Explore a beautiful, vast and ruined world riddled with dangers and lost technologies.
User reviews:
Very Positive (323 reviews) - 92% of the 323 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (3,468 reviews) - 93% of the 3,468 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 31, 2016

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Hyper Light Drifter

Buy Hyper Light Drifter Soundtrack Edition


Recent updates View all (21)

September 29

9/29/2016 'Next Update': 60FPS beta fixes

Hi everyone,

We have a new build up on the 'next_update' branch. Special thanks to those of you that sent us bug reports - we're ironing out the issues as quickly as we can.

- fixed screen turning a solid color after hitting an enemy with Dash+Attack
- fixed jittery aim cursor in 60FPS
- fixed All Weapons achievement unlocking in Boss Rush
- fixed hole in the floor of the Boss Rush hub room
- fixed being unable to progress in Boss Rush if the player killed certain bosses while dying on the same frame
- fixed being locked out of a Boss Rush battle if the player fell after only standing on vanishing platforms

Please continue to send reports to support@heart-machine.com if you spot any issues.

13 comments Read more

September 27

The 60 fps Update - Smooth as Butter, Rushing Bosses

Many moons ago, shortly after launch, we stated that a 60 fps conversion of the game was no small task; it would take a large pile of months and much effort to implement, if it was even achievable at all.

Now we can proudly present our latest update and say it has absolutely been worth the work.

It's still in our BETA branch and Windows only at the moment; we want to test a bit further before pushing to our main branch and other platforms.

To opt in right now:
1) Right click on Hyper Light Drifter in your Steam Library
2) Click on "Properties"
3) Click on the "BETAS" tab
4) Click the drop down menu and select "next_update"
5) Click the "close" button and your game should start updating immediately

*Note: There is a toggle in the options menu that allows you to switch between 60 and 30 fps in case it causes performance issues on your system. You can also revert back to the default branch.

This conversion was indeed a massive task to undertake: we worked through over 115 thousand lines of code the past several months in order to make this happen, manually changing timings of each object and enemy, fixing the dozens upon dozens of little problems that arose when changing frame timing, optimizing the game and testing the bits out of it internally.

Boss Rush + Newcomer
As no small aside, in addition to the frame rate boost, we have a Boss Rush mode with new achievements! It can be unlocked after you beat the game in the standard mode.

We also have a "Newcomer" mode for folks looking for a less intense challenge. It will have a limited set of achievements in it, so players will have to beat the game on the standard mode in order to get everything.

Considering the amount of code we touched over the past few months we can't promise it's perfect yet, and may have missed some things. There may be bugs, crashes, or odd behavior. Let us know via support@heart-machine.com and we'll put it in our fix list and update with a new build as soon as possible.

We do plan to expand this update to Mac, Linux (and consoles) after we have some time to make sure this is in the best condition possible.

That's about it for this round, folks.

173 comments Read more

About This Game

Echoes of a dark and violent past resonate throughout a savage land, steeped in treasure and blood. Hyper Light Drifter is an action adventure RPG in the vein of the best 16­bit classics, with modernized mechanics and designs on a much grander scale.

Drifters of this world are the collectors of forgotten knowledge, lost technologies and broken histories. Our Drifter is haunted by an insatiable illness, traveling further into the lands of Buried Time, hoping to discover a way to quiet the vicious disease.

• From each character to subtle background elements, everything is lovingly hand-animated.
• Easy to pick up, difficult to master; enemies are vicious and numerous, hazards will easily crush your frail body, and friendly faces remain rare.
• Upgrade weapons, learn new skills, discover equipment and traverse a dark, detailed world with branching paths and secrets abound.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7 and above
    • Processor: 1.2 ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 mb video memory
    • DirectX: Version 10
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Mac OSX 10.7 and above
    • Processor: 1.2 ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 mb video memory
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04/Steam OS
    • Processor: 1.2 ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 512 mb video memory
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (323 reviews)
Very Positive (3,468 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
2,742 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
61 of 70 people (87%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 1
really emotional experience for me that served as a reminder of why i like video games in the first place, after being stuck in a long rut of not enjoying anything. i haven't even beaten it yet but i already feel this is one of the most overlooked games of the year and certainly worth anyone's time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
46 of 59 people (78%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 27
Zelda meet Dark Souls and having a pixel art party

Just wonderful in every aspect
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
In an age where pixel indie games have become something of a cliché, Hyper Light Drifter brings some much needed life into the genre.

