Indie game publisher Digital Uppercut has released a limited time demo for Steel Mantis’ upcoming heavy metal 2D action-platformer Valfaris. Available on Steam now through to December 31st, players can get a taste of the colorful, cathartic run ‘n’ gun chaos Steel Mantis has cooked up for them in 2019. Once the clock hits midnight PT on new year’s eve, the demo will be deleted, and players will have to wait until 2019 to get a full look at Valfaris’ brutal sci-fi combat.

The demo and Steam page has been localised into the following languages: EU French, EU Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Turkish, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Mandarin, Japanese.

Developed by the team who made Slain: Back from HellValfaris is an epic side-scrolling shooter hearkening back to the genre’s golden era. The deranged lovechild of Contra, Heavy Metal magazine and Aliens, Valfaris is set aboard the titular once utopic citadel consumed by an ever-growing darkness that has infested this former paradise with all manner of demonic beasts. Players assume the role of proud son and Warrior Lord Therion, who revisits his ancestral home to eradicate the plague of monsters that have twisted Valfaris from a divine kingdom into an unholy cesspool.

The pre-alpha demo lets players sample the game’s opening stage as Therion crash lands on Valfaris, playable either with keyboard or controller. Confronted by all manner of grisly, monstrous enemies, players must quickly get to grips with Therion’s arsenal of weapons as he shoots, slices, and deflects the many hazards of this ruined bastion. Through this initial stage players will get a feel for Valfaris’ psychedelic pixel-art visuals, vicious combat, and smattering of secrets, not to mention the plethora of amped up mini-bosses and bosses who inhabit the game’s sullied heavy metal space universe.

The full game, due in 2019 on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, will expand upon this premise much further with an expansive arsenal of weapons that can be leveled up as Therion dives deeper into the gnarled heart of Valfaris.

Valfaris has already garnered some early acclaim, with Eurogamer citing it as one of their six favorite indie games on the horizon, while PCGamesN called it “a wonderfully overblown shooter.”

Valfaris is everything I wanted from a video game since I was a teenager,” said Digerati Director Nick Alfieri. “It’s got ghastly aliens, gruesome combat, a killer soundtrack, and it’s just a blast to play!”