A game by PolarityFlow for PC, Linux, and Switch, originally released in 2023.
Ginsha is an open world action-adventure starring an alien symbiote named Gin who has crash-landed on Earth, along with her companion Gon. Many such symbiotes – from a race of beings known as Ginsha – were drawn to Earth for unknown reasons. Gin and Gon fall into a cloning facility, with Gon landing near some sort of hovering drone, which it takes over. Gin manages to make her way over to the body of a clone and grabs onto it, essentially becoming a head of wild orange hair. Together, Gin and Gon explore multiple planets on a mission to find out what has drawn them here, and what has happened to the Ginsha who came before them.
While Gon is limited to hovering around, Gin has control of an advanced clone that allows her to run, jump, dash, use psionics, and make use of a variety of items and equipment. At the outset, Gin is limited to a 1x nonvariable jump, but she gains a double jump very early into her adventure. She can also perform a dash on the ground or in the air, and generate a psionic shield that protects her from most damage. Both of these skills draw from an energy meter that refills slowly over time.
The shield is a multi-purpose device, as it lowers your local gravity whenever you activate it. So not only is it useful in combat, but it can also be used to help you line up jumps, bounce off of otherwise deadly obstacles, cross large gaps, and even float up on air currents. Later in the game, you encounter underwater areas where you can swim freely but you need to watch your oxygen supply (or upgrade your underwater breathing skills), and fly around with limited-use jetpacks.
Gin’s first tool is a scanner that allows her to acquire information about the world around her, and allows her to activate certain devices. She can also scan enemies – which can be dangerous since it requires her to get close to them – but the reward for doing so is a small damage bonus against any enemy type she has scanned. Scanning things and killing enemies fills an energy meter that acts as the game’s XP system. Once certain thresholds are reached, she may activate a level-up terminal to increase her stats and unlock one skill on an expansive skill tree.
You may select from one of four categories when levelling up: vitality, strength, focus, and agility. Levelling up your vitality lengthens your heath meter and increases the power of your blaster shots. Levelling up your strength also lengthens your health meter, along with your melee attack strength. Levelling up your focus increases psionics and the power of your lancer weapon, and levelling up agility increases psionics and charged weapon strength. The skill tree is similarly broken into four categories where you can upgrade your shields, drones, various weapon types, ammo capacity, critical hit chance, reload speed, armor, and many other elements.
A crafting interface allows you to create attack or defense drones, along with medkits, poison remedies, bombs, temporary psi boosts, and a couple of other items. Crafting materials are the primary reward for exploration and extermination of powerful enemies, but they’re not a necessary part of the experience. Many craftable items are found regularly in the environment or are available for purchase, and craftable drones are lost when you are killed – there are lots of insta-death traps – so stockpiling crafting materials generally isn’t worth the effort.
Effort to build your character is best spent in the skill tree. Here, you can reduce the energy cost of psionics and unlock perks that grant health when killing enemies, which reduces the need to create supplemental items. Your psionic shield makes you nearly invincible and allows you to make quick work of enemies and many bosses. You can also take advantage of free aim or auto-aim modes to keep the dangerous end of your weapon pointed at anything that’s trying to kill you. The blaster weapon, with its long range and upgradeable ammo capacity and reload time, allows you to destroy most enemies with little opportunity for them to retaliate.
Reaching level-up thresholds comes quickly, but only if you manage to stay alive. Each time you are killed, a ball of energy is left behind on the spot where you fell, and you must retrieve it to regain your XP. If you perish again before you reach it, then it’s lost forever. A hidden room early in the game allows you to switch over to Casual mode so that you don’t lose XP or drones when you die, but doing so reduces your XP gain by 40%. Skilled players will want to play in Normal mode to level up more quickly. Level-up stations appear frequently, but players are still likely to meet their end by way of insta-death traps like bottomless pits, crushers, and the occasional falling stalactite.
Several weapons types are available, with stronger variants to be found as you explore. These include a blaster, shotgun, lancer, melee attack, and a charged weapon. You can cycle quickly between three equpped weapons – and spend upgrades to increase their efficacy – but you’ll always need to carry a charged weapon since these have a number of secondary functions that are required for navigation. Charged weapons can temporarily deactivate spinning sawblades, slow down crushers, destroy certain blocks, and activate special energy-based platforms.
The world is vast, with numerous interconnected rooms to explore on the two planets that are immediately accessible, followed by three more planets that open up a few hours into your journey, with six planets accessible in all. The opening area is very machine-oriented, but there are many natural environments as well. An ice planet sees you sliding around and destroying ice blocks, but the extreme cold also limits your psionic abilities, meaning that you can’t use your dash or shield as much… unless you have a device built that lets you withstand the cold. A hot planet contains lots of fire-based enemies and traps that cause continuous burn damage, along with plenty of lava.
There are lots of narrative elements, with a handful of NPC’s and loads of computer terminals providing details about the around you. In some ways, these elements add a bit of realism, like when you speak with NPC’s who construct items to help you navigate hostile environments, or learning a new language so that you can communicate with NPC’s on another planet. But computer terminals and NPC's are mostly used to explain every aspect of the game, often explicitly stating what room you need to go into and where you need to travel to complete mission objectives, and there are loads of floating arrows and indicators to show you where you need to go next, or what items you need to interact with.
On one hand, this can lead to situations where you’re essentially being led by the nose through objectives that might otherwise be found through exploration. On the other hand, dense level layouts and switch-based navigation mean that many areas are quite complicated to navigate. Many rooms feature tight spaces where you must activate buttons or levers to open barriers elsewhere in the environment… and often you’ll need to complete several such sequences per room. In addition, many rooms have multiple exits – not all of which are immediately apparent – and so you may complete a series of puzzles and leave the room, not realizing that you’ve left a large branch of the world unexplored.
Backtracking is aided by a metroidvania map that allows you to teleport to any room at the cost of some energy, and you can toggle between local and world maps to see which areas have not been fully explored. There are lots of optional side paths with various rewards (mostly crafting materials), and the occasional optional boss to fight as well. That said, most boss fights are uncomplicated, so these tend to revolve around avoiding simple patterns, making use of your shield to pass through dangers unscathed, and unleashing continuous fire to pick away at overlong health meters. On a bit of a sour note, it’s also possible to die after defeating some bosses, thereby forcing you to repeat the experience… which is disappointing since the game otherwise auto-saves every time you enter a room or die.
Aesthetically, the game features chunky retro-style visuals and a sparse soundtrack. There are numerous themed biomes to explore across multiple planets, each with their own unique hazards, although enemies and bosses are all mechanical in nature. The action is broken up with environmental puzzles, VR segments, and trial-and-error minigames, and backtracking is made easier by shortcuts that open up as you progress. The sci-fi narrative centers around a far future Earth where things didn’t exactly go well for humanity… and they’re not going super well for the Ginsha either.

Ginsha was developed solo developer by Adrian Zingg based in Bergdietikon (AG) Switzerland, under his PolarityFlow label (and not to be confused with the Swiss painter of the same name). He previously developed Cryogear, Steel Rain, and Cyber Complex.