Review by Bobby ‘biscuit hipster’ Davies
Are you calm and collected under pressure? Are you a Zen Master with the most empty mind in the universe? Was your response to anybody saying that Dark Souls is too hard, to just “git gud”? Oh boy have Cat Nigiri made the perfect game for your early morning commute
Necrosphere is one of the latest 8-bit indie titles to make its way to the Switch after finding initial success on Steam in August 2017 and this feels like a much better home for it than being ran on some £2000+ Alienware monstrosity. You play the role of Agent Terry Cooper, who has fallen into the realm of the Necrosphere upon dying, a realm that looks like it’s been designed by Bowser after a hard night listening to Nine Inch Nails and painting his nails black. Terry has only two tools to help escape through a portal back to the Livingsphere. Left and Right. Yep, two buttons, no attacks, no manual jumps, nothing.
Unsurprisingly, once you take away all the creature comforts of modern platforming things are harder than the marble kitchen worktop you banged your head against as a kid. With such a simple control scheme though, Necrosphere manages to create an incredibly challenging, yet rewarding Metroidvania platformer, with upgrades of a Dash Ballet Leotard and a Jetpack (still only controlled with Left and Right!) The controls are tight, and every single death is your own fault. Fans of Super Meat Boy will feel instantly at home as they navigate around, dealing with jump balloon puzzles, avoiding moving walls of fire, and luring enemies to their death at pace.
Graphically there’s not much to shout about, but what do you expect from an 8-bit title? They’re fit for purpose, but just don’t look at the walls for too long. You’ll either be motion sick or hypnotized. I’ve not figured out which one is more likely yet though.
Not once playing this did, I ever feel like I was being punished or treated unfairly. Yes, the game can be frustrating, but generously spaced checkpoints and infinite respawns niggle at that “one more go” feeling as you attempt to clear a room at the one millionth attempt. If you’re as bad at platforming as I am though, this is certainly a game to play with your Joy-Cons wrapped in cotton wool, lest they fly out of the nearest window, or are embedded in your TV. Reported 3-hour completion time, and a 15-minute speed run on the internet? Nah, I’ll be playing this in 20-minute blocks for the next 3 months and loving every single moment.
Necrosphere is proof that you don’t need anything huge and expansive to make a fantastic game, just fun platforming, an amazing challenge, and a head bopper of a soundtrack. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a rising floor that seems intent on jamming me into the fireball covered ceiling that I have to get past.
Overall rating 8/10