Gameplay in Axiom Verge is similar to that of Super Metroid, which is clearly one of its inspirations. The game is a 2D action-exploration adventure, taking place on the fictional alien world Sudra. The game mixes side-scrolling shooter mechanics with platforming, exploration, and puzzle-solving to create a unique, mysterious experience.

One of the more stand-out features is that Axiom Verge has purposeful glitches. That is, the player can interact with the game's environment and enemies in such a way that the game will appear "glitched" (see Address Disruptor, Modified Lab Coat), but this allows the player to advance in the adventure.

New abilities give players access to areas they were unable to get to before and open up new sections of the game. These include things like a Drill to break open walls, a higher jump to reach new platforms, and a remotely controlled Drone to crawl in small spaces.

Axiom Verge creates a refreshing experience through its strong conveyance, tight controls, and unified theme through graphics, story-telling, and music.

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