SUPERVERSE by Superverse Industries
Conceptually, SUPERVERSE by Superverse Industries is based around the simple premise of kill or be killed. This top-down shooter, currently in Early Access, nails its dark atmosphere and core mechanics.
There is some depth beyond simple arcade shooting when it comes to its gameplay. Weapons can be upgraded via pickups; pick up the same type of weapon, and that weapon will be upgraded with an additional projectile. I also could fire heat-seeking rockets, which is useful for battling the much tougher enemies in the game.
Motion and Momentum
SUPERVERSE currently only has one level to traverse, and it’s fairly linear. The level funnels you a certain way, but it’s not as straightforward. The path ahead might be blocked so some exploration is necessary to find an alternate path. There are also several areas to explore to search for weapon upgrades or health pick-ups.
Moving in this game has a certain momentum to it. When I’d thrust forward, my momentum would push me further forward afterward. It’s very responsive, but it did take a bit of getting used to.
Movement also feels more in line with the original Asteroids instead of a game like Geometry Wars; you have to turn your ship instead of freely pointing it in any direction.
There are several different enemy types to fight against. Enemies that fly over you to avoid your attacks, big enemies that fire an endless barrage of lasers at you.
There are a handful of enemies that keep firefights feel somewhat interesting, but the game could use more enemy types to make combat more enjoyable.
Unforgiving Arcade Action
SUPERVERSE is a challenging game. It takes a page from old school games that rely on health pick-ups. With no regenerating health, the game is made harder by the fact that there are no customary mid-level checkpoints. Enemies aren’t too hard to kill, but there are a lot of them to dispatch, and with very few health pick-ups, it can make things tough.
Its challenge requires smart tactics. Oftentimes, retreat was necessary when I needed to find a health pick-up. The momentum-driven movement also meant that I had to anticipate projectiles and plan maneuvers accordingly.
Similarly, the different weapon types in the game have their strengths and weaknesses, and I would oftentimes opt for the faster-shooting weapons.
The Bleakness and Blackness of Space
It was clear from when I first started playing that a lot of work went into how the game looked. The game has a great atmosphere to it thanks to its aesthetic: dark overall but bright enough see what is going on. Everything in the environment has a thick shadow, which makes SUPERVERSE feel really somber.
Everything from lens flare effects to explosions makes the game a real treat to look at when the action kicks in.
Unfortunately, these effects come at a cost, since the frame-rate dips when there is a lot of action on screen. And with no way to adjust graphics settings, it’s an unfortunate issue I had to push through. Hopefully, this issue will be addressed in the future, since it sapped the fun out of some firefights.
The game sounds great and effects have a nice punch to them. It’s a solid batch of sounds that’s only limited by the lack of more content in the game. Limited weapon types and enemies mean the auditory experience is not as diverse as it could be.
Since this game is still in Early Access, there isn’t a whole lot of content available yet. With only one fully playable level it still needs more replay-ability.
I feel like SUPERVERSE already has a lot going for it so far, though. Visuals are nice, controls are solid, and combat is fun. This game could shape up to be even better if the developers continue to add to it make it a more fleshed-out experience.
SUPERVERSE is available in Early Access via Steam.
Watch the official trailer for SUPERVERSE below: