Flying Oak Games
Single player, local multiplayer
Xbox One (Review), PS4, PC
Flying Oak Games
This is a different type of brain game.
Welcome to NeuroVoider, a Rogue-Lite twin-stick shooter about brains in giant mech suits. The game sees you progress through five levels in between boss fights of increasing difficulty, as you shoot and loot yourself to the final boss. You will die quite frequently, and you might even throw one or two controllers in your frustration, but it’s rather unlikely that you won’t pick them back up for another run.
You see, without doubt, NeuroVoider is addictive, and the further you get, the more addictive it becomes. I think it might be because of the three classes; Dash, Rampage, or Fortress, and the fact that there are 27 skills that you can choose from. Oh and the fact that the loot is pretty varied. But even without those, you’ll find yourself going back for more, time and time again.
Each of the classes has a special move they can action. The Dash suit can move a far distance in an instance, not taking any damage from any bullets when you do so. This can be very integral to playing a fast melee character that can mow their way through enemies. The Rampage suit meanwhile allows you to dash a shorter distance, but you’ll fire off both of your weapons at the end of the dash. It works outstandingly well with melee weapons. The final suit, that of the Fortress suit, allows you to shutdown into a shield which will protect you from any form of damage. That in itself is a wonderful thing.
Each of those classes come with items that are unique to them, with the exception being the weapons. The Fortress has the highest amount of EP (Energy Points) and Health, but they’re really quite slow. The Rampage is a pretty well rounded character, and is most definitely my personal favorite. The Dash, as you would expect, is the fastest, but has been hit with noticeably lower health stats. The thing that determines your overall stats are pieces of equipment, each with their own special attributes and names.
The name of the item will be decided by their rarity, ranging from Basic, Rare, Legendary, or Glitched. Every item, save for those of the Glitched category, can be boosted for scrap, the in-game currency you gain from killing baddies and scrapping the loot, to increase their overall stats. You can however only boost the item five times, before you’ve maxed out the item. This allows you to get parts that will repair you after each map, so you don’t have to waste scrap, or even get weapons that do massive damage. Then, you can sell off the items when you get a better replacement and use the scrap to upgrade your new item.
The only time you get to equip items is after the completion of a level. After you exit the inventory, you get to choose your next level, based off of three stats; how big the map is, how many enemies will be in place, and, most importantly, how much of that sweet loot is going to be dropped. The three maps for selection can be re-rolled, for a price,and this re-rolling is used to obtain super levels, or even to just make the game easier for you. The super levels are a great challenge with a great payoff.
When you get into the map, after a quick loading time, you’ll be greeted with your little robot and possibly an enemy or two. You’ll be able to fire your weapons, and aim with the right analog stick. You can fire as many times as you want, but you can overheat your robot if your EP generation doesn’t compensate for the expense. One skill will actually rely on you overheating yourself to set off a massive explosion, so it has been made into a rewarding technique if you play it right.
Each level is comprised of procedural generation, and your main goal is to destroy reactors spread throughout the map. The amount of reactors can vary from one to around four, sometimes even five. There are tons of enemies crammed into every level, and that gives the game more of a bullet hell feel, but bred with a little bit of Binding of Isaac and Nuclear Throne.
The only difference is that when you beat the final boss, you can activate New Game+ mode and play through with your character again.
The only complaint I have with NeuroVoider is that one of the skills is super unbalanced. The skill is the tenth of 27 available, and it makes it so that the only weapons that spawn are melee weapons, and they require half as much EP to fire off. If you get one Legendary or Glitched item, you can just use the Rampage class to spam the special skill and wipe the whole level out very quickly. Maybe if they changed the EP cost up a little bit it would make using this skill a little harder and infinitely more rewarding.
Overall though and NeuroVoider is a wonderful game to play either by yourself, or with three of your friends in the local co-op system. It will quite easily scratch the itch of both casual gamers and the more hardcore ones with equal coverage, especially if you hit up some of the daily runs.
This game is truly worth the $14 USD/£11 GBP the developers at Flying Oak Games are charging for it.
+ Fantastic control scheme
+ Largely well balanced
+ Entertaining for just about anyone
- One really unbalanced skill