray too far from Melee's design because I do think there is value in its initial perceived stiffness to its fully realised mastered fluidity. I know a lot of people agree with this too, but it's just a bit niche (unfortunately for my wallet)

As the the xbox controls, ye thats my b. I was trying to mimic gamecube layout (this is what I use), but that was not the right call for the default controls. Also remapping changing menu inputs is stupid I agree, sorry about that.

Yeah I read more comments after I posted mine and I suppose I was a bit hasty to judge, it seems like this game was made with a very specific audience in mind. I did used to play Melee a lot as a kid and I remember being fairly comfortable with the controls, but it's been a long time so I suppose I don't have that familiarity anymore.

Is everything the same as Melee? Air mobility and all that stuff? Dash and walk speeds? I might have to go back and play Melee to compare because I don't remember Melee ever feeling like this, then again Melee wasn't really requiring precision platforming in the same way as this (although I do remember the smashing targets activity that you're paying homage to quite well).

I did try it a few more times with the mindset that this is meant to be like Melee and I was enjoying it more, I guess it's just a game that takes practice to get good at. Honestly man cool game, I do think I'll keep playing the demo and trying to improve, the mechanics and aesthetics are pretty cool. Combat feels a touch shallow right now but it's an early build so I'm sure that will improve with time.

Your initial impressions are still very valuable to me. I'm very into melee and surrounded by people very into melee, so it's not always easy to get that perspective. I want to broaden the audience for the game whilst keeping the mechanics true to melee.

Yes everything is like melee, the character is pretty much a mashup of a few different melee characters.

Thank you again for playing, and yes I hope to make the combat much more interesting than whats in this demo


As a melee player, I LOVE everything about this - the movement, the upgrades, the randomized rooms etc - except for the enemies in the demo, they got a bit stale.

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this is insanely fun, this is an amazing game and I can't wait to buy it.


Hello! I made an account just for this lol, anyway feedback time. A bit of context though, I and the friend I mention are both into Smash/Melee etc. and were able to adjust to the controls and game feel quickly.

I went to a friend's house to play versus on LAN and man it was so much fun. As we both got better and learned new tricks we were constantly having fun. It feels GREAT and for those who felt the game was unresponsive at times, I understand your pain because that's how Melee felt at first, just keep at it :) We started clipping each other left and right and we'll probably make a combo video or too out of the results. We might just still be bad, but it felt like f-smash and shotgun were a little overtuned, but that's totally normal for a game in alpha and the fact that that was all that stood out to us was very impressive. We are both incredibly excited to see where this game goes and will be watching closely. 

P.S. The inclusion of shinespark and speed-booster made me unbelievably happy. My only gripe is I want to use them in versus SO BAD

Look, I love the game. It plays absolutely incredibly: when I'm able to use it with my controller. I'm using a 25 dollar switch controller I ordered off from Amazon, and I'm a pretty persistent player. When my controller doesn't want to work with a game I wanna play on controller, I make it work (although this has mostly been with emulators/steam/epic games platform/ubisoft, the number of different platforms I've gotten it to work on is plenty). I, for the sake of me, could not get my controller to correctly input in this version. I understand if this is just an issue with the early version, but I would like to make it noted considering the amount of work that was clearly put in for controller compatibility (it literally detected my plugged in Wii-U adapter... and named it...). I IMMENSELY RESPECT THIS CONSIDERATION TOWARDS CONTROLLER COMBATIBILITY, as it is something that is HUGELY underlooked in games. I love the ability to play on whatever controller I want, as this is clearly a controller optimal game. But please make it work right, I can't get anything to actually map. It all just resets no matter what!

Have you set the "SOLO_PLAY_PROFILE" to the profile you made?

Yep! It was within my play profile that I kept trying to change things without them being changed. Also, it seemed that I wasn't able to do any stick mapping, upon a remap it would instantly map to like A5 or something with no chance for an input prompt. It feels like I may be experiencing the worst of the worst issues at this point, lol. I'm glad it's working well on the whole for people  

Hello, I may have a solution. Nintendo switch controllers may connect natively to PC pretty easily, but most programs wont recognize it so you usually need to run another program to feed the inputs correctly. Having steam open in the background with Nintendo switch configuration on might be eenough, but I think BetterJoyforCemu will be able to fix your issue more reliably. It has a setting to run the controller as Xinput which will probably fix your issue.

Thanks a bunch! I'll give BetterJoyforCemu a try. I have considerable issues with Steam's native switch controller mappings with other games as well, so I wouldn't be surprised if this fixes things. 

no problem, and good luck! I used it today to play with a switch pro over parsec, so it should work if you mess with it enough. :)

this is nothing short of incredible. the only thing i found to be annoying was the controls, specifically for keyboard. i might just not be used to the controls, but they feel a bit delayed. personally, i'd like to see something similar to ssf2 where you double tap a direction to dash. otherwise the game runs very smoothly and i'm impressed with how much content is in this demo

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use a controller


Extraordinarily fun and blew my expectations out of the water!

