Title: HYPERCHARGE Unboxed
Developer: Digital Cybercherries
Publisher: Digital Cybercherries
Genre: Action, First-Person Shooter, Party
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 31/01/2020
Price: £19.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title. Currently on offer for £17.99 until 30/01/2020
The folks over at Digital Cybercherries have created a new game that mixes first-person shooting with tower defence elements into one seamless package called HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED!
This isn’t your typical shooter! Instead of fighting in a war-torn country or against alien civilisation, you’re fighting amongst chairs, beds, kids toys and furniture within a massive house. You’re a toy… well actually you’re an action figure with the single goal to protect multiple strange coloured cores known as hyper-cores that are located around each environment.
It seems like we’re not the only ones who have taken an interest in these cores as just on the horizon an onslaught of evil toys march forward with the single goal to knock your hyper cores out of commission.
The main objective is to protect each of the coloured cores from a constant wave of enemies using weapons, buildables to create defensive traps and, turrets to fend off all attackers.
Before each wave starts, you’ll have a few minutes to prepare for the next assault. During this time you can gather credits needed to build defences around your cores on the coloured panels that are located on the floor. These buildable units and devices are your backbone and will help you repel the enemies in many different ways.
For example, the Lego brick-esque wall can provide a barrier between the enemy and a core, while a turret may be able to fire shots from distance which can damage multiple enemies on impact. Picking the right buildable for each location and level is vital to your success.
While in build mode your arm is visible, which shows you your current deck which can be cycled through with the X button near any coloured panels. You’re only allowed three buildables at anyone time. But you can pick different ones in the customisation screen and unlock more by achieving various medals online and in single player.
If the lights on your arm are green when selecting a certain buildable, it means you have the required credits to use it. However, if the lights turn red, you’ll need to search for more credits in the environment before you can build that buildable.
Each card/buildable requires a certain amount of credits before you can build them, and this is where the next part of your preparation begins. There are credits, and card packs tucked away in every nook and cranny, and the only way to reach these areas is good old fashion platforming.
Thankfully, your character can double jump and sprint, which makes traversing a lot more manageable. Credits appear frequently, and gold card packs will always appear in hard to reach areas that require little skill to reach.
Using this currency will allow you to build more traps as well as other useful structures on each map. Some of the objects you get to build are; leap pads that enable you to get up to certain areas in one huge leap while other structures may allow you to create towers and walls or even bunkers to act as extra protection against incoming fire.
One of the coolest things in HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED is the ability to scale, climb and jump to different areas of the map. You truly feel small and insignificant as you leap around this massive environment. Digital Cybercherries have made each environment detailed, enjoyable to explore in the heat of combat or when playing in free-roam mode.
It’s testament to the excellent level design that they’ve managed to cram each environment with details that make each level feel alive.
I’d also like to point out the little nods to popular toys that I remember from the 80’s such as Boglins which I had as a child and even the Jurassic park compound playset makes an appearance which warmed my heart when I saw it.
I think the guys over Digital Cybercherries have done a fantastic job here.
So apart from collecting credits and building defensive structures and buildables, you’ll also be searching every nook and cranny for batteries which provide your hyper cores with an extra layer of defence.
You see, each core has a green health bar, but if you’re lucky enough to acquire a battery, you can place it into one of the nodes located near a hyper core.
This will allow that core to get an added protective shield which is indicated by the blue bar above the green one. The shield can take the brunt of enemy attacks if you’re not in the immediate vicinity. This gives you some time to save the other cores or travel across the map.
However, batteries need to be replaced; otherwise, the shields will deplete and will not re-charge. Batteries can be hard to find but are worth that extra effort to seek out!
While searching the map, you can buy weapon attachments from figure boxes dotted about which is pretty cool. A little orange shopping trolley highlights these so look out for them. These attachments can be attached to your primary weapon and cycled through with the X button. Having extra weaponry is useful in any firefight. But I found the standard machine gun just as valuable.
This is especially true when using the pro controllers with the gyro controls for more precise aiming. This action can be performed when standing still and can be activated when holding down ZL trigger.
Buying weapons will depend on your situation, either you’ll save credits for building more defensives, or you’ll spend it on new attachments. There is even a slot machine found in levels which may reward you or punish you if you dare to use it.
The single-player mode in HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED allows you to play in either the wave mode or free roam. There are four difficulty settings — easy and Normal which allow you to earn the typical bronze, silver, gold, platinum medals. Expert and Nightmare difficulties will reward you with either the sapphire, emerald, ruby or diamond rewards.
Different difficulties settings will also change up enemy varieties. There are different enemy types to face including; robots, zombies, tanks, small soldiers and dinosaurs among a couple of huge toys that act like boss encounters that can be pretty challenging by yourself and a lot of fun with others.
