Today I’m reviewing the most confusingly fun game that I think I’ve played since Zoop for the SNES. The game is INVERSUS ($14.99)and comes to us from developer Hypersect. This multi-platform game is definitely something that you should be looking into and you are in the right place reader! Let’s dive right into it.
Firstly, we can’t get into a review if you don’t know the features in the game, so here, I’ll give them to you!
- ‘Online and local multiplayer
- Competitive battles in 1v1 and 2v2 modes
- Fight for the world record in single-player and cooperative multiplayer arcade modes
- Twenty-seven versus maps encouraging varied playstyles and strategies
- Seven arcade maps with distinct challenges to master
- Over 60 unlockable color palettes
- Over 250 unlockable emotes
- Lobby system that allows local play while searching for online matches
- Mind-bending levels in ever looping worlds
- A constantly changing board makes every game a fresh experience
- Rewarding for both strategy and skill as you balance spatial control with quick reflexes’
And the description of the game as a whole:
‘The playfield looks simple at first glance, but once the action begins, complexity unfolds at a rapid pace. INVERSUS is a negative-space shooter for one to four friends. Player movement is constrained to opposite colors of a black and white grid. My walls are your paths and your walls are my paths. Each shot flips tile colors in an attempt to block, trap and close in on the enemy. Firing a bullet opens up a path for you while also closing off a path for me. Both online and local couch play are supported. The competitive versus mode pits players against each other in 1v1 or 2v2 battles. The single-player and cooperative two-player modes pit players against endless waves of enemies as they fight for high scores on an ever-changing board.’
And even a trailer too:
Audio & Soundtrack:
I would first like to point out that this game only really has a handful of sound effects. But the primary one is the shoot sound and boy, does it sound like a straight Galaga rip-off. Am I mad at Hypersect for this? A bit, actually. Does it affect gameplay or any other feature of the game? No, not at all, I’m just a whiny fanboy that wants Galaga’s sounds to stay inside of Galaga and Inversus have its own sounds. I would actually really love to have Inversus have its own sound that I could walk around and mimic all day and irritate my friends whilst doing so. I would really love custom colors and custom shooting sounds, I think a DLC of that would be great. Or if they want to have a Galaga pack where it changed the levels to be colored as Galaga and gave us those sounds, I would respect that. It would seem like more of an homage than a rip-off. Even then they could do loads of different games as homages and sell them as DLC packs like Pac Man sounds and level colors for instance.
As far as the rest of the sound effects, they sound so futuristic and bleepy-bloopy and I love the heck out of them. The music itself is also such a treat. It seems to be switched up just as often as the stage’s themes do and that’s the best. I love when themes and music changes together. The music is very techno at its core, but it lacks a fair amount of base. This was probably the best choice in terms of the music. I love frenetic dance music as much as the next guy, but I certainly loved that I didn’t have to change the levels of my surround sound after I docked it to my TV. I don’t know if they chose that themselves or if it just worked out that way, but either way, I’m grateful. Ultimately, the music sets a mood, but doesn’t take over the gameplay. It isn’t distracting at all and if you’re in the zone, you may not even notice it as you play, but you’ll definitely be humming the music later on when you’re not playing. 8/10
For a game that is all about boxes and straight lines and grids, this game still looks pretty as hell. It’s a 2 dimensional game at its core, but it still almost looks like your character block floats higher up than the blocks that it is on. This may be due to the fact that they use a shadow that follows you or maybe it’s ghosting. Whatever the mechanic is called, it’s very effective at creating a sense of hovering. There is also a haze that seems to be over the whole thing, which I feel like may not be necessary. I’m guessing that they’re using the haziness to kind of smooth any harsh edges. But this would only be a fear when staring at the big blocks on the TV. When you’re playing on the go, you really don’t have to worry about jagged edges as the screen is significantly smaller.
I live the wide array of colors that they use. Sometimes in puzzle games, they try to mix it up with neons or crazy effects. This game sticks to a lot more primary or pastel colors and mixes it up that way. I think it really lends itself to this type of game as you’re staring at a screen of boxes that could hurt your eyes over time. All in all, the category that this game sits in is quite a unique genre. Since they’re sort of paving the way for this type of game I would say that it could look however they want or deem it to look, but I definitely think they choose a non-abrasive tactic here. I just hope that if any other game developers try to make a game in the same genre, they look to this game for inspiration. 8/10
To me, this is one of the hardest games to explain. The good thing is that there is a tutorial section to really set you off on the right foot. I can confirm that this game is not an easy one to just start playing without any kind of prior instruction. But I can definitely still give you a breakdown of it in the off chance that you’re still stumped after watching the gameplay trailer up at the top of this article.
The game basically operates the same as a twin-stick shooter, you have the left stick to move you a direction and the four face buttons is what you use to choose which direction to shoot. It’s different in that you can just choose to shoot one bullet in one of the four directions. You can alternatively hold that button down to charge a 3-shot blast to shoot that chosen direction. The tradeoff here is that you are at risk of being shot before your shot is fully charged. You can only move around in the colored paths that are the opposite the color of yourself. Shooting bullets not only kills the opponent, but you can also clear paths with the bullets while trying to move around. All in all, I really loved the gameplay and I certainly felt like I really had to learn what I had to do to advance. Sometimes I got lucky, but mostly I was mastering the craft and it felt very rewarding.
I know that I should’ve talked about this in the visuals section, but I believe that this may be better suited for this section. I feel that as much as I love playing a game like this on the go, it is better suited for docked mode. Yes, for visuals being smaller and maybe too small for a shooter where ever little bullet needs to be seen. But also for the fact that a game like this also takes twitch reactions and a Switch gets heavy after a while of lighting fast hand movements. If you’re not partial to having it docked and using a lighter controller, I would still recommend to have it at least in the kickstand mode on a table and play with a controller. Your forearms and Balsam Thumb Joint (google it) will thank me later! 9/10
There is online multiplayer as well as leaderboards available in this game, so it really leans into a lot of replay-ability. There is also competitive battles in 1v1 and 2v2 versions. And I mean, they don’t even mention the AI bots in the features, but I love the fact that you don’t have to play against friends or anyone else for that matter. And there are simply countless maps. Furthermore, they seem to make you have to win 3 times on a map before you can unlock the next map. This is indicative of fighting games, but it also means you can’t just get lucky. You have to learn what you needed to learn from that map and take it with you to the next stage. This alone means that there is a lot of replay-ability even if you never play against anyone as it really means the game is 3 times longer than they could’ve made it.
Let’s also not forget that there are challenge stages that are separate from the primary game mode and they are not a walk in the park. So yes, this game has some replay-ability aspects and it does have some offline modes too. No, the game doesn’t have infinite replay-ability, but you may very well get bored of it long before you beat it. 8/10
If you’re wanting INVERSUS for the Switch, you can find the game by clicking here.
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