Metroid: Samus Returns is a side-scrolling action-adventure video game in the Metroid series released for the Nintendo 3DS, developed by Mercury Steam. It is a remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus (originally released on the Game Boy in 1991) with added 3D graphics.


The game includes new features like a melee attack to counter rushing foes and new Aeon abilities like a Lightning Shield and Samus has a scanner.

The game uses the lower screen as a map with several icons representing various things. The player can also add their own marks. The game features a long list of what the icons mean.

amiibo Support

The new amiibo from the Metroid series (Samus and Metroid) will be released alongside the game. The Samus and Zero Suit Samus amiibo figurines from the Super Smash Bros. series is also compatible.

  • Samus (Super Smash Bros.) - Unlocks a reserve missile tank and after completing the game, an additional in-game art gallery appears.
  • Zero Suit Samus (Super Smash Bros.) - Unlocks a reserve energy tank, and after completing the game, a selection of music will appear.
  • Samus (Metroid) - Unlocks an Aeion reserve tank allowing you to recharge your Aeion energy. In addition, it will unlock a unique Metroid II Art Gallery once the game has been completed at least once.
  • Metroid (Metroid) - Unlocks a Metroid Marker which helps you find nearby Metroids on the map. It will also unlock Fusion Mode, a new mode that offers increased difficulty and features Samus in her Fusion suit. Note that Fusion Mode will only be available after finishing the game at least once.


This game has a similar plot to the original Metroid II with the main objective to exterminate all the Metroids. There is an structure that controls the level of lava which lowers.


For a limited time, a Special Edition for Metroid: Samus Returns is available containing the following:

  • A physical version of the game.
  • A Samus Archives Sound Selection CD featuring 25 tracks from across the Metroid franchise.
  • A reversible title-sheet insert for the game case featuring box art from the Metroid II: Return of Samus Game Boy game.

A "Samus Edition" of the New Nintendo 3DS XL console was made available on the game's official release.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 87%
Metacritic 85/100
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 8/10
Famitsu 32/40
Game Informer 9.75/10
GameSpot 9/10
IGN 8.5/10
Nintendo Life 10/10
Nintendo World Report 9.5/10
Polygon 9/10
USgamer 5/5

Metroid: Samus Returns received "critical acclaim", according to review aggregator Metacritic. Critics praised the games a return to form for the Metroid franchise with some critics like Peter Brown of GameSpot believing that this was a look into the future of 2D Metroid games. Critics also praised the game's visuals and usage of glasses-free 3D, stating it added a wonderful sense of depth. The game's soundtrack also received praise, with Chris Carter of Destructoid calling the melodies "hauntingly beautiful".

The series additions like the "Scan Pulse" ability and counter system had some mixed reception. Some said the Scan ability help make the game less frustrating but, other thought it took away some feelings of discovery. The counter system helped make the game's combat fluid and more aggressive though some found the system to have a staccato rhythm, stopping the player for simple encounters.


The game has received a number of awards in the 2017 Award season, mostly for the handheld/mobile category. It won the Best Handheld Game from The Game Awards, Game Critics Award and the 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, Best Portable game from Destructoid and Best Mobile/Handheld Exclusive and Best Handheld Action game from Game Informer.


During its first week in the United Kingdom, Samus Returns was ranked eighth in an all-format chart. It was also the third best-selling game in Japan in its debut week, with 30,855 copies sold. An additional 6,206 copies were sold the following week. It was also the eighth best-selling game in the United States during September 2017 and the 6th best selling game for the year for the 3DS.

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