Single-player mode lets you play without having to deal with any long drawn out narrative – it’s all about shooting, protecting cores against waves enemies and of course unlocking medals which will allow you to unlock new maps and experiences.
Medals also unlock the game’s unlockables which are new types of classes with their own unlockable heads, skins and gun materials. Medals can also unlock new buildable cards, names for your characters and maps. To find the conditions on how to unlock a particular item you can press ZR trigger on any item to view what is required before that item becomes unlocked in the customisation menu.
There is also a free-roam mode that allows you explore each map and try to collect the secret purple badges that are well hidden within. I found this mode incredibly useful to explore and practice my platforming skills on maps before playing them in the single-player.
Single-player can be fun and challenging with the right difficulty setting. Still, I’d love to see bots added in an update as some levels can be very challenging by yourself as there’s a lot of ground to cover and I think bots would alleviate that problem. However, the game comes into its own when you’re playing with friends through online and local player modes, and that’s where HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED goes from fun to engaging and exciting to play.
Here you can select new heads, skins and weapon materials once unlocked. There are three classes to play as, but only one is available from the outset. The other two are Primal and Wrath. Both of these classes come with there own unique heads and skins too. The customisation isn’t as in-depth as some other titles, but it’s a nice distraction, and there is enough here to unlock to keep you busy for a good while.
Online co-op/ PVP/ local split-screen!
The online play in HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED is entertaining and makes shooting, protecting all cores a lot more manageable as it can be a struggle when playing by yourself. Fortunately, when there are more players present helping you out, you feel yourself being less stretched as each member can focus on specific cores and back you up if others are being attacked. Seeing the evil toys broken and hoarding around your feet makes you feel unstoppable.
There are some pre-defined messages that you can activate with the B button, but it’s limited. It would have been great to have voice chat supported even though I am not a huge fan of that. I think it would benefit the game being able to form strategies on the fly, make sure everyone gets to build turrets and be alerted when specific cores are under attack, especially if you’re playing with newcomers.
Online ran flawlessly for me, and I didn’t experience any slow-down whatsoever. The only issues I had was when I was trying to meet up with friends online, and it was sometimes difficult for them to join my lobby or find me. Also, after completing a match, sometimes players would time-out and be kicked back to the menu. However, I think this was more to do with people’s connections as I didn’t experience this.
There is also a PVP: Deathmatch and Plague mode available which worked just as well. However, I think most people will be playing the wave mode as there is more strategy required. Fighting a common foe brings friends together, making for more enjoyable matches when playing co-operative online.
There is even a local split-screen mode available which is a fantastic option for some split-screen couch multiplayer. While I wasn’t able to get four players around, I did play in the two play mode, which was great fun and allowed access to all maps, which was appreciated.
I still can’t believe that four people created this title with so many options available it’s such an excellent package catering for everyone!
So my only issues with HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED is the lack of any tutorial which I see a lot of people needing when starting up the game for the first time. Thankfully, the team over at Digital Cybercherries have mentioned that one will be implemented shortly after release.
I’ve also encountered a strange bug in the single-player mode. After getting platinum medals on certain maps, it doesn’t show my new medals on the map or collectables that I’ve got. Instead, it still shows my previous medals. I have brought it to the attention of Developers though, so let’s hope it’s fixed upon release.
My last issue is selecting a map in single player sometimes doesn’t load up the map you’ve selected. Instead, it loads up a completely different level. It’s not a huge issue, but hopefully, it’ll be fixed once the Developers see this review.
Digital Cybercherries have already issued a road map which appeared on Twitter. They have promised free content throughout the next couple of months which I am looking forward to. It’s always great to get extra content for free. Hopefully, they will be adding new maps, weapons, modes and other delights in future.
Graphics in HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED are beautiful. Each environment has meticulous attention to detail in every part of its map design, and each level is enjoyable to explore. Also, character and enemy designs are a highlight. The music is great to listen to with enough tunes to keep you pumped and engaged while in combat. Weapons all sound punchy and have a decent kick to them too.
HYPERCHARGE UNBOXED is one of my favourite new games on the Nintendo Switch. It has a wealth of options to cater to the online crowd and those who prefer to play local matches. There is a single-player option that lets you test your might against evil waves of killer toys.
Completing the game will earn you a range of different medals depending on the difficulty as well as unlocking additional content as a result.
With its customisation, PVP, split-screen multiplayer and its great map design there’s a lot to love here. The promise of new content coming soon makes this one title worth owning on the Nintendo Switch.
Everything else is just a toy! Pick this up and become one of the elite today!
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase HYPERCHARGE Unboxed from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/HYPERCHARGE-Unboxed-1706581.html#Overview
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.