Developed By : Sometimes You
Published By : Evgeniy Kolpakov
Category : Arcade, Puzzle, Music, Other
Release Date : 01.11.2018
When is a game not a game? Why, when its already been a game before, of course, which is exactly what Energy Invasion for Nintendo Switch appears to be on the surface. It’s Brick Breaker with a twist, and with a game that’s so simple in it’s design, you’d expect the twist to be a whopper. Now, I’ve always been a huge fan of Brick Breaker, so I was intrigued to see just what could be done with this game.
From the main menu, you’re given a few options for where to go with the game. Invasion Mode, Linear Mode, and Endless Mode. Linear Mode is where your more traditional version of this game is focuses, you have a paddle, and a ball, and a line of bricks at the top of the screen that you need to eliminate. Invader is a little different. After you progress a few levels in, there will be an enemy placed on top along with the bricks that can shoot back at you. Oh, and the twist? Your ball isn’t what breaks the bricks. Instead, it has the ability to shoot a missile in any direction (determined by which direction you’re holding the right joystick) and these are what break the bricks.
Linear and Invasion each come with 25 levels to beat, called layers, while Endless is well…endless, and a combination of the other two styles. The bricks in each level will either be plain and empty, or filled with up to three glowing balls (as shown above with a single ball). Each ball of energy denotes an extra hit that is needed in order to completely destroy that particular block.
The mechanic of shooting from the ball is a bit tough to get used to at first. Shooting isn’t consistent, the missiles will fire at least a second apart, and it didn’t feel as if the aiming of the right stick was super specific. More like if you have the stick pointed in this general area, then the shot will come from here. But, if the missile doesn’t hit anything and makes it’s way back down to the bottom of the screen, there’s a chance to keep it active by deflecting it with the paddle.
While it’s a relatively short game, and not a whole lot original to it, Energy Invasion still has it’s moments where you can enjoy it. Invasion mode ends up feeling like a mixture of Brick Breaker and Space Invaders which is pretty cool, adding to the challenge and hectic feeling of such a simple game. Yet, while it was enjoyable, my experience was marred by a few mishaps while playing. I had reached out to the developers at Sometimes You and I was able to sort these out. One was just an instance of a random bad download of the game, which was quickly fixed with deleting and redownloading the game.
However, the other “issue” I would like to point out because it could be quite confusing. At the initial boot of the game, as is the case with pretty much every Switch title, you’re asked to sync the joy-cons by holding L and R so the game can determine if you’re playing docked, with a pro controller, detached joy-cons, or whatever it is. The only two options shown at the start of Energy Invasion are for detached joy-cons and a pro controller. When I tried to sync in handheld mode, the game refused to accept it. What I learned though, at first on my own but then later confirmed by Sometimes You, is this can just be ignored, and if you wish to play the game handheld, press A on this screen and ignore the sync prompt. Everything works just fine.
In the end, it’s a short game that doesn’t feel very original, but still offers some fun exciting gameplay that is at least different enough to be entertaining for the price.
Handheld – Great
Detached Joy-Cons – Great
Joy-Con Controller – Great
Pro Controller – Supported but not played
Docked – Great
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