One thing I did notice is that once enemies reach half(?) HP and get knocked down, you can essentially stun lock them by dash attacking back and forth, as they won't ever tech (at least in my experience so far.)

Overall, extremely fluid and fun movement with, faithful mechanics, visceral sound effects, and a super charming aesthetic.

Hey, looking sick so far! I'm trying to play this with a gamecube controller, is there any way to make it so that light presses of the analog triggers will still shield, like in smash ultimate?

Hii, I've made a video about the game and wanted to share some feedback about it, hopefully it is useful for the development ^^

-The concept of the game is pretty good and fun overall.

-The gameplay mechanics are reeeeaally good and I'm sure that they can be exploited to complete some of the rooms really fast. Appart from that I'll say that I've found that the controls where hard to get into at first but the learning curve of the levels was good for it.

-The visual style of the game is really good and totally fits the theme of the game ^^

Hopefully this is useful to you :D, also if you could subscribe that would help me a lot :)


Made a video


well that was painful to watch

Yeah my brother really didn't have the best time playing your game mostly with the wall jumping parts. 

I really enjoyed this. I like the upgrade system allowing you to choose from 3 different chips. It allows you to try different things on each playthrough. Can't wait to see more of it. Keep it up! 

The game's interesting and for the most part fun. The only thing that threw me off is having a button for each directional attack. That's just me though. One thing I can recommend adding into the game as an upgrade is attack animation "casting time" reduction. But beyond that, game's fairly solid as is.

Here's my channel for other games I have played. https://www.youtube.com/c/Levont


The camera movement is SO juicy in this! Good job


I played it for a bit, and it's really fun! I do have some criticisms that I would like to voice, though.

My main complaint would just be the relative stiffness of the controls, I felt like I was constantly dropping inputs, inputting things I didn't want to, going through some sort of lag every time I landed on the ground, and generally like an element of fluidity is missing from everything, it doesn't exactly "melt into the hands" like how platformers should, and often times I felt like I was fighting the controls more than the game's levels themselves. It felt like my brief experiences playing Melee with all my Smash experience coming from every game after that one, it just felt sort of clunky and unresponsive. I think if you made the transition from air-to-ground smoother and significantly raised the back-and-forth air acceleration it would feel a lot better, alongside some other tweaks to generally make things flow better, though I'd have to play the game some more to further diagnose where else the stiffness is coming from. Maybe you could add an input buffer to make it feel like fewer inputs are being dropped, provided it isn't already in the game already. You could even make it adjustable, so people who are used to Melee's lack of buffer can play without, whereas the people like myself can have an experience more like the more accessible modern Smash titles, or even other platform fighters like RoA. Also, I'd appreciate it if the weapon wheel slowed the game down, as switching can be a little awkward when everything else moves around you in real-time. 

That's really my only issue that isn't just a result of lack of content (which is understandable considering it just released yesterday), as all my other nitpicks revolve around the theme of "more x." More room layouts, more enemy types (please add enemies that aren't just easily beaten by parrying them over and over again), more special moves, more normal moves, more weapons, more story, etc. Maybe you could reduce the amount of platforming and target rooms in favor of more combat arenas since that's where the most fun is had, but I can see these things as just inevitable additions, so they're not really that useful of criticisms. 

I really like what you've got here, it looks incredibly promising. The art style is great (though perhaps it could use just a bit more color), the animation is really good, it's just such a brilliant concept in general. I'm excited to see how it grows throughout development, and I'll make sure to pick it up when it releases.


Your main critique (the movement) isn't something that's going to change. The game in fact has nearly a 1 to 1 copy of melee's movement, as that's part of the appeal. You feel like you're dropping inputs because there's no buffer: If you want something to happen on frame one after some lag ends, you have to press it on frame one after some lag ends. This is something that raises the skill ceiling significantly, because otherwise there's no need to time anything at all. You have all the tools for movement to be far more fluid than any other game you've ever played, you just need to become good enough to use them. 

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I'm simply voicing a subjective issue I had with my first impressions of the game, the controls do not feel good, they feel unresponsive and clunky. I want a PLATFORMER's fundemental movement mechanics to feel intuitive and silky smooth from the getgo while allowing for further technicality that is slowly taught over the course of the game. Celeste, a game that is listed as a primary inspiration, does this wonderfully, it feels good to control from the start and slowly guides you into progressively harder maneuvers. Making it a chore to just move around from the very start is not how I think a game like this should be designed, fundemental movement should come naturally, then you make the other techniques hard to perform. All I ask for are OPTIONAL changes to the game's controls to make it more accessible and feel less shitty. Input buffering, better air control, smoother landings, and a general increase in basic fluidity. This isn't Melee, the controls can be modified from that original, unpolished, archaic template to feel more intuitive, accessible, and modern. This game clearly has a high skill ceiling, and I want it to have one. It just needs to lower its skill floor a bit so Joe Schmoes like me can sit down and just play a game after school for a couple of hours without having to constantly fight the controls. Every other ball-bustingly hard game I've played (whether it be Super Meat Boy, Celeste, Enter the Gungeon, DOOM Eternal, ULTRAKILL, etc.) does this, I only ask that this one follow suit. 

