Review: Inversus (PS4)

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Title: Inversus
Format: PlayStation Network Download (67.21 MB)
Release Date: August 16, 2016
Publisher: Hypersect
Developer: Hypersect
Original MSRP: $14.99
ESRB Rating: E
Inversus is also available on PC.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that can be the most fun and that can even translate to the world of video games. The reason I bring that up is because I had the pleasure to review a simple game that is surprisingly addictive and fun.

Inversus is a score chasing game with basic mechanics that are easy to learn, while maintaining enough nuance that mastering it takes skill. You play a black or white square on a grid playfield. Players are only able to move on the opposite color tiles and have to shoot bullets to flip the titles to the color they can move on.

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A player can only hold five bullets at a time and they’re shot using the face button. Bullets will kill enemies which will increase your score in single player or eliminate your opponent in multiplayer. This equates to players carving a path for themselves to maneuver around the playfield while taking out enemies, either A.I. or human.

Ammo is limited to five bullets at a time and there is a recharge time to fill them back up. This means that shots in intense scenarios need to be used carefully because running out of ammo leaves you open to an attack and unable to create a path to move on.

… gameplay is easy to pick up …
The Arcade mode features six different boards or maps each with different layouts that get trickier as you progress. The solo play is all about score chasing as the board is filled with waves and waves of red enemy types that, when shot, build up a score.

When the red targets are hit they blow up the surrounding squares. This can cause a chain reaction allowing for combos and multipliers to be achieved based on how many enemies are taken out at once.

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This leads to the skill of the action and the risk/reward of chaining together as many enemies as possible in hopes of reaching a higher score.

The gameplay is easy to pick up and as someone that is into score chasing, I was hooked within seconds of playing. Chaining enemies is fun and finding ways to bunch up as many together as possible takes skill and fast reflexes. I can easily see a community of score chasers take to this title, quickly destroying me in the leaderboards.

… diverse and clever in design …
Visuals:
There is not much to say about the visuals here as the screenshots speak for themselves. The game only has three colors black, white and red. It uses simple squares on a grid and that’s about it.

The boards are pretty diverse and clever in design with some being simple squares and other becoming more complex that wrap around. This allows players to quickly move from one end of the screen to the other. There are even some boards that have a mirror effect with players controlling multiple squares at a time. Boards like that inparticular really messed with my head especially in the multiplayer component.

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Audio:
The music is upbeat and fast to match the pace of the game. The soundtrack is an electronic mix that blends perfectly with the art and gameplay.

… an absolute blast in competitive play …
Online/Multiplayer:
The two to four player offline and online multiplayer is where the game can truly shine. The Arcade mode can be played by two players who have to work together to survive and rack up a high score and it’s fantastic. Arcade Mode features online leaderboards for each map for both the solo and co-op options.

Competitive play is where things get pretty intense with players doing one versus one or two versus two matches in offline or online play. There are actually twenty-seven boards in multiplayer and they can get insane with the gameplay mechanics leading to intense battles.

Moves become strategic in competitive play with a wrong turn or missed shot easily leading to a loss. There is great joy when you can trap an opponent in a situation where they cannot move. Being on the other end of that leads to a great panic. The game is an absolute blast in competitive play and it’s approachable for anyone with the easy to understand mechanics.

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Conclusion:
As someone who’s always on the lookout for local multiplayer games I found Inversus to be a great treat. Its minimalist art style does wonders for the game making it approachable by casual players and there’s enough skill involved to keep core players interested in it.

The Arcade mode which can be played solo or with a friend is addictive and the leaderboards should be capable of finding a dedicated community of score chasers. My favorite aspect of the game though by far is the multiplayer action. I had a blast playing the game with a friend locally and online.

With so many games coming out this summer with huge art teams and flashy graphics it’s just refreshing to play a smaller gamer with a simple and clean look.

Score:
9.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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