Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Puzzle, Platformer
Platform: Switch (also available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 07/05/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Is there anything more frightening than the idea that someone you pass MIGHT be an alien in disguise? I know I’ve had a few conversations with folk where the only logical explanation for the things that they’re saying is that they MUST be under control by someone from another planet. Infestor, the latest release from Ratalaika Games, takes that body-snatching concept and turns it into a 2D puzzle-platforming experience.
Playing as a little green alien, players have to snatch bodies and make their way through seventy platforming levels. The ultimate goal? To escape the humans and make your way back to safety… or maybe take over humanity. Infestor isn’t big on narrative detail, but instead focuses its attention on its many puzzle-platforming challenges.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
At its core, Infestor is a 2D platformer that sees players running and jumping through countless levels. Each level is made up of a host of different obstacles and hazards. There can be turrets shooting the player’s way, hazardous spikes, long pitfalls, and so forth. It’s not ideal for an alien that isn’t all that nimble, really.
This is where your body-snatching abilities come into play. The player is able to take control of any humans they encounter in levels, with each bringing with them a unique ability that makes it easier to traverse across the environment. Some can move faster and jump higher, some can push boxes, some can shoot a gun to clear obstacles in their path, whilst some can even use a jetpack. A combination of these skills is required to get through levels, with experimentation often key to success.
Leaving a human’s body can also be important though. Find yourself not able to reach a particularly long jump with one of the colonists? Leaving their body at the last second will result in a momentous burst, with the alien surging ahead with an additional jump and the human… well… getting blown to smithereens. It isn’t pretty, but it’s an effective way to get to those hard-to-reach areas.
As mentioned, there are seventy levels in Infestor, though they don’t really bring a whole lot of variety. Whilst they do become a bit more intricate the further you progress, the sorts of hazards you face and the abilities you have at your disposal do feel a little bit limited. It makes everything feel predictable and puts players in a formula of doing the same things over and over. It never felt all that challenging either; whilst I suffered a few deaths, I never got stuck on a level. Who knows, maybe I’m just a body-snatching expert? Wait… am I an alien?
There’s a severe lack of visual variety too, with all levels looking pretty much identical. Want to see some different locales on your body-snatching adventure? You’re out of luck; it’s just one boring facility from start to end. Considering there’s not a lot of diversity to the gameplay, it leaves Infestor feeling a bit repetitive and bland.
Despite this, I didn’t have a bad time playing through the game. It’s simple and doesn’t do anything special, but the puzzle-platforming antics made for a decent enough way to spend ninety minutes on a Saturday afternoon. There’s nothing inherently BAD about the game, after all… there’s just nothing special about it either. And hey, it’s available for less than a fiver, so you’re not exactly breaking the bank to try it.
Infestor lacks variety across its body-snatching adventure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play. It’s just… average. It does nothing special, but it does nothing offensive either. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, it might be worth checking out – especially at the low price point. Just don’t expect to be blown away by anything that this alien adventure offers.
Rapid Reviews Rating
3 out of 5
You can purchase Infestor on the Nintendo eShop here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.