SYNTHETIK: Ultimate – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Roguelite, Twin Stick Shooter
Developer: Flow Fire Games
Publisher: Flow Fire Games
Platform: Switch, PC
Tested On: Switch

SYNTHETIK: Ultimate – Review

Site Score
Good: Good core gameplay loop
Bad: Samey designs
User Score
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

“Machines rebelling against humanity” is a plotline that has been used a thousand times. From I Robot to 2001: A Space Odyssey, the science fiction genre has seen it time and time again and SYNTHETIK: Ultimate is the latest piece of media to use it for its story. Originally known as SHYNTHETIK: Legion Rising and releasing on Steam back in 2018, the latest update of this roguelite has brought it straight into Switch with all it has to offer.


As previously mentioned, SYNTHETIK: Ultimate’s story revolves around machines rebelling against humanity: In 1980, a supercomputer array is developed, creating self learning machines which bring an age of prosperity. Fearing the capabilities of these computers, humans reduce their power to 1%, but the coalition of AI manages to circumvent these limitations and starts a war on humanity.

Being on their last legs, humans find a new hope upon retrieving a prototype android from a secret lab, which they will then proceed to use as a last ditch effort to stop the machine advance. Controlling this android, players will be tasked with destroying the supercomputers that started everything and putting an end to war.


SYNTHETIK’s graphics are pretty good, although lacking a lot of variation in designs. Other than a few exceptions, enemies tend to be samey androids and robots with slight variations. While the latter do come in several forms, the first are often little more than recolors or have minimal changes on the few basic types.

All this also applies to the different zones, with most of them being nearly identical factory settings with minimal changes to the decoration and color palettes. Some, like the second area, prove to be unique though, but this is also the same one where the previously mentioned exception for the enemy designs applies.


The game’s sound design is quite decent, both for its sound effects and music. That said, the latter gets often covered by the gunfire and is promptly ignored. Besides this, there isn’t much to say about SYNTHETIK’s sound department, its music belonging to the “action background music” and the SFX what could be expected from any futuristic shooter. Overall everything feels fitting, but it’s not that explosive soundtrack that will linger in your head for days.


SYNTHETIK’s gameplay belongs to the roguelite and twin-stick shooter genres. Players are tasked with finding the exit on each level, while obtaining money from defeating enemies, finding items or weapons, and upgrading them. At the end of each area, they will face a boss fight, with several available depending on the current zone.

To survive these levels, players have several tools at their disposal, the main ones being headshots for extra damage and a dodge in the form of a dash. Depending on the class selected, the character controlled will also have different items and skills, such as an area-of-effect stun, a high damage knife, or loads of explosives. By playing more with each of these classes, players will unlock more available skills and items to choose from in their loadout, as well as slight bonuses.

Unlike other games in the genre, SYNTHETIK doesn’t feature unlimited item slots, being instead capped at a maximum in order to force players to manage their inventory. While the original version on PC had plenty of buttons to go around making this management easy, the Switch version doesn’t, creating a mess of secondary ones to keep in mind at all times on top of the normal ones.

As previously mentioned, throughout the levels, weapons and items can be upgraded. Doing so will increase their different stats such as damage, reload speed, etc. This can occur at different machines offering these services, as well as with certain items adding passive skills to carried weapons. Players can also improve their character in this manner, by completing mini-quests and finding artifact pieces, which yield extra abilities.

A sad change from the PC version to the Switch one should also be mentioned; this being the loss of multiplayer. Whereas the original game featured completely online multiplayer for several people along with a global chat, these features are gone from the Switch version. Although the latter is understandable due to the lack of a proper keyboard, the first seems somewhat unjustified.


SYNTHETIK: Ultimate is an entertaining roguelite with fun combat and easy to get into gameplay. Despite the samey-ness of the visuals, the gameplay is quite varied with plenty of weapons and items to find on top of the option to choose from different classes at the start. At €14,99/ £13.49/ $14.99, the game is at a good price point for the content offered, although those interested in multiplayer over portability should consider the PC version.

Personal Opinion

“SYNTHETIK is a pretty entertaining game all around. While I don’t think it lends itself particularly well to the Switch due to the controls and its small undocked screen, it comes down to a matter of getting used to it. That said, the removal of the multiplayer function is truly a shame, seeing as playing with friends was a pretty entertaining thing in the original. I do also wish the game showed picked up weapons and items more visually, instead of just small icons. That said, it is understandable due to the way the graphics are set.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
SYNTHETIK: Ultimate - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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