Hyperlight is a tilt-controlled avoidance game in which you use special fuel to rip through enemies like tissue paper, all in style reminiscent of Geometry Wars. The graphics are out of this world, as is the steep difficulty curve.
There is no story or premise to speak of in this arcade action title. It’s simply you in your ship, avoiding other ships in space. You steer by tilting, and your speed is determined by the degree to which you tilt the device. Once tilted past a certain point, your Faster-Than-Light (FTL) drive will be activated. It is only in this state that you can come into contact with enemies, which results in their death. Using this drive depletes your fuel, and once it’s gone, you’re completely vulnerable until you get to one of the random fuel pickups.
Speaking of pickups, this game is full of them! There are pickups that create small explosions, spinning comets of doom or a brief, unlimited FTL use, and more! Some are more useful than others, but there is a great variety to pickups as well as enemy types. The game has two modes: infinite and arcade. Infinite is self-explanatory. Arcade is divided into four gauntlets, ranging from novice to master, with 10 levels in each and the occasional boss encounter.
Unfortunately, this game is very difficult. It’s easy to accidentally drop out of FTL by not tilting enough or by running out of fuel, and the game offers you no extra lives in either of the two game modes. I have yet to beat the novice arcade mode. The game would benefit from extra lives, or even the option of touch controls instead of tilt. The tutorial is completely front-loaded and text-heavy, making it easy to forget details about enemies, which leads to even more deaths. This game is brutal like that.
Overall, Hyperlight is a unique experience with outstanding HD visuals, all for a low price. It might be difficult, but it can easily be mastered with some practice. Definitely check it out.
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