After releasing one of the best platformers of the past decade, the Owlboy studio is remastering its debut game

Indie studio D-Pad is best known for Owlboy, a lovely offbeat 2D Metroidvania platformer about carrying your friends through skyfaring adventures, but it got its start with a snacky bullet hell called Savant - Ascent. Ten years after its release, Savant is now getting the remastered treatment by way of an Anniversary Edition. 

For its return, Savant - Ascent has been updated with more polished visuals, a host of new content including additional stages and boss battles, plus more abilities and finishers to use against those added baddies, like the double-jump, backflip, and mid-air power shot. The Survival Mode that sits alongside the campaign has also been updated with new challenges of its own, and the game's cutscenes have been "completely remade."

Perhaps most interestingly, the Anniversary Edition sports a new soundtrack apparently recorded by Savant – an actual musician not to be confused with the game's protagonist – who "has officially joined D-Pad Studio as our lead sound designer and composer." 

Surprise hire aside, this jumped out to me because the music was always a big selling point for the original game, which is still available on Steam for just $2 (it's a short-and-sweet game, you see). It had six unlockable soundtracks, with each one tied to a new power. Your abilities are directly linked to your tunes, so I guess it makes sense for the expanded version of the game to boast of a "CD Completed."

Savant is a much faster and more challenging experience compared to Owlboy, and its dark aesthetic could hardly be more different, but D-Pad hasn't released a bad game yet, and this looks like a good chance to catch up on its heritage. Its next project, Vikings on Trampolines, has been billed as a bouncy 2D fighter with local and online multiplayer for its campaign and competitive modes. 

Here are all the big new games: 2023 edition. 

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 staff 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.