Shantae | Logo

Publisher(s): WayForward
Platform(s): GameBoy Advance, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, PC
Release Date(s): 2024


Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution has been billed by WayForward as the ‘lost chapter of the Shantae saga’ that went into development for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s, but was shelved indefinitely until now. Set between the original Shantae game and Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution has the half-genie Shantae protecting Sequin Land from another evil plot by Risky Boots, and I found myself loving a retro – yet incredibly modern-styled game – that fit right in with 2024.

I grew up playing Game Boy Advance games, and so I was extremely happy to be able to go hands-on with Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution on an authentic Game Boy Advance console before shifting to a modern-era handheld replica device. Even though the GBA uses a D-Pad, I was surprised at how well Shantae’s controls worked, and it did not feel like a step backwards from Shantae And The Seven Sirens with the quality of gameplay. Fighting with the hair whip, jumping and dodging, and even the dive mechanics all are beautifully done – and most crucially, when I died, I knew that it was clearly my fault and not the game or the console’s fault. The enemies were also challenging, and while I did die on the one boss fight I had available in the demo, it was absolutely a blast to figure out the combat pattern and then absolutely obliterate it. There are even gravity-based mechanics in this game for diving into the water in order to get deep enough to glide to the next area through a water-filled tunnel.

The graphics are also gorgeous. The Shantae team clearly pushed the Game Boy Advance hardware to its limits to make Sequin Land pop off of the screen as much as possible. During the demo, I was able to check out one of the towns, and I was impressed with how active the character models were and how detailed even minor NPCs were. The game’s colors are also incredibly vibrant, and I was just impressed with how much attention went even into the background graphics of each area.

Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution | Shantae outside a house.
Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution is simply a gorgeous game that really pushes the limits of the Game Boy Advance hardware in 2024. (Images owned by WayForward.)

Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution | Transformation into a monkey.

The detailed background art is incredibly necessary to have, thanks to the gimmick for Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution. In this adventure, Shantae can go through portals and jump between the background or foreground of each area ala Virtual Boy Wario Land. Jumping between the background and foreground effectively doubles the amount to explore in each area and makes you think about how to get to your goal. It also meant that sometimes I would see something in the distance on the other layer, and I wanted to get to it. I unfortunately did not get to experience the full potential of how this would play out in a variety of levels, but I loved what potential I could imagine for it. The other gimmick that Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution has, where Risky Boots can flip the gameplay world upside down, was unfortunately not something I was able to see during my demo.

Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution | Portal Door on top right.
There are multiple gimmicks in Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution. On the top right corner of the above photograph, there is the portal that allows Shantae to jump between the background and foreground of an area. And below, Risky Boots is presumably twisting the half-genie hero’s world perspective upside down. (Images owned by WayForward.)

Ultimately, would modern-day Shantae fans be pleased with Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution? I think the answer is absolutely ‘Yes.’ While this does feel like a throwback game, it controlled neatly and precisely like a modern-day title. It also had that fun gameplay the Shantae series is known for. While preorders through Limited Run Games are closed for the Game Boy Advance version, this game will still make its launch on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and 5, and on Steam later this year.

Are you excited for Shantae Advance: Risky Revolution? Did you pre-order the Limited Run Games version in time?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.