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Hyperlight Reviewed: Gaming at the Speed of Light

by: Alan Jones ; edited by: Simon Hill ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

Having already picked up some rave reviews on the iPhone, Android devices are now treated to a version of Hyperlight, a shooting game with no shooting (well, there's a little bit).

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    No Shooting?

    Hyperlight That really is the best way to describe Hyperlight, more specifically it's 'Geometry Wars without guns' (apart from a power up you can get), although that might make you think of the Pacify mode where you have fly through exploding gates to destroy the enemies, in Hyperlight, it's much easier to destroy them, you just have to fly into them.

    Alright, that's not strictly true, you control your ship by tilting your Android phone, and tilting it beyond a certain point allows you to go faster than light, and any enemies you touch will be destroyed. The catch is that you can only spend a limited time travelling faster than light, so you need to keep your energy bar topped up by flying over the icons that appear on the playing field.

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    Graphics and Sound

    It's really hard not to draw comparisons with Geometry Wars again, the bright vector graphics style will instantly bring it to mind, but they suit this style of game well. One thing that Hyperlight should have borrowed from Geometry Wars is the sound effects that announce the arrival of an enemy. The sound signalling an unwanted enemy really added something to that game, so it's a shame that Hyperlight only has minimal sound effects.

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    Hyperlight Hyperlight's gameplay is also very similar to Geometry Wars. When the game starts, it's just your ship on an empty grid, gradually enemies and pickups start to appear. At first, there are just basic enemies, and pickups that restore your faster than light bar, as the game progresses, new enemies and pickups start to appear. There's a tutorial section that explains how to deal with all the enemies and what all the pickups do, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with it, especially as you get further into the game. However, in Hyperlight you have no extra lives or smart bombs, you just start the game with a shield that you lose if you touch an enemy while not travelling faster than light. Hit another enemy and it's game over, although there are pickups that give you a new shield, so you have to try and keep an eye out for them if you lose yours.

    There are only two control settings, one for people that hold their phone at a slight incline, and one for people holding it completely flat. While I had no problems with the incline setting, I'd have thought it would make more sense to get you to hold your phone in a natural position and then calibrate the movement from there.

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    Overall Verdict

    Hyperlight Hyperlight is another excellent addition to my library of Android games, as well as the Arcade mode, there's an Infinity game mode that drops you straight into the thick of the action, and the game supports openfeint so there are achievements to go for and you can compare high scores with your friends.

    A word of warning though, while the game works perfectly well on my Galaxy S, the Market description does say "Hyperlight works at its best on TEGRA 2 devices, Xperia Play or dual core CPUs devices equipped with the latest PowerVR (SGX 540+) or Adreno GPUs (205+)", so be aware that you need a fairly high-end device to play this and there's no free version available either to allow you to try it out.

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