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Neon White isn’t your average first-person shooter. It incorporates elements of speedrunning, parkour, card games and even some basic aspects of the visual novel genre to create a stylish single-player experience where you must kill every demon in sight to secure your spot in Heaven. You’ll take control of a demon-slaying assassin, who has a bad case of amnesia after being plucked straight out of Hell. The good news is he’s been given a chance to live permanently in Heaven, so he can slowly piece together his past life as he fights for redemption.

With the story out of the way, Neon White throws you straight into its assassin and demon-filled universe with a tutorial which is broken up into a series of levels. In this mission, you’ll be learning the basics like movement, how to swap between your ‘Soul Cards’ (which provide your assassin with all sorts of weapons and abilities), and how to defeat demons. Keep in mind the main objective of each level is to kill every demon and get to the exit as fast as possible. By doing this, you’ll receive a medal which can potentially raise your rank, allowing you to progress further.

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Once you’re out of the tutorial, you’re thrust into a hub world – made up of all sorts of buildings and hangouts, where you’ll have conversations with other characters, build relationships, and learn more about the lore and story of this universe. These are basic exchanges featuring some audio and cutscenes, but they all contribute to the world-building in Neon White and eventually lead you to your next mission. And if lengthy conversations aren’t your thing, you can always skip these moments and jump straight back into levels.

The speedrunning aspect is where Neon White really shines, but there is admittedly some trial and error. If you’re going to slow and don’t achieve a particular grade, you’ll probably want to restart your run. And if you’re killed, fall off a platform, or use certain ammo at the wrong time, that's a restart. When you finally get the hang of the game's mechanics or master the rhythm of a harder level after multiple attempts, Neon White can be incredibly satisfying. Compared to certain other speedrunners, Neon White also requires a bit more planning and coordination, where you might need to think about what Soul Card is the best fit for your current situation.

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The evolving level design and unique mix of enemies add all sorts of challenges to each run. Some demons shoot giant laser beams and others allow you to reach higher places. As for the levels, they are made up of all sorts of parkour-like elements from platform jumping and gaps, to massive drops and water slides. Thankfully, new elements keep each mission feeling fresh. Although there are many challenges for the game’s protagonist to overcome, you should be able to get better medals with enough practice. Neon White does ramp up in difficulty over time, but (again) it’s got a great sense of flow – so you can infinitely retry until you eventually nail a run. There are boss battles as well, which also require you to focus.

Neon White wraps this up in a stylish aesthetic filled with some lovely architecture and structures, fun character design, and a high-tempo soundtrack to spur you on. Its visual novel-like sections also give off anime and manga vibes, and the global leaderboards should also keep fans coming back for more. All of this combined with great gameplay should make it a highly addictive package for fans of this kind of thing.


Neon White is a welcome addition to the Xbox Game Pass library, serving up a unique and exhilarating indie experience. Its gameplay has a great sense of flow and it does a fantastic job depicting the afterlife. The game does have slower moments in-between levels, but it's primarily about speedrunning and perfecting your runs. As long as you can keep up, Heaven awaits.