Cyber Protocol
Nintendo Switch

Developed By : RedDeerGames
Published By : RedDeerGames
Category : Arcade, Puzzle, Multiplayer
Release Date : Sep 26, 2019

Cyberpunk is a genre that has been widely popular over the last half century. Whether it be in movies, TV shows, books or games, a futuristic setting that features a society breakdown and an upswing in technological advances is something that fascinates just about everyone. As our technology in the real worlds begins to advance itself, it’s no wonder that this genre continues to spike. It’s a spike that ends up bringing us everything from massive AAA hits like the big whopper I don’t even need to name coming out next year, to the simple indie puzzle games like Cyber Protocol on the Nintendo Switch.

The game starts you off with a beautifully hand drawn cutscene that will instantly make you feel like your in an 80’s action flick, and given the genre you wouldn’t be wrong to be pulled in the direction of Blade Runner. You’ll witness as an android seemingly falls “dead” in the street, after which you jump into the role of our games hero who is trying to bring the android back to life by activating the protocol.

From here, you’ll be treated to 100 levels of Pacman-like puzzlyness. The levels are packed with a bunch of items for you to collect, such as small coins, big coins, and special bonus B’s, and you’ll navigate around trying to collect as many of them as possible before you leave. The trick, you can only move in one direction at a time until you run into a wall. This is what gives the levels their puzzle elements, because if you could maneuver around these stages space-by-space it would be a cakewalk.

Aside from collecting items, you’ll deal with a good number of objects in the level that can be considered helpful or hazards, depending on how you use them. There are flippers that will automatically shoot you off in a perpendicular direction, sometimes there will be chains of these where you’re just along for the ride. You’ll eventually get red walls that are restricted areas, meaning you can slide along them, but if you move into them you’re toast.

Some of the square spaces on the levels will be outlined in one of two ways. The first is a simple dash outline, representing time blocks. Once you enter these spots, within a few seconds it will flash red and if you are anywhere close to it, you’ll be killed. Luckily they rest, so just find a safe space and you can traverse back through them after it’s safe again. The other outlined spaces will turn into walls after they are passed through. This can be beneficial, as it serves a way to open new paths for you and potentially block some hazards, or it can bite you in the butt if you activate it in the wrong way.

If you find yourself trash-talking amongst your friends that you can score better than them, well then fear not because Cyber Protocol offers an arcade mode as well that let’s up to four players duke it out. These are the same levels that you’ll find in the solo game, and the screen will be split into as many segments as there are players. Your challenge is the zone as a whole, you’ll need to race through all ten levels faster than your opponent(s). The same coins and hazards appear, and just like in single player, the time you spend on each level will be a factor in your final score.

As you can expect, the biggest challenge from this game usually comes from yourself, and wanting to get through the levels as quickly as possible. Most of the time, dying will send you back to the beginning of the level. Once the levels begin getting more complex, there will be checkpoints that can be triggered as a send-back point. No matter which you have to use, losing progress in a game like this can hurt your inner soul. In the first zone alone, there were a few levels that I made an error, died, and as the screen was depleting I saw the correct path to the exit…so yeah, it can get a little frustrating when you mess up.

Frustration is part of the game though, as long as it can be met with a larger amount of reward. That’s something that Cyber Protocol certainly delivers on. The levels are a ton of fun, whether you’re playing solo or against friends. If you care about your score, you can connect to the global leaderboard to see how you stack up against other players. If you simply want to just play the levels though, you’ll get plenty of enjoyment out of this game. Things start off nice and easy to help you learn the ropes, and when the curve hits, it doesn’t hit too hard. This game will certainly be a fun play for anyone who enjoys cyberpunk themes and puzzles, so don’t miss out on this one.

 

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$9.99

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A code for this game was supplied to The Switch Effect