Necrosphere Deluxe is a 2D metroidvania, developed by Cat Nigiri, and published by Unties. It follows Agent Terry Cooper on his quest to escape the afterlife which is known as the “Necrosphere”. There’s not much to this story, but you will find a few notes that clarify it a bit more.
You’re Probably Going to Die
You better be prepared for death because it acts as Necrosphere’s core mechanic. As you’re going through different parts of the level, you will die very frequently. Luckily, checkpoints are made close to one another so that you never lose too much progress.
Controlling Agent Cooper felt very different from most other MetroidVania’s or platformers. The entire game is played using two buttons, one to go left, and one to go right. You’re able to get to high places, by hitting bubbles that bounce you into the air. These eventually turn into platforming segments, where you must be very quick with your reactions. If you’re not, then you will see Agent Cooper’s lifeless body quite often (just like I did…)
Eventually, you will start unlocking new abilities, such as the ability to dash, break rocks, and even a temporary jet pack. Once you have beaten an area, you will be brought back through a portal to the start of the world. Bringing you back to the start will allow you to explore new locations that are accessible thanks to your new abilities.
There is one type of collectible you can find in Necrosphere, and they come in the form of DVD’s. There are 20 of them, and are usually trapped behind a more difficult platforming segment. The DVD’s are necessary to collect if you want to access Necrosphere’s bonus level (you only have to collect 5 to access it).
Necrosphere’s gameplay was fun, and frustrating. The platforming segments had enough diversity so that they never felt too repetitive. Normally, you don’t expect a Metroidvania that focuses on the difficult platforming, but Necrosphere makes the concept work pretty well.
Pixelated and colorful are the two best words I can use to describe Necrosphere’s level design. Each different area is brimming with colors, and the pixel designs look spot on. The numerous obstacles such as fireballs, and zombies are great additions to have in a world that is suppose to be the afterlife. The visuals work very well with the gameplay, and are a perfect fit for this type of game.
Overall, the sound design was great as well. The techno-style soundtrack suits the game well, and the game’s sound effects also sounded great.
From a frame rate and technical perspective, Necrosphere is perfect, and i had absolutely no problems. However, from a control perspective, there is one glaring issue.
Abilities like the dash which are highly used, are mapped to double tapping one of the two movement controls. Because Necrosphere prides itself on it’s two button control scheme, there’s no option to remap the controls.
If I was able to change the dash to another button, it would have made the controls feel much smoother. The concept of two button controls is interesting, and definitely worked well at first. Once abilities started getting introduced, however, it quickly got frustrating. While Necrosphere was still a great game, it was unfortunate that many of my deaths felt like they were because of the game’s awkward controls.
Necrosphere is a great little Metroidvania game that provides a real challenge. It’s unfortunate that the game didn’t control a bit better. The controls, as they are now, will probably turn away some players. if you want a fun, but difficult platforming focused game, then Necrosphere may be worth picking up. It’s available for $7.99 USD on the eShop.
7/10 Average 2D PlatformerA Tough Metroidvania That Provides Fun But Is Held Down By Frustrating Controls
- Fun & Difficult Gameplay
- Nice Soundtrack
- Colourful Visuals
- Collectibles, and Extra Unlockable Levels
- Strange Controls May Turn Some Players Away
- No Ability to Remap Controls Causes Abilities to Become Unfairly Frustrating
- Not Much Depth to The Story