Game Review #169: V.O.I.D. (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Allan J.
Developer: Nape Games
Category: Arcade, Action, Platformer, Adventure
Release Date: 2.28.2019
Price (at time of review): $3.99
Buy V.O.I.D. from the Nintendo eShop here.
Resistance Is Futile?
V.O.I.D. is a “modern-retro” side-scrolling platformer that puts you in control of Alpha and Omega, two PLOIDS—evolved human cyborgs—trying to save Earth from an alien invasion by traveling to different eras in time to collect shards of a powerful sacred stone. You will travel through ancient Egypt, the Ice Age, feudal Japan, and more to find all the shards, all while fighting the aliens who are trying to get there first to collect the same. So there’s the backstory. Let’s take a closer look into the V.O.I.D.
So, this is a sort of unique setup. Depending on which PLOID you choose, your gameplay, and even the path you take through the levels will be different. Alpha, the female PLOID, plays more like a speed-runner, with more jump and speed powers, but less health and no blaster. Omega, the male PLOID, plays more like a shooter, with more health, less speed and jump, and a nifty blaster gun to shoot things. Because the different characters have different abilities, the routes can be different as you progress through each world. I ended up sucking at both characters either way, so I can safely say that the challenge is still there regardless of your character selection.
I found the controls to be somehow both precise and clunky at the same time. One minute, you’re pulling off perfect double-jump platforming like you know what you’re doing, and the next minute your single jump didn’t even trigger. It got a bit frustrating, especially when you take into account that you only have 5 lives to beat the game and no continues. The game does give you passwords when you clear a world, so you can at least start over from whichever world you last finished instead of having to start completely over from the beginning.
Audio & Visuals
As I mentioned already, this is another entry into the ever-growing new indie game trend of “modern-retro” games, and as such, the graphics are set in the 8-bit through 16-bit style. The graphics in some stages, the desert portion in particular, are very reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, which doesn’t automatically mean anything bad, but there’s definitely more of a headbang than a nod here, if we’re being honest. Other parts are a bit Mega Man-ish or even Ninja Gaiden-looking at times, so if you’re gonna nod, it’s good to nod to the greats at least!
The music is OK, but nothing spectacular. It also carries a bit of a Mega Man vibe to it, but Mega Man did it better. I will say that the music gets the job done, and while not mind-blowing, is not bad either.
V.O.I.D. was a game I really wanted to enjoy, but unfortunately, I was just not very good at, which made it become frustrating very quickly. Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad game, and for the right player—not me, obviously—this game could be phenomenal. If you are into speed-running, for instance, this game has some great stages for you. If you love a frustratingly difficult platformer in the vein of Journey to Silius, you’ll probably get a kick out of this game as well.
I, on the other hand, can’t get past the 3rd level, and had to step away from this game. It wasn’t rage-inducing like some of the other sadistic platformers I’ve reviewed recently, it was just disappointing when I had to keep playing the same couple of stages over and over again, only to lose all of my lives in the same couple of places each time. It wouldn’t be as bad if you just re-spawned, but having to go through the whole “Game Over” screen, then main credits, then password screen—by the way, the passwords are a series of colors, and to enter them, you have you walk your character through the different-colored portals on the password stage, which is a bit tedious in its own right—and then through the rest of the parts of the stage you just beat… it just took too long to get back into the action, and I lost interest by the time it got back to it. Give it a try for yourself though. Like I said, it’s not a bad game, it just wasn’t a hit with me.
Buy V.O.I.D. from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by JanduSoft