Developed by: Will Sykes Games
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Every now and then a game come out of nowhere, no hype, no fanfare and perfectly rocks your video gaming world… Perfect Universe is just such a game – a superb blast of quality indie fun that has an incredibly cool, pretty unique monochrome ‘hand drawn’ art style and a wonderful soundtrack.
Perfect World comes packing a bunch of different single player and mini multiplayer games – each of which are fun challenges which will keep you coming back to try and beat your high score / time and move the leaderboards or just beat your mates in sofa coop competition.
First up is Perfect Moon – a new kind of platforming fun which sees you collecting diamonds scattered around increasingly challenging stages. It’s a nice simple premise bouncing and free falling at a pleasing rate but the difficulty ramps up as you have to get to grips with gravity defying antics in order to complete level in as fast a time as possible. The initial stages see you just running and leaping to grab diamonds but before long there are multiple hazards introduced that include fiendish squashing devices, nasty cutter blades and evil spikes. As you successfully beat levels you unlock new challenges, it’s very satisfying and there are plenty of challenges to keep you going.
Then there’s Moon Life which is a real space oddity. You control a frog like alien called Mr. Legs, and you have to move the little fella which sounds easy but the catch being each Dualshock thumb stick controls separate legs so it’s quite a struggle initially to get him to do anything. The objective of the levels this time is to make Mr. Legs traverse the madcap courses and collect leaves, all the while with the clock ticking. It isn’t easy and will frustrate those with no hand/eye coordination, but there is joy to be found once you master the knack of making Mr. Legs do your bidding.
The third single player game is Starlight, which despite the name doesn’t see you shooting stuff in a twin stick fashion but rather flying a simple rocket with just a minimal control scheme i.e. thrust and turn… This time its fireworks that need to be collected – be warned that holding down thrust is not the way forward, and some gentle technique is required. Starlight is a lovely addition and has the feel of pixel junk games given a hand drawn makeover.
Finally there’s Sports Day which is a brilliant investment for anyone who like that old school competition where you can take on up to three opponents (or just battle A.I. if you’ve got no mates). Moon Golf does exactly what the title suggests – you’ll be playing golf, on the moon. It’s a total joy even if you’re not into virtual golf. Simply pick your club – driver, iron or putter and adjust your aim to take into account the reduced gravity. Courses are presented in batches of three holes per course – and the dynamics include trying to sink your ball into a hole that is directly above you!? Moon Golf could be a stand alone title – if bulked up a little, I’ve sunk many hours into this one and it’s a great after pub multiplayer showdown.
"Three way space footie"
Also worth the price of the game on its own is Rocket Ball – think Rocket League in 2D from top down and played with rocket ships rather than cars. With games timed at just 99 seconds it’s a frantic battle to score and defend which works especially well in 2 vs 2 mode. Although there is a wicked 3 player alternative arena which has 3 goals and when you’re scored against both your opponents get a point.
Ever wanted to play volleyball on the moon? Moon Volley is for you, standard ‘Top Gun’ volleyball rules apply, serve and then your opponent has up to 3 hits to get the ball back over the net. It’s a frantic and fun distraction – using the planetary gravitational pull adds to the dynamic and pulling off a 5-0 victory is grin inducing.
Also good is Space Race, a standard rocket vs rocket race around a track where one bad corner can wreck your chances. I’d have loved a weapon pod option for this as it would then be a 2D Mario Kart in space but at least you can ‘nudge’ each other to good effect.
Balloon Pop sees Mr. Legs in action again in a crazy contest to (as the name suggests) pop balloons by touching them. It would be simple except controlling Mr. Legs is tricky so when competing with mates it can get into a huge free for all battle to try and be the first to 10 ‘pops’.
Finally, is Gravity Dodge, where you play a version of dodge ball in space. The zero / low gravity adds a nice dimension to the game.
The variety of games on offer are a brilliant value for money, some are obviously stronger than others but this is perfect wake up call for anyone who wants a different challenge or a fun local multiplayer session.
Perfect Universe is a great collection of games, which packs so much in that it should be a mandatory purchase for anyone – if only to have downloaded ready for when you have friends or family round and need to entertain them. Congrats to Will Sykes on a really accomplished package – and if you like the soundtrack as much as I do, you can even download the tracks from http://willsykesgames.com/. Enjoy.
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - My God it's full of stars)...
(4 - My God it's full of stars)...