Hyper Light Drifter, or HLD for short, is an action-adventure game with its roots firmly placed in the Legend of Zelda games of yore. With a top-down perspective, a sword to slash around, an arsenal of weapons at your disposal, and a vast world to explore full of hidden secrets and goodies, it's nothing too alien. But yet, the world of HLD is entirely alien. While you might get a text crawl or dialogue in any number of Zelda games to explain what's goin on, HLD takes it in the complete opposite direction. There is absolutely no dialogue or text to speak of, save for a couple of lines in the tutorial and a note on how to use warps. Everything is represented through either pictographs, stories shared through images by NPCs, or directly by the environment itself. It is up to the player to understand what is going on on their own terms, much like the game Fez. But unlike the self-serving pretentiousness of Fez's presentation, HLD is a very gritty, brutal world that pulls no punches.

The graphical presentation is absolutely gorgeous. There is so much care and love put into the world to make it seem alive. There are tons of sprites and art pieces that are only used once, just for a small (or large) piece of scenery. The animations on the enemies, friendlies, and the player are top-notch and completely smooth. Each of the four zones are completely distinct with one another, united only by the center of the map. My humble opinion is that this is THE best pixel-style graphics you can see in any modern indie game today. It does so much with subtle color variations that it puts its peers to shame. While some might claim that certain games from the 16-bit era might fare better, that's not the point. When put in a group of its own stylistically similar peers, HLD is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.

And what better way to suit the graphics than to have crisp, fun gameplay? HLD relies on three primary mechanics, each of them simple in their own right. Swing your sword. Fire a gun. Dash from place to place. But it's what you can do with your own personal abilities that can make it much more effective. You can upgrade to chain-dash endlessly, charge up your sword to whack enemies into the abyss, chuck bombs, fire anything from a shotgun to a railgun, the latter of which is helped by the fact that "ammo" is generated by slashing your enemies. This promotes a quick and brutal style of combat, in which the enemies have certain patterns and behaviors that you can manipulate to your own advantage. Homing rockets heading your way? Easy, either slash through it or guide it into a baddie. Gunners shooting at you from afar? Reflect the bullets right back at them. On top of this, the amount of secrets, be it the mysterious monolith tablets to the 185 gearbits, to even outfits that help boost an aspect of your character, like faster bomb regeneration or an extra bit of health.

The soundtrack is wonderfully set to the mood of the locations you visit. Grungy, popping beats in the midst of battle to a quiet ambience in the gloomier areas, there's a lot of variation to find. What's more important is not only how consistent the quality of the music is, but how well they transition from room to room. Instead of having a fixed track for a specific room, they transition from the previous room flawlessly and often become incorporated into a single song. No matter where you go or what you do, you always feel like you're making progress in the world.

That doesn't mean the game is perfect, however. Finding those last few secrets can be a little bit of a chore and the underground map might as well not exist, because it barely makes any sense. Dashing from platform to platform, while a non-issue in most cases, it's rather hard to keep a straight path and you often find yourself veering off-center frequently. And not to mention, some rooms are almost unfairly brutal with their layouts.

In an age where the promises of a developer are more often than not hollow, short-sighted, and disappointing, HLD is a lovely total package that every game should aspire to be or at the very least, take some pointers from. It doesn't try to reinvent the wheel or present itself as something entirely new. It's a game that knows its boundaries, respects them, and instead perfects what's inside those boundaries than trying to be a little of everything at once.

