“Curved space is a blast and plays like a physics experiment with a high score challenge.”
The dark reaches of space are as infinite as they are unknown. While reaching for the stars to inhabit space we’ll more than likely stumble onto other life forms. No matter where our journey takes us, let’s remain hopeful that when we do explore the great frontier of space, we won’t be greeted by a race of evil spiders who devour everything in their path.
Curved Space is a fast paced shoot ’em up action game where your spacecraft hovers against the surface of objects in space. By utilizing gravitational force in this way, space can be explored through colonization of space stations that can even be constructed using asteroids that are still in motion. However, an alien race known as spiders see any form of energy as food and will continue to eat the point of annihilation. The spiders have become a nuisance by infesting stations and causing all sorts of problems across the solar systems. Fortunately, spiders can also be harvested for power needed to fuel space exploration. This happens to be the job of our lead heroine as she struggles to maintain order against the overwhelming spiders across a multiverse of three dimensional levels. Campaign stages take on a variety of objectives where she uses her engineering knowledge and a variety of weapons to defend space stations, rail guns and other anomalies that have fallen into disrepair from the invasive spider species.
Skilled piloting and a lot of ammo are required to survive the incoming waves. The third-person shooting controls make aiming and movement smooth, while the camera controls feel accustomed to scaling the surface area of a tunnel in space. While eliminating the infestations across the galaxy there’s also an expansive variety of weapon power ups that include beam lasers, cutting tools, a weed whacker, rockets and micro homing misses that extend the use of your normal blaster. Different weapons are more effective against certain enemies of course, but there’s also a very unique Lash attack that lassos enemies onto an electric tractor beam. This can be used to chain together enemies and drain them of their power. You can also pin enemies to different structures, pull enemies in and dash for close combat, or even harvest energy to replenish health. The spiders themselves vary in size, color and abilities. While more spiked and robotic in nature they slide, slither and even roll across the warping level designs of curved space.
Each stage in the campaign presents several phases of challenging waves with a variety of objectives before the final boss fight. This keeps the story gameplay interesting as the environment for each level requires different actions to stop the interstellar chaos and prevent potential disasters. Some objectives require you to harvest specific spiders, with one in particular requiring you to lash onto nodes with excess energy and dispel it into a giant focused beam against the incoming spider swarms. After each campaign stage you are allowed to choose a permanent stat upgrade at random to add to your ship’s heath, ammo capacity to, or improve abilities the lash or defensive dash. Each unique level and playthrough allows you to customise your playstyle. The campaign will also separate into Starfox style paths to completion leading to different endings and adding a lot of replayability.
There’s several other modes that add hours of challenging play. Beating campaign stages will unlock maps for survival mode, or players can aim for the highest scores on one or multiple maps in endless mode. There is also a challenge mode with olympic style arena events that apply the skills and physics of curved space in even more stages of time based levels, or even boss fights. To top things off there’s also a daily randomized level for even more online leaderboard competition.
The soundtrack is a beautifully composed bed of dancefloor friendly synthwave music. Many of the songs featured are by Scandroid, a prevalent artist of the genre who writes under many names. While the synthesizers fit the outer space theme, certain songs come across as something you’d hear in a nightclub instead of on the battlefield. When the music sounds too happy the action loses tension and removes you from the story. The boss fight music, however, is especially enjoyable as it accelerates into the intense fast paced shooting action taking place.
Keeping the spider menace in check through gravity bending physics is a wonderful way to explore each level’s design. Having to dodge bullets and monsters while using the lash feature and shooting accurately does require a level of visual acuity and focus. Those that may experience motion sickness or forms of photosensitivity may find the visual rollercoaster ride somewhat uncomfortable while players who enjoy screens full of bullets to dodge will love the level of dimension forged into classic shooting game style.
Curved space is a blast and plays like a physics experiment with a high score challenge. The culmination provides as much fun as your favorite arcade shooter with enough story and skill based challenge to leave you wanting more. The visuals, sound, and especially unique approach to level design leads down a wonderful vortex of interstellar action.
-Fluid control scheme for shooting and movement
-Large arsenal of weapon power ups
-Lots of levels, challenges and story replayability.
-Not for players with motion sickness
-Catchy upbeat songs may not always fit the action
4 out of 5
Review code given by PR. Curved Space is out now!