Solely created by developer Ryan Juckett (previously of Bungie), INVERSUS Deluxe is a frantic shooter that asks you to manipulate the surroundings to your advantage in order to defeat your opponents. This ‘Deluxe’ version of the game contains a bucket-load of new content over the original release and now, thanks to the nature of the Nintendo Switch, it can be played anywhere on-the-go. Should you be giving this one a go, then? Let’s find out!
The game sees you taking control of a square-shaped character with bullets circling around its insides. The objective is to use these bullets to create pathways for manoeuvre and then shoot your opponents at the first opportunity. Your bullets change the colour of the tiles underneath their trajectory when fired, allowing you to move through that space. Naturally, your opponent(s) will be firing bullets around too and, as you can only move through the colour that you can create, you’ll find yourself getting trapped unless you break through their barriers quickly. These bullet shots can also be charged by holding down the fire button for a short amount of time. Doing this unleashes three bullets instead of the usual one, causing a much wider pathway to open up in front of you and giving you a higher chance of hitting your opponents.
There are two modes on offer: Versus and Arcade. The former is a 1-4 player fight to the death in (usually rather quick) 1v1 or 2v2 matches. The task is to simply defeat your opponent before they can do the same to you, keeping one eye on your movement possibilities at all times. As you play matches you will start to unlock new maps and this is where the game starts to get really interesting. You see, the board on which you play is the single most important factor in the game; it isn’t just the colour of the tiles that will affect your movement, but the shape of the board itself too. Although you initially start on a simple rectangular board, you’ll soon be playing across all sorts of crazy shapes and players will have to adapt to their surroundings quickly. Suddenly you’ll find yourself being able to travel across the screen in different ways or having to work around obstacles that weren’t there before.
Whilst Versus mode is perhaps where you would be expected to spend most of your time, Arcade mode is just as enjoyable - maybe even more so. Here you have to deal with waves of enemies that approach you from all sides; racking up score multipliers and grabbing yourself extra lives as you go. This is essentially a highscore-chaser game where you play through all sorts of different boards, trying to stay alive and shoot down your enemies to achieve the highest score possible. If you wish, this mode can also be played with two players with the both of you teaming up to fight off the waves together. Things can get extremely tense when you start to feel yourself getting surrounded; the action can become super-fast at times and it leaves you wanting “just one more go” over and over again. It’s rather tricky, but it’s great fun.
You also have the option to play both of these modes online either with friends or players around the globe. This extends further to having online leaderboards; you actually gain experience points as you play through both Versus and Arcade, allowing you to show off your in-game level. There are other nice touches too such as tutorials to teach you the basics of movement and shooting, and customisation options (such as colour schemes for how the game appears) which you unlock as you play.
INVERSUS Deluxe looks and sounds great too; it is very simplistic in its design so you’ll never be blown away, but it does the job nicely. This is perhaps a good analogy for the game itself – its unlikely that you’ll be playing the game for hours and hours at a time, but you’ll be impressed and pleased with what the game has to offer on the whole. It plays very nicely in both docked and undocked modes and the simplistic control scheme means that playing with a single Joy-Con on its side is extremely comfortable. If you want to have a quick couple of games with a friend when out-and-about you can do just that – it almost feels like the game was designed with the Switch in mind.
An interesting concept that has been executed very successfully makes INVERSUS Deluxe a solid purchase option for Nintendo Switch owners. The adaptable arenas create fun, action packed matches and it can be difficult to put down at times. A surprisingly challenging difficulty level in the game’s Arcade mode could possibly put off some players but will likely attract more, feeding their need to fight for the highest score possible. Enjoyed best with friends, but thankfully also a worthy experience to play through alone, INVERSUS Deluxe could well be your next go-to party game.