Inversus

Some of our favorite memories of youth were sitting down around an arcade-style game with Krispy, whether it was a driver like Crazy Taxi or a vertical scrolling shmup such as the “1942” that used to be in our local A&W. Whatever it was, those short bursts of competitive and co-op gameplay were a drug that kept us coming back for more.

Inversus has tapped into that pure, endorphin-inducing goodness.

While playtesting, Krispy described it best when he said “It’s a twin stick shooter, without being a twin stick shooter.” This works great on the Switch because it means two players can double team a level, each wielding a single Joy Con. The player moves around with the thumb stick and shoots in one of the cardinal directions with the buttons on the right.

A typical level consists of you (and hopefully a friend) controlling a black square, emblazoned with up to 5 dots on the back, representing your ammo.

You start out in a small patch of white territory – which are the only ground you can roll across, but every shot of your cannon, that isn’t body blocked by an enemy square, continues across the arena clearing a path for you to travel. It never stays that way! A never-ending wave of baddies is sent in your general direction, some fast, some slow… some directly towards you, and others meandering around you. Initially, you’re assaulted by mindless red squares, each of these will cover up your white floor with darkness, but after a few waves of slaughtering these explosive little guys (they blow up and take out their compatriots, which can cause some impressive chain reactions) the upgraded enemies spawn into battle – a square that looks like you, but with the colors inverted, and which shoot back.

No one enemy is ever that difficult, though eventually they’ll take multiple shots, but the frantic gameplay comes from the overwhelming waves of cubes coming at you. It’s an overall concept that simple to learn and a bear to master.

The title flourishes in it’s simplicity, with basic controls, furiously fast gameplay, and an addictive quality that will make you say “One more try…” through gritted teeth.

On the other hand, it’s not for everyone… it’s a very simple title, so don’t expect to upgrade your ship. Which brings up another point, I wish there was some sort of story – am I commander of a lone space fighter defending against aggressive enemy aliens? Are you and a friend living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, conserving bullets as you try to protect yourself from a horde of the undead? (the latter is what I usually imagine) I guess it’s all up to your imagination.

Overall, it’s a minimalistic, retro feeling “twin stick” shooter that’ll give you reward you with some fun gaming with your bro.

The Good:

  • Fast, addictive gameplay means you can fit in a couple rounds anytime.
  • Controls work flawlessly
  • Customizable color palette works for anyone’s vision.
  • Can play co-op with a single set of Joy Cons
  • Plenty of levels
  • It’s co-op!

The Not So Good:

  • Lack of depth, I’m missing upgrades.
  • Score wall to unlock new levels is very high.
  • Not a lot of diversity in enemies.
Bigfoot
Bigfoot has been playing video games for as long as he can remember, he was weaned straight from the bottle on to a Commodore 64 and hasn't looked back since. He enjoys sampling beer and hanging out with his family. A couple of his all-time favorite games are Earthbound (SNES) and Fallout 2 (PC).

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