System: PC | Released: March 2021
Developer: Eşref Çağatay Güven | Reviewed On: PC (Steam)
HYPERSPACE: Andy's Adventure is a space arcade platformer that propels you through geometrically winding wormholes collecting boxes, stardust, and elements against tight time runs and red box obstacles. Released in March 2021, the game features a progressive level structure in which achievements within a level will unlock the next chapter or star system with new elements and collectible objects.
My first impressions of this game are fairly good in terms of realizing the potential it has for improvement and expansion. I see it as a great first attempt at projecting the idea through the concept and achieving it to a high level in some areas.
The gameplay is in a simple format where left and right for movement control and a key for acceleration control are the only things you have to worry about. It quickly becomes evident that the movement of your spaceship isn't at all as simple as you may think, though, and Eşref explains the mechanism used in his tutorial screen. A double pendulum movement underpins the physics of the craft, and as an Engineer, I know that this is a complex system. I'm assuming that Unreal Engine has made this possible in HYPERSPACE because I can't imagine the coding that would need to be injected into making it possible. Because of this mechanism, getting to grips on the gameplay is a challenge - which is what we like!
As previously mentioned, the leveling system is straight forward with each 'chapter' stemming out into multiple levels in which you have to reach the end of the wormhole having collected a few things along the way and avoided hitting too many red boxes. Some levels within the chapters have you running against the clock which tends to always be tight! Collecting the blue boxes will add one second each onto your remaining time, creating the challenge of snapping up as many as possible in your run. Other elements are dotted about to collect such as stardust, enhancing the variety in the experience, and providing more stats for you to view and assess your progress in the statistics screen.
Having played a few chapters, I was able to glean that more content is added as you progress. For example, you encounter disturbance gates that mess up your orientation as you pass, increasing the difficulty somewhat, and the addition of lightning collectibles that allow you to temporarily boost your ship's speed when you have a short clear stretch of wormhole - handy in the time runs! You are also able to collect shields further on, allowing you to smash through the red block obstacles without losing a 'life'. Beyond this point, I am none the wiser but I would like to think that more variety has been included as you progress.
Right from the get-go, you are met with the awesome geometric visuals of the game. Aside from the questionable font choices for the interface, the in-game aesthetics are high definition and clear-cut, packed with neon brilliance, and make use of Unreal Engine's capabilities. It's mesmerizing to watch as you traverse the wormholes, winding in all directions like a rollercoaster of sorts. I was impressed both by the concept and its execution in principle.
I had a few issues on the super-ultra-wide screen with the interface and although not inhibiting of function, it did take a little out of my first impressions. Regardless, I was able to select everything eventually. The fact, also, that the game has controller support is a plus and was readily used for this partial-playthrough. I would mention that some work needs to be carried out on the controller support in order to maximize its capabilities - I found that the controller would not select anything if you died in a level, which is an easy fix, and whilst on the subject, there are no controller setup pages to indicate what buttons are for what, instead, forcing the player to figure it out, as simple as it may be.
The settings for the game are also slightly lacking, having basically just volume control for the music and SFX, and a reset progress function. An 'invert colors' function has also been included with intention, that does exactly what it says on the tin; to what avail, I am unsure of, but interesting nonetheless.
The music for the game initially is awesome. I'm a lover of 80's synth music and synth-wave and the theme track provides that satisfaction. This one track, however, appears to be the theme for every one of the levels in the game. Hearing the track quickly gets old and a full catalog of tracks of the same style and tempo as you progress through the game wouldn't go amiss.
Overall, the retro 80's style and arcade format have been executed to a good standard that should be built upon to create an even greater game. The title has a lot of potential and room for growth and inclusion of even more variety and intensity and should be a working project to develop further.
I am awarding HYPERSPACE: Andy's Adventure a 6.5/10, but the developer shouldn't be disheartened by this as he has developed the beginnings of a game that could well be fantastic with continued love and attention. It's both appealing and attractive and provides a great casual gaming experience.