Fantastic game, a must-play game for those who enjoy action-adventure games.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
15 of 19 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
Bought it at launch but YOU can buy it now on sale.

It's very good use of pixel art and vibrant color bring about a world of detail and wonder. Exploration and caution go hand in hand if you want to survive.

Very reminiscent of The Lengend Of Zelda but with more Dark Souls like combat and the style of an anime and Tron put together.

Drift away youe fears and buy it if you're seeking a silent, lonely but ultimately satisfying adevnture. It was definitely worth the hype and the wait!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
This review is based on the 60fps update which in my opinion was much needed. I played for an hour or so on release and the 30fps lock genuinely hurt my eyes on the area transitions. The update fixes that.

Absolutely superb. The general art style is right up my street, glitchy and organic with dark undertones. The music is suited to each situation, exploration is backed by some lovely piano tunes. Gameplay is very responsive with good timing needed for dodging what feels at times likje a bullet hell game. Dodging around and slicing mobs up makes you feel like a ninja. The skill upgrades are cool too.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
Feels a little bit like The Legend of Zelda and looks like a piece of art

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.5 hrs on record
Posted: September 28
I´ll keep it short:

People on the web say it´s pretty much a mixture of Dark Souls and Zelda. There´s adventure, a satisfying, (textless!) dark story and a really challenging fighting system.

The soundtrack and overall design is really moody and catches you within minutes, the visuals beautiful and unspent.

After the game was pretty much done, the developers spent a LOT of time polishing the game. They´ve often redesigned enemies or animations, rebuild levels or overthought game mechanics. That´s why everything in this game seems to be just where it should be.

It´s a finished, carefully polished gem, so don´t just gobble it up, slowly enjoy every bite of it. A game for game gourmets.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
Felt like writing a review even though I don't have much playtime, I'll update this as I progress, so this is just first impressions.

Overall, an incredibly vivid and pretty title with astounding pixel art and colorization that contribute to its own vibrant aesthetic, along with interesting lore and storytelling methods, accompanied by a fluid and fast-paced combat system and noteworthy game and character design. Spanning a wide variety of genres including cyberpunk, adventure, and nostalgic 8-bit/16-bit games, HLD is definitely something special. If you can look past the controversial 30 FPS lock, difficult-to-follow story, and sometimes frustrating endeavors in-game, you'll probably enjoy what this title has to offer.

45 Degree Angles: The Game gets an 8.5 / 10 from me so far.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 21 people (62%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
28.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
- A truly hidden gem.
- Great presentation, with gorgeous graphics, animations and soundtrack.
- Solid gameplay, with good exploration and puzzle solving parts mixed with fast and hard combat.
- The game is NOT EASY. And that's a plus for this kind of game.
- The story is cryptic and hidden through images and cutscenes, but once you undestand it, you will love it even more.
- The atmosphere, the world and characters are very well done.
- This game is totally worth it's full price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
Everything in this game is amazing: the art style, the colours, the gameplay.
Definitely one of the best game out there.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
4.8 hrs
Posted: October 1
I'm not crazy about the sluggish controls, how vulnerable you are at the end of a dash, or how long it takes to recover from a swing. Enemies are brutal, and bosses are rediculously hard. The world is nice, but the story is paper thin, and presented with blocky images. It's not that I don't recommed this game, because I do want to like it. But the difficulty level is frustrating at best, and impossible, requiring absoute precise timing and skill at certain points.

I like the graphics. But I must say, I don't really care for the music's "whiny" synth sounds. The music is a bit like the old Miramax Minds Eye vids from the 90's. That's not a good thing.

So check it out, especially when on sale. But don't expect to beat it in one go. You may even have to give up at some point. Like I did...

