Vivid Helix’s Semispheres releases on Nintendo Switch today, so we’ve taken the meditative parallel-puzzler for a quickie to see how it fares on the hybrid console.
It’s almost worth playing Semispheres solely in handheld mode for the easier headphone use, letting you really appreciate the mesmerising soundtrack.
Don’t worry, there are only a few fiendishly difficult puzzles, with most taking only a few minutes to beat, and the game is good at easing you in as new abilities are introduced. If you do end up stuck though, you at least get to enjoy the excellent soundtrack while you mull over the solution.
How’s the presentation on the whole?
Semispheres is described as having a “soothing” art style, and it’s hard to disagree. The soft, warm colour palette and impressive use of light, coupled with composer Sid Barnhoorn’s atmospheric score, can feel almost hypnotic at times.
While it may look best on a bigger screen, it’s almost worth playing Semispheres solely in handheld mode just for the easier headphone use to really appreciate the mesmerising soundtrack.
Is there a story to go with all this?
Sort of. After every few levels, you’re presented with a storyboard sequence depicting the tale of a young boy and his robot. There’s no dialogue, with the story simply told through a series of images.
What relevance, if any, this side-story has with the rest of the gameplay isn’t obvious at first, but it does at least serve to break up the sequence of levels.
Would you recommend it?
Yes. With more than 50 levels on offer, there’s plenty of value for money here. And if you’re willing to sacrifice a portion of the challenge when playing solo for some local co-op, the Switch’s Joy-Cons facilitate that.
Semispheres is available now on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $9.99/€9,99/£8.99. If you don’t own a Switch it’s been knocking around on PS4 and Steam since February, and is also making its way to PS Vita in October and Xbox One soon after.