Inversus Review: Black, White, and Red all over?
What's the sign of a fun game? Yes, that's a vague question, but I have one example. I would say it's a game where you learn to play in minutes and then have hours of fun.
This is how I would describe my experience enjoying Inversus. Developed by Hypersect for PC and the PlayStation 4, Inversus is best described as the combination of an arcade shooter and strategy game.
Your goals are simple; you must shoot enemies, raise your score and survive. As your score increases eventually you'll receive bonuses. These bonuses include score multipliers, and gaining extra lives.
Inversus, is a title where you'll battle across a number of stages. Each stage is essentially a gameboard you can move across. To move you must shoot to change tiles from black to white. You'll be able to create a path you can freely travel across. More white space allows you to move across the stage freely.
Enemies are normally red blocks or white blocks. It is your duty to dispatch them for as long as you can survive. A lack of urgency and serious attention will lead to premature deaths and a low score. Enemies will also use tiles to limit your movement and often times swarm you.
Now you maybe thinking -- this sounds like a shmup and you would be right. The screen may not be full of bullets but you'll need to dodge enemies and enemy fire that can fill the screen at times -- Yes, you'll need skill to stay alive and keep the highscore going.
Inversus is also a strategy game as well. You'll need a path available to move to avoid death and you'll need ammo to shoot foes. You can also run out of ammo temporarily. No ammo means you can't create paths to move on and you'll have no way to defend yourself. The danger in later stages get more frantic and intricate. Also, bravo to Hypersect because at times you can feel claustrophobic -- The challenge is entertaining and addicting.
A lot of the title's charm lies in it's uses of color and stage progression. The black and white colors build around the notations of movement and attack. Red of course is danger and beware when you see a lot of it.
Each stage is built around a theme and they also determine the level of difficulty you encounter. My personal favorite stage is the sixth stage called "Free". It's named as such because you are free to move without any obstacles. Within the same stage, enemies are also "free" to regularly attack you in large numbers. It's clever and you can appreciate that stages escalate in difficulty accordingly.
Inversus has a good amount of content that you can pour time into. Arcade features six stages where your score will be ranked worldwide. Arcade can also be played in co-op mode; locally or online. You can also play competitive multiplayer against 3 other players across 27 versus maps.
Games such as Inversus further reinforce my personal belief; games don't have to have movie productions or obscure gameplay. Well designed visuals, clear goals, and well executed gameplay is all that's necessary.
If you enjoy a good challenge no matter how minute, complex or fast. Inversus is a must play.
Disclaimer: Review code of the PC version was provided by the developer.