By: Fedor Danilov
I’d never heard of Nord Unit’s Hyperforma before I saw it pop up in the App Store’s pre-order section. I was a little concerned about the claim that it’s a hardcore arcade game. But the video below and the gorgeous screenshots made me want to try it anyway.
First off, let me talk about the audiovisual experience. Whether you like arcade games or not, it’s hard to ignore how great this game looks. Even though much of it is made up of cubes and cube-like structures, it makes me think almost of a darker Monument Valley. The artwork is elegant with enough flare — such as particle effects — to give it a little more oomph. The soundtrack is electronic, fast-paced with a good beat to keep your adrenaline going. You can even find the entire original soundtrack on YouTube.
I’m a little hazy on the story at the moment, as I haven’t gotten that far into it. But this is a cyberpunk world in which you plug into an Ancient Network, communicate with Titanic Interfaces — like the Oracle, an ancient search engine — and hack their interfaces. It might sound a bit confusing, but the general idea is that you play through levels in which you shoot yourself at a mass of cubes. It’s like Brick Breaker, but there’s a lot more going on. You’re small enough here to look like a particle, which bounces off the walls and dissolves any black cubes it hits. White cubes are shields and it will bounce right off them. The goal in each level is to hit the Core, which is at the center of the mass. What makes it different from the usual brick breaking games, though, is that you have an Attack button. When you press it, the particle will stop in mid-air and head straight for the mass of cubes. This is also the only way to get the Core, as simply bouncing off the wall into it won’t count.
I’ve only played a few levels and unlocked two special skills, so I want to withhold judgement before I play more. But there is a lot going on at once and it’s making it hard for me to enjoy it. Besides worrying about where the particle is flying and pressing the Attack button, the mass around the Core is on a 3D plane, and it slowly rotates on its own. You can also rotate it yourself, but I find that controlling that and paying attention to the Attack button and where my particle is, becomes too much to focus on at once. And that doesn’t even include the skills button or the little red spots that move around the wall and kill you if you hit them. The two red spots move when you rotate the mass of cubes, and it can be really difficult to avoid them while also turning the structure so you have a chance of hitting it.
I think it would be easier to manage it all if I at least didn’t have to look for that Attack button every time I want press it. It means one more things for my eyes to focus on instead of the action. The game does have 3D Touch enabled in the settings, and I was hoping I could use it to Attack, but so far I can’t see any use for 3D Touch when I try it. Hopefully that’s just a bug that needs to be fixed and, if so, I’ll let you know once I’m sure.
The skills do help, especially the clone I just unlocked. I’m going to stick with it for now and see if I can get better at it. But if you’re someone who gets frustrated easily and doesn’t like having to focus on several different things at once, you might want to avoid this one. But if you’re not afraid of a challenge, this might be the game for you. Either way, I recommend watching some of my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you’d like. I should mention, though, that although it’s optimized for Apple TV, there’s no iCloud sync. So you’d have to start a new game on each device, unfortunately.
UPDATE: After going back and earning some more keys, I unlocked the Clone skill, which has made things a lot easier. I’ve mostly just been spamming skills and made it to the second boss already by doing this. The boss is proving difficult because you can’t rely on the skills, but the game has definitely gotten a lot easier now. I added another video to show you.