Jan 17, 2013
Hyperwave is a perfect example of a game that takes an interesting premise, and just winds up being wholly uninteresting.
The game initially appealed to me thanks to its immediate similarities to Super Crossfire, a shoot ’em up from Radiangames that sadly hasn’t made its way to iOS, though it is on the BlackBerry Playbook! The game uses a similar style of having flat ships and enemies on a 2D plane, that’s then tilted vertically for a 3D effect. Players move left and right, trying to protect the bottom of the screen from enemies; each one that gets past the player damages their health, though getting hit by enemies directly does massive amounts of damage to the health bar, so sometimes it’s better to let the enemies slip by than to try and kill them at the last second. Players must survive ten levels with a limited set of lives (that expands over time) to get to the next set. Thankfully, temporary upgrades and powerups can be used to help turn the tables.
I like the colorful visual style, which is colorful, and it’s nice to have a Super Crossfire-esque game on Android. There’s plenty of challenging enemies and formations to take on. An endless mode is available along with 5 sets of 10 levels each. But the game just was one I didn’t quite fall in love with.
Part of the problem is that nothing feels like it has much of any punch. Destroying enemies just isn’t that satisfying. The attack where the player’s ship flies upward and destroys multiple enemies just doesn’t feel all as deadly as it should. It could be the sound design that doesn’t provide the crunchiness to enemy hits. There is just a curious disconnect in the feel of movmeent and what actually happens. The ability to shoot diagonally is largely useless, as it’s hard to be accurate, so shooting straight upward is more useful.
While these aren’t big flaws, overall, they just add up to a game that I didn’t really feel compelled to come back to again and again. It’s not bad, just that it feels somewhat inessential.