If you like really hard games, this is for you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
8.1 hrs
Posted: October 1
Kinda hard, but fun, great graphics, but I stopped playing it after some parts were to hard and had to keep restarting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Fat Rat
3.0 hrs
Posted: October 1
Very good game. I was surprise by how good it is. An indie gem.
The gameplay is hard but not too much hat you want to quit.
The art and music is very good.
I recommend it to anyone.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
☣ Poogle ☣ (Barista)
8.2 hrs
Posted: October 1
I am one of those people who really enjoy multiplayer fps games, I don't usually enjoy single player games and I find they get boring fast. Games like farcry that get amazing reviews I just usually find a bit dry. So it was very unusual of me to buy hyper light drifter being a indi top down hack and slash by genre. I am so glad I did this game is not just a game it is a masterpiece, and unlike most arty games it has the tough fast paced gameplay to back it up. This game is a must buy for everyone and this isn't just buyers hype since I have had it a while now. At first I didn't really understand this game but now I love it, the wonderfully vauge story and the exploration elements. If you do read this and decide you want to play then put the time in and it will pay back tenfold.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hippy John
1.1 hrs
Posted: October 1
Great game sooo much fun!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.7 hrs
Posted: October 1
Fez: the action-adventure game

Seriously, if you liked the art, music, and general mysterious ambiance and world building of Fez but don't mind a bit of Zelda-esque gameplay, this is the game for you. Lovely balance of calm exploration and sudden, fast action with just a dash of knuckle-biting frustration to really make you feel you earned your progress
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.0 hrs
Posted: October 1
I forgot why I love video games, but Hyper Light Drifter made me remember.

The gameplay is some of the most satisfying I've ever played. The fighting mechanics are simple, but fit so well together, it's straight up addicting; slashing the sword and finishing off an enemy with a shotgun blast feels too right. The game's difficulty is ACTUALLY challenging, which makes me so happy. The bosses actually feel like bosses and the game just feels so rewarding and fun.

What I really want to talk about though is the atmosphere of the game, which is definitely its strongest point. The aesthetic of the game may seem gimmicky to some, but it is truly beautiful and it never feels cheap. I must say though, MY GOD the soundtrack is out of this world, it is easily some of the best ambient/atmospheric music I've ever heard in a game in a long time, it just feels so right. I guess that's what makes this game so amazing, everything feels so right. Everything about this game comes together like a puzzle, from the sound, to the visuals, to the gameplay; it all feels so perfect. By the time the final boss is defeated and the melancholic music plays, you get a sense of nostalgia, almost like you played it all before and now you are finally remembering. I interpret the main character as slowly remembering his past and coming to terms with it, in order to defeat and overcome his biggest enemy. I believe that's what makes the game so beautiful as well, there is no dialogue, the story is told through pictures and through your own interpretations.
Interpret the game as you will, the game may not be a masterpiece, but it is really close.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.1 hrs
Posted: October 1
If the controls were similar to Enter the Gungeon, aiming & shooting the gun would be viable and it would be 10x easier to dodge as well.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Golden Neckbeard
15.6 hrs
Posted: October 1
A feast for the eyes, ears and fingers. Heart Machine understands visual storytelling... but you're not in for a detailed narrative here. Rather, this is largely in the Souls tradition where the gradual discovery of the setting generally serves the role that story beats usually cover. When the setting is as richly realized as it is here, it works.

Rich, that is, but not overcomplicated... In fact, that description could apply to every element of Hyper Light Drifter. It's a lean design in the best way possible, from Disasterpeice's haunting score to the nail-biting swordplay, this game knows where its strengths lie and isn't afraid to double down on the best, most essential bits and provide little of anything else that might get in the way.

As if the music wasn't enough reason, do play this with good sound; besides the dashy-slashy this is an exploration game in the old secret-hunting sense, and audio cues are important to both elements.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.5 hrs
Posted: September 30
SOOOO Beautiful and intriguing but controls with the mouse are too clunky for it to be really playable. Beat a boss after much problems but even low level fights soon become impossible. It should let you know ahead that you need a controller.
Helpful? Yes No Funny