Curved Space Review (Xbox Series)
Curved space is a new take on the familiar twin stick shoot-em up, with a kicking soundtrack and unique gameplay style, but is it enough?
Curved Space is an intense arcade-style twin-stick shooter that takes the classic formula and plunges it into the weirdest reaches of space. Battle cosmic space-invading spiders across curved landscapes where bullets hug the terrain while the horizon drops sharply out of sight.
Inspired by arcade classics, players will have to hunt for weapon power-ups and upgrades while dodging enemy fire, blasting interdimensional bugs, and wrangling some enormous boss monsters. Simple to learn as you fight your way through the branching story-driven campaign, but tough to master as you chase the glory of the leaderboards.
- Old School Shmup Reimagined: Enjoy the high-energy action of traditional 2D shoot ‘em ups in a warped 3D space. Climb walls, flip over to the other side of your environment, and experience breathtaking vistas.
- Play Your Style & Top the Leaderboards: Experience your space pilot’s harrowing journey in Campaign, take on new challenges, test your skills, and chase your place on the leaderboards in Daily Runs, Arena, Survival and Endless game modes.
- Ride the Synthwave: Get in the zone with a high-energy synthwave soundtrack in partnership with FiXT Neon, featuring artists like Scandroid, 3Force, and Fury Weekend.
- Upgrade & Take Them Down: Collect a plethora of ability and weapon upgrades. Weapons are varied (from lasers to flamethrowers to weed wackers!) and equipped with their own overdrive states!
At first glance Curved Space looks like something we have seen plenty of times before, twin stick shoot em ups are plentiful in today’s market. Fans are mainly driven by nostalgia from games long ago (myself included). So to really stand out and be something different developer Only by Midnight had to try to do something we haven’t seen before. The biggest thing that Curved Space does different is the notion of the true 3D level design. Like something out of Mario Galaxy as you progress through this game you have to utilize all parts of the map to achieve your objectives and sometimes, even just to survive. Because most of the levels are relatively small, you have to utilize all aspects to survive and get through the various swarms of space spiders you are destroying throughout the game.
Gameplay is (once you get through the tutorial stages) pretty chaotic, lots of enemies, flashes on screen, and weapons and ammo drops. The game has a decently large variety of weapons and upgrades to try out throughout the entire campaign to accomodate all differnt types of players. I myself, once I found the weapons I liked best i tried to stick with them as much as possible. The controls are fairly easy to use and there are multiple difficulty levels so pretty much anyone should be able to pick up and play this game. One of my only complaints with the game play is sometimes movement felt too slow, I would often find myself wishing I could move quicker to accomodate the action on screen.
There are a few different game modes to try out that include daily challenges, leaderboards (for those chasing glory) and a campaign mode. There isn’t really anything to phone home about within the campaign, I can’t imagine it’s easy to develop a story for a top down twin stick shooter but it was done well enough. Voice acting was pretty good and the comic panel style art was ok as well. The game does have a good amount of replayability as you would expect from this style of game, even in the campaign with various endings and paths you can take throughout.
The soundtrack however was one of my favorite things about this game, chock full of synth and synth rock music to rival any of Dr. Disrespects youtube streams. The music also really lent itself to what was happening in the level and driving you much like Doom does with it’s soundtrack to just keep you rip and tearing along.
Over long periods of time I did find the game starting to wear on me, there was some cool boss battles and different enemy types but after awhile it started to feel the same. Which I don’t fault the team about at all, I think it’s just a by product of this style of game. But for those looking for some quick arcade action with a banging soundtrack, this one is definitely worth your time.