Review: Intake by Cipher Prime Studios

Review: Intake by Cipher Prime Studios
4.5

Platforms:

Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name:

Intake

Publisher(s):

Action, Shooter

Developer(s):

Cipher Prime Studios

Genre(s):

Cipher Prime Studios

Release Date:

November 5, 2013

Intake: What We Think

Set against a heart-pounding drugstep soundtrack, Intake charges the player with successfully cracking capsules containing illicit substances. Maintaining a balance is crucial, as one overlooked pill can cause a lethal overdose, ending the game.

Mr. Jones And Me

Cipher Prime’s latest barrage of light and sound is by far its fastest-paced game. The soothing puzzle solving of Splice and slow, measured mechanics of Auditorium (links to our reviews) are jacked up to a manic level, calling upon the player to move quick and fire quicker.

Intake_screen1
Horse tranquilizers are easier targets.

Once you get used to the downright twitchy switch mechanics, this lightning-fast arcade shooter will have you craving multiple hits.

Doctor Mario Meets Doctor Feelgood

Brightly colored glowing pills start to spill down towards the bottom of the screen. To neutralize them, aim your reticule and fire off a shot with the left mouse button. Right clicking will cause the aura around the reticule to switch to the alternate color. The capsules will also be one of two colors, and while a shot will destroy any pill in your crosshairs, it only counts as a successful hit if you have the right color selected. Master knowing when to shoot and when to switch and clearing a level takes almost no time at all.

Each time you successfully match up the color behind your shot, the chain multiplier increases. Racking up higher chains results in a larger end of level bonus.

Intake_screen2
Cut it, or get cut down.

When you inevitably overdose, a bonus level rains down white pills. How much each of these pills is worth will be determined by your performance leading up to your demise. Destroy as many of these pills as you can, as these bonus points are the game’s currency.

Drugstore Cowboy

Crashing hard? You can take the edge off by spending your hard-earned pills on bonus icons. Extra lives, slowdown effects, larger pills (easier to target) and other modifications are all available once you have collected enough bonus drugs. Once unlocked, these icons will periodically come down with the pills, and shooting them will temporarily release their effect. Even a brief escape from the dizzying pace can make a huge difference.

Intake_screen3

Other purchases include additional background music tracks that will cost you an insane amount of pills, and – seeing as there only seems to be one looping song that plays throughout – I would have appreciated if a second track for the game wasn’t so expensive. Additional color sets and game modes can also be bought.

It’s Raining Meds. Hallelujah!

With 100 levels to clear and a wide assortment of upgrades, Intake is one easy pill to swallow. High score junkies will undoubtedly revel in chaining hundreds of hits together. If it doesn’t seem like your kind of buzz on the first playthrough, be warned: subsequent hits are going to cost you huge amounts of your free time.

Get Intake on Steam

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Adam Fimio

AKA Callabrantus [Toronto, Canada] has been an avid gamer since playing his first arcade game when he was two years old. Years later, he still dives into games on a daily basis hoping to recreate the high from that first hit.

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