Ever since the release of Super Mario Maker back in 2015, we have been secretly hopeful that Nintendo would follow the same formula for every other franchise at its disposal. That wish has, so far, been unsuccessful (bar some interesting 'Zelda Maker' stand-ins from the likes of Quest Master and Super Dungeon Maker), but it looks like another indie dev is stepping up to fill the 'Metroid Maker' void.

Starlair is, according to its official Kickstarter description, a chance to "Explore a massive universe filled with player-created Metroidvanias". To our eye, it's 'Metroid Maker'.

This is the first project from developer Shooty Bazooky and it sure looks like an ambitious one. You'll be given the tools to create intricate Metroidvania worlds complete with environment customisation options, various enemy types and all of the Samus-style upgrades you can think of. These creations then become a world of their own that other players can stumble across while exploring the galaxy — think No Man's Sky, but player-created.

Sure, the main attraction is probably the Metroidvania building, but Starlair is just as much about exploring these worlds as it is about creating them. There's an artifact-collecting story mode to keep things interesting at the start and you earn credits by completing each level which can be spent on ship upgrades or cosmetic player options.

Here are the details on the game so far from Shooty Bazooky:

The universe is always expanding. That's even true in Starlair. Every time new planets are created (by the players), the universe will expand. New motherships will launch. The world is always growing.

But what is Starlair all about? It's about a huge, endless adventure that's almost entirely created by the players. Every planet in the game is a world that a player built. These are side-scrolling Metroidvanias that could take half an hour or a week to complete. As more people play, more worlds will appear, and it could take a lifetime to complete them all.

You play as a bounty hunter. As the game opens, you've betrayed your employer by releasing a bounty that, in turn, assassinates the wife of said employer - for revenge. Accused of conspiring with the freed bounty, your former employer demands a life of servitude in exchange for what he has lost.

You've been tasked with tracking down mysterious artifacts hidden away inside the "asylum planets", which are the worlds you'll be creating in Starlair. As you collect more artifacts, you'll begin to learn what they are - and why your employer desperately wants them. But - at one point, as you collect more of them, someone else will approach you with another offer.

You can delve into the story - or just fly around in space playing worlds. It's up to you. It's not heavy-handed, and that's intentional. Every world has a social area in the landing zone. Here you can chat with other players - share tips/secrets, or check the world's leaderboard to see who has the fastest clear time, the most clears, the most monsters killed, the top percentages, etc.

As we mentioned, Starlair is currently open to support via Kickstarter, meaning it will only become a reality if it reaches its funding goal of £5,531 by 19th July.

Should it reach this goal, the developer has stated that it aims to launch in early access on Steam in "early Fall" with a full ver. 1.0 release by February 2025. You'll be pleased to know that the Switch is included in the launch platform line-up (the dev has already released a video of it running on the hardware) as is, interestingly, 'Switch 2', which the developer hopes will provide more power for improved resolution. All of that is pending Nintendo's official announcement, of course.

What do you make of Starlair? Would you like to see it on Switch? Let us know in the comments.

[source kickstarter.com]