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Contra Returns Review - An Addictive Side Scrolling Shooter with Contra Nostalgia
Updated: July 29, 2021

Contra Returns Review - An Addictive Side Scrolling Shooter with Contra Nostalgia


Contra Returns is a classic side scrolling shooter game

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Contra Returns for mobile was finally released on more countries on July 26th. It is a free-to-play side scrolling shooter developed by Konami and Tencent TIMI which brings players a bunch of iconic heroes from the series with Contra nostalgia. This game was originally launched in China back in 2017 and later in Southeast Asia. And this newly released version features over 200 levels along with many other game modes including PvP and Arena. Let’s take a quick glimpse from the trailer below. 

Controls & Gameplay

Contra Returns Review

The controls of Contra Returns are not complicated. On the left side of the screen is the move pad where players can drag to move the character towards different directions. On the right side you can take jump action and switch between different weapons and skills with customizable button layout.

Contra Returns Review

The main part of the game is the Story Mode which features over 200 levels to complete. You can gain experience and level up by taking down enemies in each level under certain requirement such as completing within limited time and not getting killed  during the battle.

Contra Returns Review

There are also a bunch of fun dialogues in each level before the combat starts to let you progress through the game story. You will be told to protect your target from enemies’ attack or save them from the bad guys, which makes the combat more interesting and engaging.

Heroes & Weapons

Contra Returns Review

Contra Returns brings back original heroes as well as some new characters including grizzled commandos Bill Rizer and Lance Bean, Sheena from Contra 4, and Lucia from Contra: Shattered Soldier. You can unlock new heroes after you collect the hero shards. Different heroes have their own stats, skills and preferred weapons, so you can pick one that suits your play style to bring more damage to your enemies.

Contra Returns Review

Weapons are ranked by different color: white - green - blue - purple - orange - gold. Each hero can be equipped with one main weapon and one sub weapon. Weapons can be quick upgraded with EXP cards, or advanced to higher level with required items. Once you collect enough Fragment, the weapon can be promoted to higher star level for more firepower.

Multiplayer Game Modes

Contra Returns Review

Apart from the main Story Mode, Contra Returns adds new gameplay modes including Arena, Team, Challenge and PvP modes. These new gameplay allows players to compete with their friends and online players from all over the world in real time. Playing these multiplayer modes also grants you extra rewards to help you increase the heroes’ stats.


All in all, this is a classic Contra-themed game with fair graphic and character design. The controls are simple and customizible so you can easily get used to it after you start the game. One thing that I would like to complain about is the energy counter as it takes too long to refill. And sometimes you have to reach certain levels to unlock the next stage, otherwise you will be stuck and fail to pass through. Despite these drawback, if you have ever played a contra game in the past, this game will definitely bring you those memories back.


  • Smooth and customizable controls
  • Multiple gameplay modes
  • Classic contra experience


  • Energy takes too long to refill
  • Have to get enough level to unlock certain stages