Troglobytes Games looks to 80s action and horror flicks with their new run-and-gun roguelike HyperParasite. Everybody and their mom is out for blood in its dystopian world – should you put up a fight?
Hit It or Quit It – HyperParasite Pre-Alpha
In a cruel twist of fate, players control the villain of HyperParasite, rather than the hero. As a parasite run amok, players will fend off the denizens of a seedy town, all as you cause chaos and destruction in your wake.
There’s just one catch though – your blobby form cannot do much. A dash move that does some damage is at the players’ disposal, but it is easy to get taken down with just a few simple blows. To truly succeed in this roguelike, players must take control of their enemies. A Possession Cone can be aimed at the target of your choosing, and once locked on, players can then become that character.
There’s certainly no shortage to choose from – basketball players, cart-pushing hobos, boxers, street walkers, and newspaper delivery girls are just some of the dozens of targets players can control. Each one also has their own attack method and special move, adding some variety.
It’s just a shame that almost no balancing has gone into its cast and crew. Some characters will put you at a distinct disadvantage – for instance, the urban warriors’ molotov cocktail launches at an arc that will miss most of your targets, while the police officer can only fire six shots before reloading. When compared to others that can spam attacks ad infinitum, it’s far too easy to get stuck with a bum character.
Gameplay is done twin-stick shooter style, with players navigating areas like the downtown and the sewers as they destroy anything and everything. However, most areas plunk characters into an arena-style setting, forcing them to take down waves of baddies to progress. Smash TV and Nex Machina used a similar setup, but the lack of variety makes everything start to run together before too long. There is the chance to grab upgrades, find brains, and purchase perks with money earned on the battlefield, but it does little to alleviate the grind.
In true roguelike fashion, however, death means starting from the very beginning. The route to the perfect run is far too random though – some areas are a walk in the park, while others are downright unfair. We may be admitting our scrub nature here, but the “Double Trouble” boss and its two trucks with machine gun fine are next to impossible to solo. If the game offered more balance, this challenge would be a bit easier to stomach.
As of this writing, there are no major bugs to speak of. There is a lack of online co-op (just local), and only an almanac is available to view outside the main mode. Those looking to get the most out of the pre-alpha best enjoy the main mode and get good at dealing with the throngs of enemies.
HyperParasite concept of possession stands out, but the action could use some balancing. When paired with its roguelike nature, it just becomes far too random and frustrating to master in its current state.