It was voted Best Downloadable Game in Game Informer's Best of 2009 Awards.
It was voted #1 and picked by editors in 1UP's 2009 Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards as the Best Downloadable Game.
It received four awards in IGN's Best of 2009 Game of the Year Awards (Editors' and Readers'):
- Overall Best Downloadable Console Game
- Overall Best Downloadable Console Game (Readers' Choice)
- Best Xbox Live Arcade Game
- Best Xbox Live Arcade Game (Readers' Choice)
It was named Best Downloadable Game in Cheat Code Central's 2009 Cody Awards.
It was named Downloadable Game of the Year in Gamespy's Game of the Year Awards 2009.
It received the award for Best Downloadable Game in GamePro's End of the Year 2009 Awards.
It received the award for Best Downloadable Game in G4's X-Play Game of the Year Awards.
The game received the award for Best Downloadable Game in Spike TV's Video Game Awards 2009.
The game was downloaded 200,000 times during its debut seven days on sale, making it the XBLA's most downloaded single player title at that time.
The first month of the game's development was spent having all nine core team members at developer Chair Entertainment play the classics it takes inspiration from -- Metroid and Castlevania, specifically -- extensively, in order to build the best possible understanding of the kind of game they were trying to make before they began development.
The game's story runs parallel to the events in SF writer Orson Scott Card's novel Empire. It serves as a companion to the sequel to the novel, Hidden Empire.
This spawned the question on a number of forums and opinion websites whether the game should be boycotted, because Card is known as a fierce political campaigner against gay rights. Some wondered if certain gamers would find it morally right to pay for game where a part of the profits is likely to go to someone defending such a stance they may not agree with. A detailed analysis of the situation can be found through Opinion: The Complex Question in the related links section.
The trial version of the game originally contained a bug that allowed players to continue after defeating the end boss of the demo, providing access to the full game without paying. It was however impossible to save the game while continuing or to get any achievements. Postings about the exploit and videos detailing how to perform it were quickly pulled through an intervention of Epic Games.