After 7 years, the follow-up to a legendary Metroidvania dropped a demo in Steam Next Fest, and it's everything I was hoping for

TEVI title art
(Image credit: CreSpirit)

Rabi-Ribi developer CreSpirit is finally returning to the realm of Metroidvanias after seven years spent on a visual novel, a pure bullet hell game, and side-scrolling horror. Not only that, it's well and truly going back its roots with TEVI, a bullet hell Metroidvania that acts as a spiritual successor to Rabi-Ribi. After a brief beta earlier this year, TEVI dropped a meaty demo in this week's Steam Next Fest, and it has won me over in record time. 

TEVI is basically Rabi-Ribi 2 in all but name, right down to the anime bunny girls who I suspect will either be a deal-breaker or catnip to confused onlookers, so I figured it would be good. Even after seven years, Rabi-Ribi is still one of the best Metroidvania games you can play, offering heaps of interesting upgrades, absurd boss fights, and airtight controls. So far, TEVI is all of that and more. 

Combat is immediately intuitive and satisfying, with titular bunny girl Tevi alternating between fast melee attacks and volleys of energy bullets. You start with a basic dagger combo and two subtly different laser orbs that you can swap on the fly, but within minutes – in the demo, at least – you'll unlock new moves and combos like a leaping slash, backflip sweep, and knife throw. 

Melee hits are fast and punchy, and can stun-lock most enemies when they're in a vulnerable state. When enemies armor up, it's best to keep your distance, firing lasers and weaving in hit-and-run swipes. This gives fights a nice tempo, especially against bosses that force you to dodge many, many more projectiles than normal enemies. 

I'm hugely impressed by the wealth of systems in TEVI, which absolutely nails modern Metroidvania quality-of-life. Apart from the improved art, which pairs some truly stellar pixel art with vibrant anime illustrations, this is maybe the biggest upgrade over Rabi-Ribi. 

The map is smartly labeled and comes with custom pins to help you revisit out-of-reach items. Combat and movement can be customized with a huge array of equipable sigils that buff your stats and unlock new attacks. There's a simple crafting system that's actually useful and adds value to the resources you find. Save points are just frequent enough to prevent any frustration. Early upgrades like a T-bomb and high jump slot neatly into the flow of exploration thanks to TEVI's clean level design. 

Everything just works and feels good from minute one, so TEVI's November 29 launch – on PC at first, and then on PlayStation and Xbox in 2024 – can't come soon enough. 

Here are 15 of the best Steam Next Fest demos to play this week. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.