Hyperlight Review

By , on April 22, 2011

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4 out of 5


  • Familiar setting; new challenges.
  • Fun 'lightspeed' tilting mechanic; challenging to master.
  • Tiered levels in Arcade mode; start at a level suited for you.
  • Boss, mini-boss and unique enemies for added variety.


  • Controls can be difficult to master with confidence; alternate control or more customization options would help.


Hyperlight is a slick return to form for the neon shooter thanks to a twist on the formula that will have you tilting frantically to survive.

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While the twin-stick neon-shooter never really left us, it did seem to go in to hibernation as people explored other opportunities beyond simple flashy visuals and explosions. Hyperlight by CatfishBlues Games dips back in to this well, but the end result is something far more unique than the typical shooter as it manages to rekindle the joy of blasting ray-traced enemies.

Though perhaps saying 'blasting' is a bit of a misnomer as you'll find yourself needing to ram in to enemies to kill them. Of course there's a catch to take in to account as you can only ram enemies if you're in 'lightspeed' mode which in turn depletes an energy bar while the mode remains active. Ordinarily players control their ship and dodge enemies within the limited area by tilting their iDevice, however tilting a little further than usual activates 'lightspeed', turning off again if you return to simple relaxed tilting instead. Getting the transition down to a science isn't easy, but learning how to conserve your energy while dodging enemies in normal mode is incredibly satisfying and worth the trials and tribulations getting there.

Although there are two game modes, Arcade mode acts more like a progressive tutorial, allowing players to start at specific difficulty levels once they've mastered the earlier levels. To mix things up from simple AI opponents, boss and mini-boss creatures are added in to the game, each with their own strategies and required methods for destruction, while regular enemies feature some unique twists as well such as enemies that create trails that can only be avoided in light-speed mode. Power-ups and bonuses constantly scatter the level, providing ample opportunities for increasing your score while adding some eye-candy to the experience.

Hyperlight is a feast for the senses and a worthy successor to the twin-stick shooters that led up to this title. While the learning curve is likely to put off some players, the challenge is well worth tackling head on and is recommended for those after something a bit more exciting than the usual shooter.


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