Also, as an aside, no game should strive to recreate Melee's controls exactly one to one. Having no buffer is bad and archaic, plain and simple. Rivals of Aether is inspired by the same game, has a six-frame input buffer, still maintains a high skill ceiling, and feels leagues better to play to the point where I can have fun just playing training mode and messing around with the controls, because they feel good. That is not the case with this game, and RoA isn't even a dedicated single player platformer like this, a genre whose entire appeal is centered around fluid, responsive controls. 


I'm sorry but i very heavily disagree, this game is incredible. Thinking it's just a 1:1 recreation of melee seems to me like the opinion of someone who doesnt actually play melee. It's in the same vain, yes, but you cannot in good conscience say the game has 'bad/archaic' controls just because you aren't comfortable with it after playing an Alpha demo. It's definitely not for everyone, and certainly not as easy to grasp as celeste for example (extremely simple game, incredibly designed), but that isn't really what this game is trying to be.


I literally said I really liked the game and admired the direction it was going in, I was just voicing feedback as a consumer that the game's basic movement (running, jumping, general traversal, etc.) could feel better, because, in my opinion, to ME, it does not feel very good to play. The game very frequently does not do what I want it to, even though it feels like it should. All I ask for is an optional buffer system, better air control, and a smoother transition from air to ground, maybe something akin to the accessibility features in Celeste. I don't want the game to be dumbed down, just made smoother to play. I don't mind having to learn a game's advanced controls, I just want the basic traversal to feel good without having to devote tons of practice to it. No other platformer or platform fighter I've played has felt this awkward to control as a newcomer, save for the ~10 minutes of Melee I played about a year ago before abandoning it out of frustration with the controls, it's the exact same feeling of awkwardness, hence why I compare the two so much. I just want this game to feel like every other game I've played, and since it's an alpha demo deep in active development, I felt I should voice my issues in the hopes that they get remedied in the final product. 


Your criticism is totally valid. I honestly haven't done anything to improve the casual experience because I made this game for platform fighter fans (particularly melee) who are used to the no buffer and prefer it that way.

I have other projects that are much more accessible in the works and I see this game really as just a love letter to melee. There is the argument of an optional buffer like you mentioned that I'm not ruling out, but I feel like if there is a buffer then it undermines the technicality, and that can push away my target audience.

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Oh hey, thanks for responding. I'm fine with the game being a love letter to Melee, I think it's a really unique vision to have for a game like this. We've obviously seen countless multiplayer fighting games aspire to recapture Melee's magic, but applying that to a single player beat em up ROUGELIKE? Conceptually brilliant. 

My main concern is that I felt like a singleplayer game like this will just inherently attract a much broader and more casual audience than just Melee fans, I mean I checked it out because it was a roguelike (one of my absolute favorite game genres) with an exceptionally unique gameplay hook featuring gameplay inspired by one of my all time favorite series, being Smash, of which I've played every game AFTER Melee, more than anything. Singleplayer games just naturally attract casual players due to the lowered stakes, and Melee's controls are pretty notorious for being really difficult for casual players, especially those who've only played the newer Smash titles (which consists of the vast majority of platform fighter players), to get used to, so I was suggesting that it would be beneficial to add optional changes to the gameplay and controls to give those players something more familiar to them, thus expanding the potential audience of the game and reducing the amount of people that become alienated by the controls. I explicitly wanted them to be optional for the exact same reason that Celeste's accessibility options are, so that you can maintain your current vision of high technicality and precision while still giving more casual players a way to play the game in a way that, while untrue to the game's purpose, still allows them to enjoy it and experience it in a way that's comfortable for them. Then, maybe once they've gotten into the game with the easier controls, they can commit to learning the real controls and experience the game how it's meant to be played. 

Ultimately, it's your game, and you can make it however you like, I'll still buy and play it regardless. I just felt I should report my personal experience, my personal issues as a consumer, and offer a suggestion on how to remedy them in a way that makes the game more accessible and easily appreciated by more people without forcing changes that ruin the game's appeal and compromise your artistic vision.


Just want to toss my hat in and say for the love of god, keep the no buffer! Love letter to Melee is what I've been looking for for *years* and the packaging you're putting it in is AMAZING. The speedrun potential is going to be awesome, I could really see it being a hit and I think a massive part of that is the movement!

I play melee and love how the game feels, but If there is an obvious marker/icon that a buffer is used during a run then I think accessibility options can only be a positive thing.

This is very cool but I do wish I could grab through shields, the encounters with the enemies felt very slow when I had to just wait.

Great game! I love the direction it's going in :)

Great game.




this is so sick