Awakened from your slumber, a gravitational field is discovered within your vicinity, you’re a humaniform explorer set out to discover an abandoned ship within the solar system you’re exploring.
Upon arrival, a ship is found still broadcasting its ID on the outskirts of Jupiter’s orbit, this presents no sort of problem but leaves questions instead of answers.Nostars, no guidelines, no tutorials, no rules, no maps, no assistance. Enter: Megasphere.
Megasphere, developed by AKGames, is a procedurally produced sci-fi action platformer. Equipped with a big shiny gun, the player battles robots in an unpredictable world that is different each time you play.
ATAI is the main character, the one with memory loss and a huge gun (a non-optimal combination to be honest). TURMS is the informational robot that serves as your guide on this quest. Although this artificial intelligence’s guidance serves you through the Prelude. Upon entering this abandoned ship: no guides, no maps, no hints, no tutorials.
The player must rely on their wits.
Megasphere commands a higher skill level in order to play, immediately calling back to the retro video games that demanded Coordination, quick reflexes, and determination to surpass your previous attempts.
Let’s dive into this demo and take a look at the features, gameplay mechanics, and visual presentation that creates such a unique experience.
Megasphere calls back to retro video games like Metroid and Castlevania (a genre called ‘Metroidvania’) with puzzle-platformer style. It incorporates gameplay mechanics and artistic stylings present in another popular titles, such as Terraria.
But what sets Megasphere apart from these other games, is the sense of responsibility put onto the player to discover the mechanics, power ups, and other information that would typically be present within a tutorial.
Paired with a procedurally-procured level design, the player can be sure each playthrough will be unique. This game is difficult to say the least. Set at the normal difficulty, by the time I reached the end of the demo, I was flexing my dexterity and timing.
All of which was enjoyable; due to the 60 FPS smooth gameplay, beautiful pixel art graphics, and excellent sound design.
The enemy AI is some of the most clever I’ve had to deal with while playing a pixel art video game. They attack you strategically, and recoil if excessive damage has been dealt.
This causes the player to chase the enemies in order to finish them off, adding a new level of strategy in dealing with the other combatants attacking you.
Megasphere is a polished experience considering it’s a Pre-Alpha release.
This. Game. Is. Stunning.
Megasphere presents a visual style that of which we all imagined Metroid to be as children. Between the particle effects, dark backgrounds, and insane amount of detailed pixel art: it is a feast for the eyes.
The visuals in this game are so polished, one cannot deny the quality and craftsmanship.
This game is in a style all of its own.
Dark, brooding backgrounds contrast against the bright neon lighting effects, sparks, and polygonal explosions to create a robust . Combine these aspects with the 60 frames per second gameplay and that’s a lot of visual information for the brain to take in.
However, as the enemies begin to swarm the player, the game commands dexterity to pull off complex chains of dodges and attacks.
High intensity action paired with fluid gameplay: a winning combination.
The sound design in this game is flawless between the crunching mechanical sounds whirring, blades, and ambient industrial instrumental background. It compliments the visual design and envelops the player in an environment of loneliness despair and danger.
The music is set to a slower pace as you explore, however, enemies are in your vicinity, ramps up the intensity to match the quick visuals and graphics
A sense of urgency washes over the player, having to deal with enemy swarms and varying attack methods. Don’t panic!
Megasphere, under it’s Pre-Alpha release, is a refreshing newcomer to the Metroidvania genre. Although some polishing to be done, some sticky ledge corners, it is a beautiful game to play and enjoy. This pre-release offers a few levels to explore, a taste of what’s to come, I’m sure.
Support the developer for the price point of $15 on Steam, it’s already in my library. Personally, I cannot wait to play the full version and give it a full review.