I know Playdate touching folks have had their grubby mits on a version of Hyper Meteor for a good while now but given my hand cramps up just looking at pictures of the thing*, it’s been a case of waiting it out for me.
Which is another way of saying “Yay, a Switch version” because I can use one of those comfortably and I get pretty colours and everyone knows by now how much I love pretty colours.
(There’s a Steam version too if that’s your bag.)
Long time readers of my nonsense will no doubt be aware that I’m a fan of Vertex Pop’s stuff, pretty much every single game they’ve released has been solid gold so far, from the twin stick brilliance of WE ARE DOOMED (I still stand by the quote on the game page there too) to the excessively, wonderfully, pink Super Crush KO, just a bunch of fantastic games and I absolutely adore them.
So, Hyper Meteor. It’s Asteroids. Kind of. Sort of. It isn’t really.
Ok. Let’s try that again, it has asteroids and at first glance looks like Asteroids but there’s no fire button (there’s a smartbomb, thassit) so to clear the asteroids off the screen you have to smash into them. So, it’s the bit in Asteroids where you would normally die except you don’t die and instead that’s how you get points.
Whilst throwing you into an arena and just letting you crash through asteroids to make a number go up would be entertaining enough for me, it probably wouldn’t make for the most challenging arcade game ever so enemies have areas you can hit safely and areas you can’t. The trick, obviously, is to collide with the safe bits so you don’t explode yourself. As you’d expect, this is easier said than done.
As the game progresses, more fiendish enemies find their way into the arena requiring a bit more cunning to take out, causing the arena to gradually flood with enemies and bullets. Combo up with the fragments from the asteroids you’re smashing up and oof, it certainly keeps you on your toes. Sure, it’s typical arcade stuff but it’s very deftly done leaving the game sitting somewhere between the quickfire restarts of something like Super Hexagon and your more traditional coin-huffing videogame.
As ever with Vertex Pop’s stuff, what could be a far more throwaway game in less practiced hands turns out pretty sweet and one I’ll definitely be keeping round to play fairly often. Oh, and the bloopy chip disco soundtrack is a stonker too.
*No shade on the Playdate here, I have terrible cramps and tremors and that thing would be accidentally flung across the room in no time.